Sunday, April 3, 2011

gopalpur and chilika journey

Because of lack of space in picasa,uploaded the images into flickr.All the images of this album are taken with nokia n82.http://flic.kr/s/aHsju7KQ7D
Its a long time since I took a much deserved vacation;so when my father told me that they were going to gopalpur,i decided to attach myself with them.Its a 3 day tour.
The journey began on 29th of march,2011.Left my nokia5800 with BSNL sim at home.It was charged with data balance but wanted to stay away from facebook and twitter for some time.First crossed ganga to reach sheoraphuli and took sheoraphuli local to howrah.From howrah,its chennai mail which took us to berhampur,odisha.In howrah station,i was searching for railway help centre.The result of the search is visible in the first image of the album(http://flic.kr/s/aHsju7KQ7D)!!!!!!!!!!
After reaching berhampur,took auto to reach gopalpur.Claimed ₹200 initially;finally agreed on ₹160(later came to know that actually its around ₹110).Seat was booked in hotel holiday home.In my experience gopalpur hotel industry is yet to be developed.Their service quality is very poor.The TV supplied in the room does not have any remote.Thankfully its 30th march and hence only one thing was important-india-pakistan match.So fixed the channel once and did not change it anymore.
Bathed in sea,looked around a bit here and there and booked a tata indica for next days travel to chilika.
Next morning,after a breakfast the journey started for 'borakul chilika'.Regarding breakfast,i found out that south indian dishes are much more prevalent-dont know the reason.Anyway the 'borakul chilika' is around 70 km away from gopalpur and 140km away from puri.In 'borakul',there is only one thing,called 'kalijai'-a temple for 'kali'.For this,one has to travel for around one hour in boat.This temple is located in an island(images are labelled in the album).There is nothing else left in the island-absolutely nothing.A coke was charged ₹30 in the island!!!!!!!!!The boat journey costed ₹500(unofficially) and ₹1000(officially).Thankfully we found a team of 10 bengali tourists;other wise it'd not have been possible to visit 'kalijai'.While returning,visited 'port rambha chilika'-if you are not cautious enough,they will try to run this as chilika;but there is absolutely nothing here.I could only take snaps of 3 boats even after  trying very hard to find something else.
In the way there is an interesting thing-rare earth.They are collecting it here.The driver mentioned that govt is giving ₹10 lakh for a katha of land(plus ₹10thousand for each tree present in the land).I did not believe him first.After googling a bit i came to know that rare earth(they were calling it 'kalabali') is actually used in making of nuclear bomb amongst other things.So the claim is probably not as far fetched at it seemed initially.
I was not aware that odisha also had backwater.To the best of my knowledge,only kerala has one;but the odisha variety is not too behind;and govt is attempting to create proper infra-structure.
Also crossed a river named 'rosogolya'(রসগোল্লা).Actually later i understand that its probably uttered as 'rushgulya'.Anyway that time it provided quite a bit fun.
In and around gopalpur,the area is filled with temples-i did not understand any difference amongst them but apparently 'ram mandir' is most popular.Though i found this claim hilarious-because when we entered,they opened the gate and after our exiting they closed the door-there was no other devotee.How much popular could it be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After returning to gopalpur,climbed the light house.Took 2 snaps with my trusty n82.The lighthouse is almost 8 storied high if not more-there  are 154 steps in the stairs.Above the light house,its really a surreal experience.I enjoyed this best in the whole tour.This is opened for 2 hours-from 3:30 to 5:30pm.
After climbing down,tried to take some snaps of 'kakra'(crabs);but the crabs were very moody.Whenever asked them to say 'cheese',they jumped into the sands.Not at all camera friendly!Finally managed to convince one for posing(in the album named as 'kakra').
Returned hotel after these for getting ready to face the "first april".