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Old 29th October 2019, 12:42   #1
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Default Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur

It’s a real pain when driving is in your DNA and the situation is adamant that you don’t venture out. I had been out of driving long trips for few years, and finally things look settled to restart the engine!

I had plans for a long drive for quite some time. There are many route plans which I tend to complete. For the start, I planned to have the much-travelled route of Kolkata – Puri for the puja vacations. The complete trip plan was Kolkata – Puri – Tajpur – Kolkata with a visit to Konark while we are visiting Puri.

The popular beach destination for the Bengalis is coming back to its full glory after a devastating run with the cyclone Phani which had hit her 5 months back.

It was 5 days planned trip. The schedule was:
Day 1 Travel to Puri from Kolkata
Day 2 Rest at Puri
Day 3 Visit Konark
Day 4 Travel to Tajpur from Puri
Day 5 Rest at Tajpur
Day 6 Back to Kolkata from Tajpur

I filled the car’s tank to the brim the day before the journey started. This member of our family was well serviced with the next service due in more than 5000 kms.

Other few emergency items were also stocked in the car. They accompany me for each drive:
  1. The jumper cable
  2. Tire inflator
  3. Puncture repair kit
  4. Windshield washer
  5. Soap water spray
  6. First Aid Kit

I have put the Vlog of the ride to Puri here:

Day 1 (Kolkata to Puri):
We started our journey at 5 AM in the morning. Though I planned to start by 4 AM, but the early morning laziness was hard to get rid of and finally we were able to settle in the car at around 5 AM and start for the journey.

Normally, google will suggest taking the 2nd Hooghly Bridge (Vidyasagar Setu) to exit Kolkata. But today was not a such day. Google announced there is an “accident” on the bridge and decided it will give us an impromptu tour of the Howrah City through the famous Howrah Bridge. We had to navigate chaotic traffic of Trucks and buses (even during the morning hours) before we could exit Howrah. It was almost 6:30 AM when we were able to hit the Kona Expressway.

The roads were “makkhan” beyond this point. It was easy to maintain our lane and speed. The manual speed governor a.k.a my wife ensured that I don’t cross the three figure mark on the speedo. It’s better to have someone who can check your speed and route so that the driving becomes more relaxing.

The traffic was light except Uluberia, but that was manageable. The toll plazas are all FastTag enabled and that helped us to move through the tolls a bit quickly.

It was time for breakfast, and we stopped and Food Plaza at Kolaghat. The famous Sher-e-Punjab at Kolaghat was given a skip to due the same factor, it being famous a lot of crowd was there causing hulla gulla and delays. The Food Plaza was with thin population and served the food quick. We finished our breakfast and continued the journey.

The road was getting better with traffic and my car was happily gobbling up all the roads it can. The cemented road after Kharagpur was little bit uneven at the slab joints, but nonetheless smooth. One needs to be a little careful not to slip into Kharagpur from the highway and continue towards Balasore.

Lunch time was nearing, and we started feeling hungry. I set the google aunty to add a stop for Hotel Orion in Bhadrak to have our lunch. Our GPS kindly obliged and made me to drive through the congested city roads for 10 minutes and reach the hotel. And then, voila, I see that we are actually on the other flank of the highway. Had a quick lunch and continued our journey towards Puri.

The road condition deteriorated to some extent after Bhadrak for 30 minutes or so with bad patches reducing our speed. One needs to be a little cautious here as other drivers tend to swerve left or right suddenly at a speed to avoid the pot holes and bad patches.

Good roads soon came into existence in our universe and the speedo started to feel happier. Then again, the manual speed governor started to sound little angry making the car to lose bit of wheel rpm. There was a hold up near Cuttuck on the bridge with trucks lined up and no where to go.

Thanks to a bus driver, who was in too much hurry to reach either the depot or the hospital, some space was cleared and few small cars like us followed the bus escort. Nonetheless, soon we neared the exit of NH16 to NH316. The road sign to inform us that we need to take a left turn for Puri, comes bang at the turn. You miss it and you shall reach Bhubaneshwar in stead of a sea beach. So, need to pay a little attention to the Google Aunt’s advice here.

NH316 is as good as NH16 in terms of road condition but was better in terms of traffic volume. The short fellow in my car was getting more excited as the signboards informed us Puri is nearing by.

Finally, we reached Puri and navigated through the busy crowd to reach to our hotel by the sea side, Victoria Club Hotel.

It took around 11.30 hours for us to complete our trip. It was a bit slowed down due to the two traffic congestions, one at the 2nd Hooghly Bridge and the other at Cuttuck.

This completed first part of our trip. Next was a trip to Konark, then Tajpur and back to home.
We took some rest and headed to say hello to the beach.

Some snaps from the drive:

Nilgiris on view:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191022wa0009.jpg

The road ahead
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191022wa0011.jpg

Last edited by BehindSteering : 29th October 2019 at 14:27.
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Old 29th October 2019, 12:44   #2
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Day 2: (Puri):

This was a relaxing day for us. Did not want to visit the temples as I was not feeling move out from the sea. There was a quick visit to the Mohana beach in the morning. We hired an auto for the round trip for Rs. 300/-. This was a quiet beach in the morning and lots of sea shells were up for grabs. We strolled on the beach and spent some time in peace. Then came back to the hotel.

The evening also was spent in the beach. Local vendors were selling various snacks for the tourists. What was nice to see is that the vendors providing paper packets as garbage packets along with their snacks so that the beach is not made dirty. The beach looked cleaner than expected. It was nice to see community awareness on cleanliness.

The early morning and afternoon are a perfect time to spend on the beach. The sun is not at full strength and one can sit on the beach for quite some time enjoying the sea. We rented the chairs on the beach for Rs. 20/- an hour. The chair owner seemed quite 揹ildar?and almost forgot about us once he handed over the rest equipment. We had to literally search for him on the beach to pay for the rent.

We moved out of the beach to the hotel at around 7:30 PM and came back to the hotel. It had a nice lawn with music playing. One can hear the sea from there. It was a nice and relaxing time to spend till a group of noisy travelers decided to test their vocal chord power. It was time for us to withdraw to our room.

This was little different day spent at Puri without the 揷ustomary?visit to the Jagannath temple or bathing at the sea.

Mohana Sea Beach in the morning:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191005_07210501.jpeg

Mohana Sea Beach in the morning:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191005_07314001.jpeg

Safest guides on the beach:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191005_16435501.jpeg

Two most important persons:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191005_16461801.jpeg

Breaking waves at Puri:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191005_16511401.jpeg

Back to home after day's work:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191005_17442601.jpeg

Last edited by BehindSteering : 29th October 2019 at 15:02.
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Old 29th October 2019, 12:47   #3
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Day 3: (Konark):

This was the third day of our trip and we had planned for a trip to the Konark Sun Temple. The temple gets opened by 7AM and it is suggested to visit the temple in the morning hours before the sun decides to increase the temperature of the earth.
So, we started by 7:30 AM. It was supposed to be an hour-long drive. We had tea and snacks on the road, though very eating options were open at that time of the morning.

The road was very smooth. The Puri Konark Marine drive still bears the after effects of the cyclone Phani. The scenic beauty of the stretch has taken a hit due to that. Nonetheless, the drive was enjoyable due to the smooth road and the jungle and sea.

We reached Konark at around 8:30 AM. We must stop and park our car around 300 meters before the temple are begins. This is to protect the Sun Temple from pollution and vibrations.

The entry ticket fare for Indians to the temple is Rs. 40/-. The ticket counter is easily noticeable and at that time of the morning, was quite empty. We hired a guide to show us the temple. His charge was Rs. 350/- for an hour of tour.

I have posted the Vlog of the drive and the temple here:

This was my first visit to the temple after many years and it has gone through quite a bit of decay, both natural and man-made. It is no more allowed to climb up the stairs of the temples and it has been marked with notice boards. But even then, I was able to see groups of over enthusiastic tourists climbing up the temple and engaging in selfie sessions. Looks like the temple may not survive for my son to grow up and revisit the same.

The temple compound is not very big. One hour is enough to complete the tour of the temple. Some more time may be needed if one wants to appreciate the finer details of the sculptures made on the stones. The temple seems to be inspired from Khajuraho temple and depicts quite a few intricate philosophies of ancient Indian understanding. The carvings are really something which makes one to wonder how it was possible for the ancient artists to create something like this. One can see few sculptures which the modern-day artists tried to rebuild but was not able to match the original style and elegance. It抯 better to preserve the ancient then try to rebuild them.

We started back to Puri after an hour or so. We were feeling hungry but till then no eateries were open near the temple. We were able to locate only one family type snacks center and it was closed.

We headed towards the Lotus Eco Resort to have breakfast. It was a little detour from the route. We had to park the car 300 meters away from the resort and walk down the path towards to resort. There was no cell phone reception. The breakfast time was over, and no food was left over. But they were kind enough to prepare us something to eat with reasonable price. The place looked good, but the effects of the cyclone Phani was evident in the compound with broken shelters, stone ways filled with sand.

The drive was non stop after the breakfast. Our car also was given its share of breakfast with a tank full of petrol while coming back to Puri and rested for the remaining day while we spent time on the beach.

The famous Sun Dial:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191101wa0000.jpg

Artworks at Sun Temple:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191101wa0005.jpg

Another Sun Dial:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191101wa0003.jpg

The Natya Shala:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191101wa0004.jpg

Open garden at Sun Temple:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191101wa0006.jpg

Our breakfast place at Lotus Eco Resort:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191006_103014.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191101wa0001.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191006_103017.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191101wa0002.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191101wa0007.jpg

The entrance of the temple:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img20191101wa0008.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191006_103024.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191006_103029.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191006_103155.jpg

Last edited by BehindSteering : 1st November 2019 at 13:37.
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Old 1st November 2019, 12:03   #4
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Day 4 (Puri to Tajpur):
Today we started to visit Tajpur. Google aunty told it抯 around 350 KMs from Puri and will take around 8 hours. So, we checked out from the hotel and started for Tajpur at around 7:15 AM. Plan was to have breakfast and lunch en-route and reach Tajpur by 4 PM.

The video log of the drive is posted here:

We drove till 8:30 AM and was nearing Bhubaneshawar. I asked the Google to take us to any breakfast center. At this point, the GPS lady went crazy and started sending us for left and right and U-turns. After some time, I had to learn to ignore her and depend more on the mortal humans walking down the roads to help us fed. We had good quick south Indian breakfast. Just when we were about to start the onward journey, I noticed that one tire of the car is feeling low and needs some breakfast of air. I always carry the inflator with me for road trips. Tried to use that and quickly found out it is now working in reverse. Instead of putting air in the tire, it抯 pulling out air from it. Quickly disconnected the pump and found out that the nozzle is broken. Luckily there was the 損uncturewalah?with the air compressor ready to help. I was able to make all 4 tires happy and start the journey.

But I was not ready to continue the journey without a working inflator. So, again asked the Google lady to take us to a car accessories shop in the city. First, she took us to a closed shop, then to another shop who has never heard of tire inflators and was eager to sell me car perfumes. By that time, I had grown wiser and called the next shop from the google search results. That guy assured me he has the inflators and he is quite sure they don抰 look like car perfumes. I drove the car till that location and there was no sign of the shop. It was time for me to get down and use my dependable legs and 4 eyes (2 natural, 2 artificial pair of lenses) to locate the shop. I found out that I had parked the car bang opposite to the shop, which had no sign board. The shop guy was very eager and happy to be able to sell me a costly inflator which looked to be working. I quickly paid him and started my journey. This had caused us a delay of around 30 mins. But it is always safer to travel with your emergency kit in good shape.

We quickly came out of Bhubaneshawar, which looked to be a good clean city and approached Cuttuck to join NH 16 from NH 316. The journey was smooth with good roads. We quickly drove for 150 KMs more to stop for lunch just outside Bhadrak at a roadside dhaba. We grabbed a quick bite and continued the journey.

We had to take the exit from NH 16 for Jaleshawar to hit the Digha Tajpur road. This is where the good roads end. The State Highway 57 is maintained at parts and traffic is heavy. Then came the best part of the road, NH 116B. This so-called road is supposed to take us to Tajpur from Digha. The stretch is for around 14 KMs and took almost an hour for us to cover. The bumpy ride gave our body a good massage for each of the joints. Our car抯 shocks and suspensions were well stress tested. And for mind exercise, the erratic traffic was present. All kinds of Indian road transport vehicles were up for exhibition on the road. This was a scene from the congested town circles, and not on a high way. Nonetheless, every ride has an end and we touched upon the Tajpur road from the high way. It was another precarious drive for 4 KMs till we reached the Tajpur Prakriti Parjoton Kendra at 4:30 PM.

We parked our car, got into our rooms and asked for some snacks. We had earlier called them from Bhadrak to inform we will be reaching by 5 PM and will need snacks. We were assured for the same. But now we were informed that the cook had gone to the village for the Durga Puja mela and will not come back. So, no snacks or dinner for us.

This made us to go out to the beach and have something to eat at the shacks. It was dark by then and we did not venture into the beach which looked secluded and seemed to be a perfect spot for scene from Ramsay bother movies.

We came back to the bungalow. It抯 basically a two storied building with all the accommodations at the first floor. Ground floor has the reception and dining. We got a surprise call from the cook at 8:30 PM informing us that he has come back from the mela and dinner will be ready by 10 PM. Late dinner is better then no dinner and we happily agreed. Had the dinner and went to sleep.

Tajpur Sea Beach:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191007_17412901.jpeg

Tajpur Sea Beach:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191007_17413801.jpeg

Snacks at the shack:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191007_174720.jpg

Snacks at the shack:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191007_174731.jpg

Dining Hall:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191007_210940.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191007_210946.jpg

Lawn of the Bungalow
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191007_202003.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191007_202126.jpg

Last edited by BehindSteering : 3rd November 2019 at 13:01.
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Old 1st November 2019, 12:05   #5
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Day 5 (Tajpur):

The day started with the news that the cook will be absent today due to personal reasons. That means, no food for the guests. The 搑esort?is at a good location, with good spacious rooms and a private entrance to the beach. It is nice and secluded. It gives a spooky feeling at night. The only and main drawback of the place is the cafeteria. There is only one cook and he is not available always. Impromptu snacks will not be available unless it is pre-ordered, and he is available.

There are two resorts opposite to the bungalow and they provided eating options for us. They were good, but they were with typical resort-resort feeling. The bungalow gave the feeling of being in the nature and insect noise. It has a private path laid to the beach among the field and planned trees to give a nice feeling. I spent the day walking around the bungalow exploring the greens and the beach. The afternoon was spent with the family on the beach. It was a less crowded secluded beach. The sand was hard, and one can easily find the crab holes. Evenings become dark soon enough as not much artificial lights are there. It is suggested to come back from the beach before the evening as the private road towards the hotel is difficult to locate in the dark.

There is nothing much to do in the night except sitting in the balcony and listening to the cricket noise. This sure brings back some old feelings for someone like me who had spent the childhood with those noises and now lives in metropolis.

This was a different experience from the hustle and bustle of Puri. A day like this has a calming effect on our senses. It抯 good to see greens all around, hear insects and birds all around.

It started drizzling at the night and we had a quick dinner at the resort near by and came back to sleep early.

Tajpur Sea Beach:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191008_17024801.jpeg

Prakriti Porjoton Kendra Lake:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191008_12261101.jpeg

Flowers at Prakriti Porjoton Kendra:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191008_15352801.jpeg

Flowers at Prakriti Porjoton Kendra:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191008_15360901.jpeg

Prakriti Porjoton Kendra Lake:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-img_20191008_15455301.jpeg

Tajpur Sea:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191008_165955.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191008_170407.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191008_172051.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191008_172241.jpg

Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-dji_20191008_173210.jpg

Road to the beach:
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-piya-follow-sea_moment.jpg

Prakriti Porjoton Kendra
Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur-tajpur-broll_moment.jpg

Last edited by BehindSteering : 3rd November 2019 at 13:02.
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Old 1st November 2019, 12:07   #6
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Day 6 (Back to Kolkata):

Today is the last day of our vacation and we are coming back to Kolkata. The distance is not much, around 180 KMs. We had our breakfast and started for Kolkata at around 9:30 AM. The overnight drizzle was continuing and gaining on strength. As if the sky was also sad because I must drive again on the NH 116B.

The downpour was heavy by the time we had hit the NH 116B. It turned into a thunderstorm by the time we reached Contai. The wipers were trying their best to keep the roads visible to my eyes, but all I could see was a thick layer of white rain in front of me. But I did not stop because there was no safe exit from the highway and the condition of the road was also not good. There was risk of other cars hitting me due to bad visibility and pot holes. The roads became better after Nandakumar and we halted for 10 minutes at a petrol station.

The rain also halted when we decided to take a break. We started our journey and the rain followed us. There was no more stopping till we reached Kolaghat. There was a break for lunch at the food plaza and as expected, the rain also seemingly went for lunch.

The lunch was quick and good. I liked the Food Plaza better then the famous Sher-e-Punjab for food taste. Our next quick drives might change a little to Food Plaza from Sher-e-punjab.

We finished our lunch and drove non stop till Kolkata. The traffic was not much on the highway as well as Santragachhi or Howrah. The rain probably did not like Kolkata and stopped earlier than that.

We could not take any pic or videos for this drive as it was not possible to come out of the car due to the rains.

We were back to home before the evening tea. All in all, it was a nice enjoyable drive and vacation. I drove on excellent, moderate and bad roads, drove in sunny and raining situations and enjoyed the experience.

In total it was a total drive of 1170 KMs and total drive time of 25 Hours. It was refreshing to start the drive tour regime after a gap of almost 4 years.
Next drive tours are already in plan and hope to complete soon.

Last edited by BehindSteering : 3rd November 2019 at 13:13.
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Old 5th November 2019, 08:11   #7
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th November 2019, 19:10   #8
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Default Re: Beach Tour! Kolkata - Puri - Tajpur

Wonderful log there brother. refreshingly narrated, beautiful videos and stunning photographs.

Did you not consider visiting Chilika lake?
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Old 6th November 2019, 07:47   #9
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Originally Posted by dhanushmenon View Post
Wonderful log there brother. refreshingly narrated, beautiful videos and stunning photographs.

Did you not consider visiting Chilika lake?
Thank you dhanushmenon.

The 1.5 co-travelers with me were more interested in moving eastwards from Puri this time. So no Chilka. I have put that point added for my next trip to south India next year by car.
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