Saturday, November 30, 2013

One Day Trip to Chilika Lake

Last weekend few of my colleagues and myself were at Bhubaneswar. We had one of the LDP sessions scheduled on Friday. We decided to go for a trip to Chilika Lake on Saturday. We started our journey at 7AM in the morning from the guest house in Bhubaneswar.

As we were moving away from the concrete buildings and towards the Chilika, the impact that cyclone Phailin has made was becoming more and more clearer. In the sides of the road (NH-5), most of the trees were uprooted and dried.

We reached Balugaon around 9 AM and had our breakfast there. We had almost all type of snacks, like Idli, Bara, Sambar, Chatni, Uttapam and sweets etc. We decided not to waste time and went straight to Chilika (near Rambha). Due to lack of time, we decided to cover only few points in Chilika, which are close by or on the way to Kalijai Temple. We booked a boat, which took Rs. 1400/- for visiting Nalaban Bird Sanctuary and Kalijai temple.

The starting phase of the journey inside Chilika was more interesting. We had the fear of getting drowned in the water of Chilika. While boarding the boat, a little shake in the boat was also frightening. All of us just went to the middle of the boat and sat quiet. As the boat started moving away from the shore, we build up the confidence that we can move a little inside the boat, keeping the balance of the boat proper. After 20 minutes of the journey, the shore was out of our sight and all we could see was the blue water of the lake.

The scenery of fishermen doing fishing was amazing. Prior to that I had never seen fishermen in action in deep sea from such a close angle. The Sun was rising above our head and the water was glittering. We had few Camera shots on the boats. As we were entering into the lake, we had to cross many "Chingdi gheries". We saw different type of birds in these gheries. We went to Nalaban Bird Sanctuary, but unfortunately we did not have the permission from forest department to enter into the water of the sanctuary. The patrol guard refused our entry and we just had a look from the outside. We also could not visit the islands inside the sanctuary.

We asked the boat driver to move towards Kalijai temple. On the way, he pointed us out at one famous island in Chilika, the Parikuda island. We saw the fishermen cooking food in their boats, which was a rare experience. On the way to Kalijai temple, we had few unexpected guests to watch. Though we were not in the area, where Irawaddy Dolphins are generally seen, we got the rare sight of 3 among them, waving on the water. We just stopped our boat to take a better look. Once they disappears from our eye, we continued our journey.
We reached the island, where Kalijai Temple is situated, around 12 O'clock. We went to the temple and visited its surroundings. We came to know that, cyclone Phailin had destroyed all the food stalls, shops and also left its foot prints by damaging the surroundings. We had some sweets and soft drinks there along with some group and individual picture. We spent around 45 minutes in the island and came back to the boat.

The boat almost covered 270 degree around the island from the water. The return journey took us very less time, around 35 minutes, as we came back straight to the starting point. By the time we reach the shore, we were madly hungry. We went the famous dhaba "Chilika Dhaba", which is famous for its quality of food. We had our lunch there and came back to Bhubaneswar.