Complete Temple-Trilogy. Konark, Puri and Bhubaneshwar form a golden triangle and offer you a rich, fulfilling and divine experience. The triangle is surrounded by some of the most beautiful destinations which will add thrill to your tour.
Konark, Puri and Bhubaneshwar form a golden triangle and offer you a rich, fulfilling and divine experience. The triangle is surrounded by some of the most beautiful destinations which will add thrill to your tour.
(‘that is complete, this is complete, from the completeness comes the completeness; If completeness is taken away from completeness, only completeness remains')
Human inclination and seeking has always been towards that which is ‘complete’, be it material or otherwise. This one line says it all. Puri--the city which derived this name from ‘poorna’ or puri, truly gives you a ‘complete’ experience, be it the architecture, nature, or divinity. The city is a tapestry of art embellished with intricacies of skill and perfection.Juggernaut, as we all know is derived from Lord Jagannadh’s temple car/ chariot, used for his procession. The imposing idols of Lord Jagannadh and his consorts in the sanctum sanctorum command instant attention and devotees proceed in circumambulation in a trance thereafter. Scent of savouries, ghee lamps, incenses and air ringing with ‘joijagannadh’ sparks off devotion in one and all! Around the main temple are several shrines of goddess kali, mahalakshmi, shiva, all seated in their own intricately carved abodes.
When Rabindranath Tagore himself spent more than 6 months just to understand the spectacular architectural feat-Konark-- ordinary folks like us can very well learn the nature of this temple. Dedicated to Sun God or Surya,Sun Temple which was built in the thirteenth century was conceived as a gigantic chariot of Sun God, with twelve pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven pairs of horses. As our trained guide took us through a three hour tour (in the history), we were left speechless to see the entire life story of human evolution, sans space and time, packed into this monument! The wheel is the wheel of time- time,both as in a clock and the time as in human cycle/life span. While one panel had the carvings of children, chivalrous women-folk and men getting ready for war, another one showed mother-in-law leaving for ‘vaanaprastha’ bidding farewell to her grandchild, for the last time. Innumerable sculptural scaffoldings depicting various human emotions, relationships and philosophy leaves one awe-struck, how did they do it? And how many days did they take to do this?! Do not miss the stunning sunrise on the Chandar Bagha beach near Konark temple, it is said that the first rays of sunin Indian sub-continent fall on the Sun Temple.
Bhubaneshwar, the clean, green, noise and pollution-free city is truly a rejuvenating retreat for all those who wish to be pampered in nature's lap, not to forget the merry birds chirping at any busy or recluse corner! Lingaraj Temple is a devotee’s delight as he/she can make offerings, in the sanctum sanctorum, including abhishekam. As the name suggests the temple has number of sub-shrines around it all abode of linga. Siddheshwar and Mukteshwar temples, a few kms away from Lingaraj are again an architect’s offering to the divine. Rajarani is yet another marvel seated amidst sprawling lawns, in the city outskirts. Interestingly it derived name from the stone- Raja –Rani (dark and light or the king & queen). Though dedicated to ‘harihara’, the sanctum sanctorum sans deity and looks almost eerie inside!
Another most magnificent rock wonders are the Khandagiri and Udaygiri caves very close to the city. The word Khandagiri-literally means one which was divided into pieces. These caves served as residential blocks for Jain ascetics during king Kharavela’s reign. Inside the main gumpha one finds idols of first Jain Guru Adinathji and Mahaveer too. It’s a sight to behold! Udaygiri caves have stunning, symmetrical double-storeyed caves with proper water and communication channels (like intercom) in place! These caves have beds and pillows of rocks, carved out like independent cubicles for each one of them! Kudos to the Archaeological Society of India which is maintaining these caves very well! Serenity inside the cubicles is very palpable! Each cave or ‘gumpha’ has a characteristic andname describing it, like Hatigumpha, Sarpagumpha etc. There’s even a Dhyanagumpha- cave for meditation.
Soon after crossing Bhubaneshwar-the temple city- , on the way to Puri,one gets to see the historic river Daya, which turned red with slain soldiers’ blood in the 261 BC’s Kalinga battle. History says that this was the transformation point for King Ashoka, who propagated Ahimsa or non-violence then on. The rock edicts of Ashoka and the Shanti Stupa-- a monument built for the soldiers are must-see sites here. Ironically, we Indians are not following even one of the edicts in scripted. Another mystical monument is 64 Yoginis Shrine at Hirapur, located 15 km away from Bhubaneshwar. Once a seat for Tantric practices, this place is the abode of 64 Yoginis, or powerful forms of Divine Feminine. Unique feature of this well-maintained and powerful shrine is that it does not have a dome, and all the 64 deities carved out of black sand-stone adorn the inner circle. Central platform is for sacrifices. The locals say the place throngs with palpable energy during amavasya and pournami, as priests know the science of invoking the Divine Feminine. This is a must-see place. Do not miss Pipili, the hub for Applique works, which greets you with bright lampshades and innumerable artefacts , on the way to Konark.