Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A visit to Puri last year

Last year on my trip back home, we had plans to visit Puri. I do not remember exactly how many times I have visited Puri. However, this remains my favourite trip back home. Almost every time we start our journey very early in the morning and make sure we reach Dhauli by 9 AM. The calm and silent environment of Buddhist monastery and the Stupa attracts many crowd. I love the view of river Daya and Bhubaneswar from the hill top. This is the place where the famous ruler " Asoka the great" had transformed himself after winning the battle against Kalinga. He then took up Buddhism and channelised all his energy in spreading Buddhism, peace and tranquility.

There are many rocks with inscription of Asoka's administration. The famous among them is the rock with elephant figure with the inscription of Asoka. The place is in a hill top and thus, the sun rays in morning along with the cool breeze makes you feel the calm and serene environment.

Then we directly went to Puri without halting at Konark. Since, it was Karthik Masa, there was huge crowd. And the traffic police diverted us towards the sea beach instead of entering the Bada Danda. Somehow, we managed to get back near the temple but had to park our vehicle a few meters from Jagannath temple.

This was noon time, however clouds had covered the sky and there was no Sun and hence climate was looking perfect to us. By the time we reached Puri temple, rain had started. There was low pressure and this had developed into rain. The water droplets were too cold and there was no place to hide. We all predicted the rain to stop in an hour, so after keeping our foot wears we went inside the temple. My younger brother had kept all the four or five mobile phones. And there was a strict checking of phones. The police caught him. And he replied to them promptly, however, they did not allow us to carry mobiles inside. By this time we were all completely drenched in rain. So, my maternal uncle and my brother stayed back. Me along with my Dad and Mom entered the temple premises. The rain water had by then collected in the entrance room. And it was reaching our waist. Somehow we managed to cross the room among so many devotees and made our way through the 22 steps towards the temple. There is another gate like structure at the end of the 22 steps. We had to enter that too. There also water had collected,as the priest were not allowing anymore people to enter the main temple, it was crowded.

It was too bitter to stand in cold water, completely drenched and that too there was no place for standing properly. Gradually, the number of devotees in that room started to grow. There was a newly wedded couple, one group of Sri chaitnya devotees, few elderly women. Few widows who had come for Habisha(ceremony to appease Krisha in form of Jagannath mostly done by Bharmin Widows). I had hold my Mom in one hand and my Dad had hold another hand of mine. Somehow, I was afraid, as my Mom is too thin, and I worried if someone stamps her feet, then it might break. She had one hand sandwiched between two other people. And my main fear was she might get hurt. The flow of water went on increasing as there was no passage for water. All the devotees were praying loudly so that the rain might stop and they could have a glance of the Lord. However, we three almost at that time decided not to wait there and return back. We could not see our beloved Lord, however we were happy to be not part of any stampede. Coming out of that crowd and that room was not so easy either. We were at the middle of room by the push and pull of people. Somehow, all three of us made our way back. The rain had no sign of stopping.

There was no way to visit the Anadbazar also. So, we decided to purchase the prasad available outside. Then again we came back to the first and main entrance. There is an idol of Jagannath in this room. We bowed before him and came out of the temple.

After, coming out my brother and maternal uncle told about an stampede in the main entrance which injured some elderly person. They were also very anxious about our well being. The rain had caused so many problems that we were not able to get our foot wears from the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper wanted us to wait for the rain to stop so that he can search where it lies. Finally, after an hour or so the rain slowed down.

However, the crowd increased even more. So, we decided not to enter the temple premises. My mom told its good to visit Jagannath temple in the month of Karthik. And we have come to Puri, so it will give us same benefit as it was to after we see the Lord.

Then we went to the sea beach. Too hungry and feeling too cold because of all wet clothes. We had not taken any extra pair of clothes as it was one day, to and fro plan. In the sea beach we had to give an coconut offering. So, we did that and then ate hot and spicy chat. Still, it was not sufficient for us to overcome the hunger. Then we made our way back to Cuttack and on the way searched a Dhaba. For me it was only after my engineering day that I had been to Dhaba, I was much excited. However, the Dhaba was not up to expectation. The food was normal, I must say below Dhaba standards, however, I was too hungry. When in hunger, everything tastes good.

That was an awful travel with all wet clothes. Feeling chill and even not able to get some crunchy snacks,which can make you feel hot inside. I always loved pakoras along with tea or coffee at home. During rainy season this was something that I always demanded. Thankfully, we reached Cuttack soon. Never, had felt so better reaching home after  visiting Puri.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...