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Puri and Bhubaneshwar – My Travel Itinerary to one of the Least Explored Gems in India

My travel itinerary for a 3-day trip in Orissa around Puri and Bhubaneshwar should be all you need if you want a mini vacation with a group of friends to explore places in a state that isn’t well promoted when it comes to tourism. It was afternoon when we landed at Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneshwar. We hired a taxi and went directly to Puri from the airport. The first 2 days we stayed in a resort at Puri because we made our travel plans following a friend’s wedding we had to attend.

Chilika lake
Chilling at Chilika

Day 1 and 2 at Puri

Jagannath Puri Temple

My travel itinerary to Puri and Bhubaneshwar starts with us visiting the world famous Jagannath Puri Temple and from our other Oriya friends we had come to know that only Hindus can enter the temple. We underwent security checks before entering the temple. Phones and cameras were a strict no-no. From seeing Kalinga architecture in our school History books to seeing them in real for the first time, I was thrilled.

Puri Jagannath Temple
Puri Jagannath Temple Gopura

Note: The temple is always crowded, so you will have to take care of your belongings and be aware of the “Prasadh Scammers” who will try to excerpt money from you.

Chilika Lake

We started around 11am to the Chilika Lake with the taxi contact we got from the resort we stayed at. Satapada town is around 50kms from Puri. I would urge you to confirm with the taxi folks to take you to ODTC Chilika Lake Booking at Satapada town and not just any place around the lake for boating. The ODTC booking counter will charge you Rs.900/- for a boat which is for one hour and the boat capacity would be 4 adults and 2 kids per boat. Since we weren’t aware of the original ODTC Lake Booking counter, the taxi guy took a diversion before reaching Satapada and took us to a private booking counter with whom he had a tie up. After bargaining to reduce the price we ended up paying Rs.3500/- per boat for 1.15 hrs with 10-seater boat.

What did we enjoy at Chilika?

  1. Boating at India’s largest brackish water lake
  2. Dolphin point
  3. Red crabs

Timings: 6am to 7pm

NOTE:  Beware of the fake gem scammers who will tell you that they are extracting navaratna, pearls and many other gems in front of your eyes.

Chilika Lake
Beautiful sunset at Chilika

We had our lunch at Chilika Lake and the fish served was yum. After reaching our homestay in the evening we called up the same taxi guy and asked for a taxi connect to help us with our journey for the next day. We got a better deal than our ride to Chilika because he didn’t have to pay commission to the resort guy. We paid Rs.3,120 for a Winger to Chilika but Rs.3,125 for a Tavera to Bhubaneshwar after visiting Raghurajpur and Konark Sun Temple. How cool is that? 😀

Raghurajpur – Artist Village

The next day morning we were all decked up to visit a place that is slowly becoming popular. It is a craft village, 10 kms from Puri. They had various kinds of crafts, tussel paintings, pattachitras and much more. This village was a combination of Traditional Craft Persons and Gopitua Dance artists. The moment our car entered the village there were loads of artisans asking us to enter their houses to see the crafts done by them and buy them if we like it.

Raghurajpur Artist Village
The Raghurajpur Village

I noticed that the artisans who had their houses at the start of the village sold their creations for a higher price than the artisans who had their houses behind. Also, if you know the art of bargaining you can buy loads of beautiful crafts and still not burn a hole in your pocket.

Konark Sun Temple

Konark was 40 kms from Raghurajpur and the marine drive was ecstatic. That moment I felt so light and I was filled with joy. We had lunch at Konark and decided to visit the UNESCO Heritage Site Sun Temple.

Konark Sun Temple
One of the wheels of the chariot

You can read my article on Konark Sun Temple here.  
Timings: 6am to 8pm

A 65-km drive from Konark took us to our hotel in Bhubaneshwar. Hotel Vintage Villa was the best bet we could find considering our budget travel, neatness of the rooms, closeness to the airport and places to roam around in Bhubaneshwar for the next day.

Day 3 at Bhubaneshwar

Considering the proximity of our hotel to the railway station we were able to hire a Tavera for Rs.1,300 for a day tour in Bhubaneshwar. How happy was I, having friends with amazing bargaining skills! 😛

Our first stop was at Mukteshvara Temple and the same premise had 2 other temples called as Parasuram and Brahmeswara temples.

Mukteshwar Temple
Mukteshwar Temple

Our day tour continued with us going to Lingaraj temple which also had tight security in similar fashion as Jagannath Puri Temple. Here also people from other faiths were strictly not allowed. We weren’t allowed to carry our phones inside the temple premises.

Parasuram Temple
Parasuram Temple

The Kalinga architecture amazed me once again at these temples and by seeing the images in my travel itinerary to Puri and Bhubaneshwar readers will come to know that.

We had a lunch break and continued our day tour to Dhauli Shanti Stupa followed by visiting the Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves which were built during 1st century BCE. Udayagiri has 18 caves and Khandagiri has 15. These caves were believed to be carved out as residential blocks for Jain monks.

Caves entry ticket: Rs.25

Puri Beach
Waves and joy

The next day early in the morning we had flights to our respective cities. This trip to places around Puri and Bhubaneswar is very dear to me as I have so many treasured memories with my friends.

Aarthy Chinnaiya

Hola, you travel-prying soul! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by! My name is Aarthy Chinnaiya, exploring new places, food and people gets me excited. I focus on budget travel and exploring places to the fullest in limited number of days (being a Software Engineer I don't get much leaves you see :P). Follow me for a constant dose of my travel stories, experiences, tips and much more.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Anil Yerraguntla

    Real good info and accurate details of its history. Great job done by mentioning the places needed to be visited when one visits this place, along with the expenses.

  2. Anuradha B

    Hey I keep following your posts, the way you provide the travel info of any place is really ossam. Not oly yu give info about any particular place bt also the timings, accommodation, bus price n wt not, and also v budget friendly too. Thank you?

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