Bhubaneswar & Konark

Bhubaneswar, to me, seemed like a dusty, open, and spacious developing city. It is also entirely improperly mapped by google. The rock edicts of Ashoka, a 6th century king of India who conquered most of the country and converted to Buddhism—google says they are located under a highway flyover on a four way intersection. The modern art gallery—google says it is located in a back alley of a non-descript housing development (it has since moved to adjacent to forest park).

We spent one day walking around the city, I with a cold, Sam sicker. We saw Abhishek again and had drinks at his hotel.

The next day, convinced that a taxi would be a better way to go about it, we visited Konark and its UNESCO world heritage Sun Temple. It was huge and is designed in the shape of a large chariot, drawn by a team of horses. When it was constructed it was apparently on that coast and faced a position that the sun’s morning light would directly shine through the center of it.

Next we visited Konark’s beach—a lovely piece of sand, and the best beach I’ve seen in India second to that at Kochi (Ok, I’ve only seen about four beaches in India). We were told no swimming, that people were afraid of the ocean there, but we saw no signs forbidding it, so we decided to walk in. Lovely.

Our train ride back to Calcutta was not as lovely. We booked sleeper class again and found ourselves next to a group of Indian men—the same type of group that I had warned about two posts ago.

They sat on Sam’s bunk while he was sleeping, threw a bag onto my bunk too (Sam had lower, I had middle). One of them, possibly drunk was certainly creepy, telling me that he was in the India navy and that he had a girlfriend in Calcutta with a large lecherous grin. And did I have a girlfriend in Calcutta? I pretended to not understand him.

It was a great relief when they left the train.