Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by Arryan, Apr 12, 2013.
Wow! Fantastic TL. Hats off to your patience for providing such a detailed write up :up
Yes all OTDC hotels have excellent locations.
Thanks Limraj and Raj29 for your comments.
I stay at Surya Vihar, Junwani Road.
It is adjacent to Smriti Nagar, if you know the "patripaar" area as commonly called by the BSP township people.
Hope it helps other members in the forum.
Day Three : Friday 22/03/2013.
The Dolphin Hunt at Chilka
Today we all got up late and relaxed on the balcony with a cup of tea. We finished our breakfast by half past nine and started for Satapada on the Chilka Lake. NH203 connects Bhubaneshwar with Puri and extends till Konark; and a branch of the same highway NH203A connects Puri with Satapada. The distance from Puri to Satapada is around 50KM.
Satapada derives its name from the words "Sata" meaning seven and "Pada" meaning village, so the name Satapada means group of seven villages. Satpada is located at the meeting point of Chilika Lake and Bay of Bengal. The famous Chilika dolphins or the Irrawaddy dolphins can be seen in their natural best here. Chilka is home to the only known population of Irrawaddy dolphins in India and one of only two lagoons in the world that are home to this species. Apart from India this species can be found in South East Asia and has been declared as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Satapada is actually an island on the Chilka Lake.
About eight kilometres before Satapada, private operators have erected huge hordings on the road to lure the tourists for dolphin sighting what they call Dolphin Point. They also block the road to convince you to use their facility. I later came to know that the place is called Sipakuda. However, we ignored them and preceeded straight to the OTDC Yatri Nivas at Satapada. At the OTDC office we booked a boat for Rs. 900.00 for one and a half hour trip in the lake including dolphin sighting. We ordered for the lunch before we going on the trip so that when we return the lunch would be ready. The best part of having the boat ride from OTDC is that you don't have to share it with anybody, we were only three on the boat.
We roamed about on the lake for about 45 minutes but could not see a trace of the dolphins. By that time I was convinced that we may not be so lucky and the whole day was wasted. Our boatman also looked dejected. He then came to a lonely point shut off the engine and waited. While all the private boats were searching for dolphin far away, our boat was waiting alone on the other side for almost 15 minutes.
Then suddenly the dolphins appeared first one then another one and finally a group of four/five playing in the water all around the boat. It was really a great sight to view the dolphins twisting and twirling in the water sometimes in pair and at times single. They dolphins come above the water only for a fraction of time and it was no use trying to capture them in camera, so we enjoyed the sight to our heart's content. By this time the other boats could fathom that we have seen the dolphins and started to approach our boat. They were ten or twelve in numbers with diesel engines making noise almost like a helicopter. The dolphins could be seen for a few more minutes before they disappeared underwater. We considered ourselves extremely lucky to have witnessed the dolphins for more than fifteen minutes. Our boatman (Jitendra, an OTDC employee) also said that it is very rare to be able to see the dolphins for so long.
Initially all the other boats were at a distance from our boat.
Just as they could fathom from our action that we have spotted the Dolphins, all the other boats came running towards us.
Overall, the dolphins' color is grey to dark slate blue, paler underneath. The dorsal fin is small and rounded behind the middle of the back. The forehead is high and rounded and the beak is lacking. The appearance is not anywhere like the normal dolphins we see in the TV channels.
We came back to the Yatri Nivas fully satisfied, had our lunch and headed back to Puri. Needless to say the evening was spent at the beach.
The "Sipakuda" village has a small history :
Well it all looks like a very noble step by the local authority and the State Government to provide alternate livelyhood to the local villagers.
But as you see the unchecked murders of the fauna of the area (the red crabs, the fish and the prawns and last but not the least the shellfish that produces the pearl) you'll realise that it has actually created a path for the absolute destruction of the ecosystem. Where once dolphins, red crabs and migratory birds roamed freely, now the influx of people would drive the dolphins and birds away, and destroy crabs and whatever sea life existed.
Now, this is purely my personal views from what I have seen there and should not be taken in a negative manner.
I have been to Steel Colony there
Will plan to see you during next visit
Sure, you're most welcome.
Do give a mail when you visit next.
Day Four : Sunday 23/03/2013.
We decided to enjoy the last day of our tour on the Puri beach.
We all woke up in the morning in a leisurely way and went straight to the beach at six thirty in the morning and sat on the beach enjoying the morning sun. After half an hour myself and my son went into the water to have a bath. We hired a "nuliah" to keep an watch and help in case of a need. With the help of the rubber tube from the nuliah, we enjoyed swimming / floating in the water for more than an hour. My wife was initially hesitant and afraid to come into the water but after some time she also joined us and enjoyed floating on the water with the help of the tube. We were forced to cut short the enjoyment only because of the compelling reason of having our breakfast.
My son was not satisfied with the morning session in the sea, so I came back to the beach again in the afternoon. While he enjoyed his bath in the sea with the nuliah, I rested in the shade. The OTDC Panthanivas can be seen in the background.
Later on I too joined him and both of us enjoyed playing in the water for another hour.
In the evening we took a stroll along the beach and my son enjoyed a camel ride on the beach sand.
As we went further we noticed this peice of art at a secluded portion on the beach. Some local boys told us that is was a sandart by Sudarshan Pattnaik. I could not find any way to verify the artist. Sorry for the low quality of the picture.
Then we walked to the Marine Drive Road and purchased some confectionaries from Mongini's and some dry fruits etc. from the market for the return journey.
The hotel dues were paid off at night after the dinner so that we can start early in the morning. Here I learnt that the OTDC hotel does not accept any payment through card. Luckily I had enough cash to settle the restaurant bills and Service Tax amount. The hotel charges were paid online at the time of booking.
Rediscovered these places once again through the pics. Hope you have reached BHILLAI safely & in time.
The Return Journey : Sunday 24/03/2013.
I made a goof-up in post 16, 23rd. March was Saturday and not a Sunday.
Though we planned to start early in the morning, but actually all got up in the morning at a leisurely pace and took their own time to be ready. By six thirty we came down with all our baggage and started dumping them in the boot. On seeing us leaving, the first shift waiter came rushing with two cups of tea. We gladly enjoyed the tea in the garden, paid off the tips to the waiter and started around seven from the Panthanivas.
We were sailing smoothly when we suddenly met with a freak accident. We were hardly 12/13 KM from the hotel, there was a left turn on the road and the road was still two laned. Vehicles were coming from the opposite direction, so I could not go my right, and there was a young fellow on his bi-cycle just in front of me blocking the road and talking on his mobile phone. I was not able to cross him and honked for maybe five/six times, but he would not even move to the left and allow me to cross. After some time, as I got a break in the oncoming traffic, I took my car to the right and tried to cross the cyclist. I am not sure what happened, but I saw the man stumble, hit the left side ORVM and fall down. By instant reaction my foot was on the brake, I stopped the car and came down.
It was a small village like area, and the people were enjoying their morning cup of tea in a nearby stall. But before anyone else could come I was helping the man get on his feet. When the man got up I could see that he had a small bruise on his right wrist and another slightly bigger one on his left elbow. Apart from these two there were no other damage and I was somewhat relieved that there was no broken bones or dislocation. By this time I could notice a crowd has already gathered around me, some abusing me in their native language and some others were quite mature in their behaviour. I offered to take the man to the nearest dispensary but he refused. I then gave him some money to buy medicines, if required and enquired whether he requires any more help.
After this I started to leave the spot and then someone handed over to me the broken ORVM glass, which fell off from the casing. We left off and stopped at the next BPCL bunk to regain my composure. It was then that I realised that I had a narrow escape. The accident was unintentional and neither did I have the intention to run-off, but one can never believe the local villagers. They could have manhandled me and my family. I waited for some more time at the bunk, had some water to cool down my nerves. I crossed Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack very carefully after which it was somewhat familiar territory.
This is what I got from the morning incident :
This is the first major scratch on my car and such an incident happened in my life for the first time.
The rest of the journey was smooth and peaceful. We crossed Sambalpur around 01:30PM and stopped for lunch at Bargar, Hotel Ganapati.
We started from there at 03:00PM and reached Bhilai at around 08:35PM.
The mirror glass is still broken as the same was not available at the dealership.
Thanks Sandipan. We reached home safe.
Good to know every thing was fine at the end of the day.
Yeah !! Sure.
Some statistics for the Journey :
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