Jai Jagannath Ji! It is 8 o’clock in the morning! We are about to leave Puri for Gopalpur! We will stop at Chilika Lake on our way! We are standing by the sea beach right now. It is so pleasant to look at the sea waves! This whole lane that you see is called the Lighthouse area. This whole lane is home to hotels. Peaceful environment! Sea view is absolutely clear! We were staying at a hotel behind this lane. At our hotel, the sea is visible from the height of first and second floors. For your information, the hotel tariffs in Puri are quite dynamic. During the season of November to February, the hotel rates go up by two or three times. This is applicable to hotels with tariff rates between Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000. But the hotels charging tariffs of the range of Rs. 3000-4000 don’t change their rates. So, come let us go for breakfast and then continue our journey further. After travelling for 5kms, we’ve reached this place near Puri Railway Station. While coming here, we passed the front side of the railway station. Right now, we are standing outside the station, at a crossing. Here, I can see a lot of food eateries around, like this South Indian breakfast joint. People are having breakfast! There is a vegetable market too. That gentleman is selling coconut water. Our taxi driver told us that this dhaba, which we see here, sells the tastiest Puri and Dalma. Let us go inside and have breakfast. Wow! Such tiny pooris! Absolutely hot and served on pattal (leaf plate)! Really great and eco-friendly! I cannot even tell you how ultimate this taste is. This puri has a subtle flavour of ajwain (carom seeds) in it. Lightness of this poori and as for Dalma…. …the best Dalma I enjoyed was the one served at the Jagannath Temple and this comes a close second. In my experience, this is mind-blowing taste. Too good! This dhaba is at least 40-50 years old and, as for the taste of food, this place is thronged by both…. ….locals and tourists & it is located just opposite to the Puri railway station. You will love this place, just like I am enjoying the taste here. Did you know that Dalma also has coconut in it? And the main game in this dish is that every bite has a different taste because of a different vegetable…. ….and if you get a taste of coconut in one of your bites, it is heaven! This is Chhena Dariya. Malpua made of Chhena! Completely submerged in sugar syrup! It feels so soft, as I hold it in my hand. Wow! Perfectly sweet! A beautiful flavour from the sugar syrup! Chhena is super fresh! And really delicious! Really delicious! And there is also a slightly sweet flavour from elaichi (green cardamom)! All I can tell you is that when you come to Puri, you must take out time to visit this dhaba. You will appreciate this place as much as I am praising it right now. Real ultimate! This shop opens between 7 am and 10 am as well as from 4 pm to 7 pm. In the evening…. …malpua and puri-dalma is not available.. You will get only chop. Wow! We’ve had our breakfast! Let me show you one mixture that I’ve made for myself. It is made of organic haldi (turmeric), a bit of kali mirch (black pepper) and dalchini (cinnamon powder). I’ve mixed it. I take it once or twice a week, before going to bed And if I forget to take it at night, I take it during the day. Since I forgot to take it last night and I saw this gentleman selling fresh, hot milk…. ….and it is cow’s milk. So, I asked him for a glass of milk with half a spoon of this mixture in it. Let us see! Brother, is it ready? We don’t have to look for taste in it. This is a panacea for a whole lot of things. You should try having this once or twice during a week…. ….because having it at night will help you feel energetic the next morning. We will leave after I finish this. Our next destination is 110kms away – Maa Kali Jai Temple! This temple is located in the Chilika Lake area. It will take us about 3 hours to reach there because…. …it is already 10 am and the traffic is in full swing. Let us go from here. After travelling non-stop for 1.5 hours from Puri, we are right now at Rameswar. If we go straight on this Highway, we will reach Balugaon after 50kms. From there, a road goes to Chilika Lake. If you want to see dolphins too, you must go there from Puri. You will watch the dolphins in Satpada and then come back to Puri so…. ….we had to miss that because of shortage of time. We stopped here at Rameswar because…. ….I saw a lot of shops here, selling food items. Brother, give me one samosa. And one aloo bonda (potato fritter). What will you give it with? What curry is this? Of Chana (chickpeas)! Okay, give it to me. So, what is samosa called here? Singada? Apart from potato, this samosa is stuffed with some beetroot, carrot and peanuts too. Eating samosa alone was not that tasty. But this is a good way to eat! One bite of samosa, followed by one spoonful of this curry! Good combination! Very simple and tasty! This chickpea curry is called ‘Ghughni’ here. So, what are you selling? Dahi-bada? Aloo-dum, dahi-bada! Give me one plate of aloo dum & dahi-bada! Are you here for the whole day? No. Only from 9 am to 12 pm. This is already finished! Yes Sir! It is time for you to wrap up for the day. This plate has dahi-bada, aloo-dum, bhujiya and on top, you ca see ghughni. As soon as I cut it, I realized this bada is very soft! It got cut very easily! What is the ratio of urad dal and sooji (semolina) in this bada? 50-50? Yes! It is more like 60:40 ratio! Sooji is 40%! At other places, sooji is not 40% in the ratio, but here that is the case. So, that is why, there is a bit difference in taste here. Ghughni and bhujiya, mixed with onions, makes for good taste! When you will travel from Puri to Gopalpur…. …you must take a 15-minute halt here at Rameswar. And continue your journey further after enjoying the street food sold here. You will enjoy! See, this is the highway we are travelling upon! The road is so wide! The road is clear! Now, we’ve reached a place from where if we take left, we will reach Mangalajodi, as is written here. Important Bird Area Mangalajodi welcomes you! And do you see that board, ‘Tangi’ is written there. Tangi is about 3kms from here and then 5kms further, a total of 8kms away is Mangalajodi. If you have enough time at hand, you can spend a whole day there, watching birds! A lot of migratory birds come to that place. Now we have to choose between bird-watching and visiting Chilika Lake. It is better to go to Chilika Lake because we’ve already decided to do night stay in Gopalpur. The time is already 1.30 pm. Let us go now. When you come to Odisha, you can plan in a way that you can visit Mangalajodi as well as Chilika, both. You can reach Maa Kali Jai Temple from Badkul as well as Balugaon. Both these places are 5kms apart. So, we’ve reached the island. That is the temple there. I will tell you about Chilika Lake. It is the largest coastal region lagoon in India. And it is also the world’s second largest brackish water lagoon! Chilika Lake! Lagoon is, any water body, like here we are talking about a lake, when it meets the ocean, that spot is lagoon. The salty water of the ocean meets the fresh water of the lake and…. …this turns the fresh water in that area salty too. But less salty than ocean water. That is the reason that water inside a lagoon is called brackish water. So, let us go into the temple. Brother, tell me one thing, this Chilika Lake is so huge! It is huge. So if we want to cover this whole lake in your speed boat, how many days would it take? It will take about 7-8 days. Just imagine, it will take a week. We will cover about 100-150kms in a day, right? We will travel 100 kms daily, imagine, and it will take us a whole week to cover this lake. This lake is about 1100 sqkm. in area. You can see the boats there. It took us 30 minutes to reach here. We will spend 30 minutes inside the temple and then return. Let us go inside the temple. I’ve met Pandit ji (priest) here. I am going to tell you the history of this temple, as told by Pandit Ji. If I make a mistake, Pandit Ji will correct me. This dates back to about 300 years A young woman was going to her marital home, accompanied by her father on a boat. Suddenly, they got caught in a storm. As the boat floated on the water surface, it came across a large rock. The boat crashed against the rock and upturned in the water. The girl died on the spot and her body could not be recovered despite her father’s best efforts. When her father reached the village and told everybody about what had happened,…. …a few days later, a few villagers came to this area, where the temple stands today. They heard a girl’s voice a lot of times. The news spread like wildfire across the village and during those days,…. ….the King of that region dreamt of this rock. A voice told that king in his dream to come here, extract a small idol from the rock and….. ….build a temple at the spot. The King came to this place and got this temple built, which stands even today. The travellers and tourists, who come here…. …and even the locals, believe that praying at this temple grants all your wishes. And it is also believed that by the kind blessings of Ma Kali Jai….. ….any impending storm or calamity is averted upon the tourists. The travellers to this temple are thus saved from any mishap. That is all that I’ve understood from him. Tell me one thing about this island, this temple, where we are standing right now,…. …what is its size? 2kms in diameter. Alright! When does the last boat travel to the temple? 4 pm. Till 4 pm. And it starts at 6 am? Thank you very much! Jai Ma Kali Jai! There are water sports activities going on just 100 meters from where we got down from the boat. You haven’t written the cost of speed boat! Speed boat service is unavailable right now. Okay, it is closed now. Rs. 400 is the cost of jet ski for how much duration? It is for 4 minutes, at least. 4 minutes! This banana boat ride is interesting too but the charge is not written. Water zorbing, Rs. 200 per person for 30 minutes! Wow! When we were passing in front of Chilika Dhaba in the afternoon…. …it was crowded. It looked like the waiting period was at least for 30 minutes. But now, it is peaceful because it is 5 pm. I’ve ordered for myself their famous items, which are…. …Prawn Curry & Crab Masala! I’ve ordered rice and naan with it. I’ve had two prawn pieces so far. Absolutely fresh & spicy! For the past few days, since I am travelling in Odisha, I’ve found the food here to be not-too-spicy. But the food here is abundantly spicy! So, this is one difference I’ve spotted here that the food is rich in spices. Prawn is fresh, which is good thing! This place is quite popular and I had received lot of comments, asking me to visit this dhaba. Let me serve some crab too! I am eating crab after a long time. Almost…. …after a year. This crab is very different in taste! I am saying this compared to my previous experience! Usually, you get to eat either sea crab or mud crab. But the crab served here is lake crab. The taste of this flesh is different and delicious! Great taste! Though I liked the taste of prawns as well. But this crab is very tasty! Now, we are going to finish the meal. Rice is here as well. Now, our next destination will be Gopalpur. Our night stay will be in Gopalpur. I will see you guys again in a short while. Today was hectic as well as enjoyable! Imagine, we left early this morning and after travelling to different places during the day, we are here. It is 10 o’clock in the night. Time to go to bed. We’ve booked ourselves this double occupancy room at Panthanivas of OTDC. We paid a tariff of Rs. 2688 for double occupancy here. I mean about Rs. 2700 in all, including tax. This also includes breakfast. I will show you the location in the morning. It is night time, so you won’t be able to see anything. It is a huge-size property even though they don’t have many rooms, just 22-24, I guess. So, we will now meet in the next episode. In the next episode, you will see our journey from Gopalpur to Berhampur, which is 30 minutes away. We will spend the day there. I’ve heard that the food of that place is famous and it has a lot of varieties too. So, if you have experiences related to Gopalpur or Chilika Lake,…. ….like always, do share with us in your comments. I will wait for your comments. That is it for now! Bye-bye! Thanks for your time!