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Thread: Orissa 1302

  1. #51
    Rusted diffuser911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yatishankar View Post
    Wow...swagat bhai also went to Hirakud dam....good view of the dam over there...btw Sunil which Cell phone did u take with the GPS one?How was this weekend trip?
    Yati da, it's Nokia 6210 Navigator. Had my first trip with the cell, will post here soon.

  2. #52
    Rookie somnath13's Avatar
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    Cool Revealing my identity

    Welcome to me Der se aya par durust aya
    Kya yar Sunil.........you should have told me earlier about your post in xbhp.
    By the way....kudos to you for the nice write up. Eagerly waiting for Day 5 and Day 6 write ups.

    I am wondering, what XYZ or Mr. X is doing here.
    To all xbhp-ians - Its me yaar. Such an exciting journey.....that too in awesome weather How can I miss????

    I definitely loved the ride from Sambalpur to Keonjhar.....All my riding skills were tested to a greater extent, with PLATINA
    Travelling allover around Bhubaneswar-Puri-Cuttack-Vizag-Sambalpur-Keonjhar for 1.5 year, my PLATINA certainly deserves a place in Madam Tussauds museum.
    Last edited by somnath13; 06-17-2009 at 07:21 PM.

  3. #53
    Rusted diffuser911's Avatar
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    You're most welcome Somnath bhai. I guess the BULLZZz can know now too. Why don't you post a small intro in the Who Are You? section and tell the xBhpians about the wanderings on your stunning-silver Platina?

    PS: Will post Day 5 today after I get some lunch.

  4. #54
    Rusted diffuser911's Avatar
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    Default Day 5 Some hits, and a miss

    Day 5 Some hits, and a miss

    The fifth day started quite early compared to the previous ones. After a quick breakfast at the roadside stall across the road, we scanned the roadsides to find an ATM and left the NH for the same. Once our pockets were deep enough for the day, we returned back to the NH and gave a run towards NH6, noting the time as half past seven.

    Fourteen kays on the NH through mildly good roads, we passed through an area where we had been advised by Soumyas friend to go through safely and dare not have any accidents, unless we wanted our vehicles snatched. We turned left and cruised on narrow village paths. Soon, a sight was getting familiar to our eyes: beautiful figurines carved in black stone in front of houses. Amazing work of art in this far corner of the world! We saw intricate carvings in black rock, varying from deities to historical figures and wildlife, captured in picture-perfect detail. Soumya later told that the village is famous for these sculptures, which are sold all over the state and the outside it too. As we headed further, I almost missed the Ma Kichakeshwari temple compound on our left, a bit laid back from the road. The place had been developed and maintained excellently by the tourism department, which clearly reflected in the number of people visiting the temple. The clear compound in front of the gates, organized shops, ticket counter and shoe stand, each impressed us more than the one before. As we entered the gates, a notice informed us that the temple dated back to 920 AD and was reconstructed in 1934. Not something you see every other day in such off-tourist spots. The temple rose a hundred feet above the ground, completely carved in black stone. Just inside was a shallow pool for cleansing your feet, and a walkway leading to the main pagoda. We started clicking away from outside, and did a complete round of the temple. We noticed that many of the statues embedded in the outsides had been either damaged or removed, and hoped they were being kept in the museum in the temple compound. The beautiful structure was holding its head high, though the exterior had been eroded by the sands of time. Just beside the main temple was a small pagoda looking similar to the bigger one. When we walked upto the main temple door, the black stone was surprisingly cool, standing under the sun. A place in the ground had some relics protruding from the ground and we asked a priest about them. He told that the palace of the king of Kiching, whose top was visible, surrounded by other parts dug from the excavation.


    Temple gate


    The main pagoda


    Top of the buried palace








    Deities on the outside walls


    Smaller one beside it

    After leaving the temple compound, we purchased a couple of small carvings in stone outside. We came to know that there existed the remains of an ancient nritya mandap nearby, where, as legend says, Bheem had defeated the king of Kiching. We traced our tracks a little back and followed a trail going to the right. In an open field stood a square enclosure where a number of pillars stood among bushes. Also present were cattle grazing and making poop around the monument. Thankfully, restoration work was on and some workers were there, digging up the earth between the pillars. As they looked on, we clicked a few pictures and left the spot. Next in line was Bheem Kund. After braving the searing heat for long, we stopped at a place called Singhda Chowk in Karanja locality for some lassi. A few minutes away from the bikes had turned the seat into a bum-burner and I had to bounce off it a couple of times before getting adjusted. From this chowk, we took a right and then it was fifteen kilometers among the barren roads for us. We crossed a village called Boring and wondered why it had been so named. The path was pretty good all the way, lined with trees. We took one stop at an unknown place in the shade of trees and then went back on the road soon. We notice there that we were almost touching the Simlipal forest! But that would require another trip. The road became narrower later and passed through village houses in Thakurmunda for some time. We took a right on the same road at a signboard and entered core village area. The last one kilometer was completely loose gravel road and we drove with caution. The kachha road brought us to the parking spot, from where the colorfully painted handrails at the edge of Bheem Kund were visible.


    Nritya mandap behind temple


    One the left lies Simlipal Forest Reserve


    Aah! Some relief

    Walking down the path, we came upon a viewpoint-like platform built over a small fall in the rive Baitarani. The sight was truly amazing, as the river thundered down the rocks and churned at the bottom as white foam. And what we saw next upon looking closely was totally cool. A bunch of village kids were jumping off a small rock and diving into the heavy current. Seeing us seemed to prompt them for some amazing stunts, as they climbed up the rocks from where the water was falling and did a reverse-jump from there!! We took a series of shots to capture them in action and got some real amazing pictures to tell the story. After the heat got unbearable, we moved on to the platform on the far end of the kund, crossing through trees and a small bridge. The real basin was seen from here, with a full view of the series of rapids culminating into the bottomless tank of greenish-blue. The place had been developed nicely and one could see the effort taken to build a watchtower and some benches. The public, however, was not far behind in littering the place with plastic and empty booze bottles. Soumyas friend had told us last night that during the Padavas exile, Bheem came to this tank to take his bath. The tank is said to contain supernatural powers and that no one who has gone there to take a dip has emerged alive. A team of two scientists went underwater with full equipment to analyze the sub-aquatic features of the kund; one of them died and the other lost his speech. From the drawings made by the survivor, there were all kinds of buildings, temples and tree below the water surface. Strange indeed, if it is true!


    What do we have here??


    There he goes...


    Superman stuff!!


    Rough landscape


    See carefully...a boy's mid-air among the rocks


    Just down the stream


    The Bheem Kund...simply breathtaking


    The complete series of rapids starting at the waterfall


    Tired souls


    Back to the bikes...


    Hibiscus...saw it after ages

    Feeling the heat, plus the thirst, since we had emptied out water bottle, we moved out quickly from the watchtower and towards the bikes. Just coming out on the road, we found a hand-pump and filled our bellies with water, lest we get affected by sunstroke. Now that we were back on road, we asked a villager and came to know that a shortcut exists for reaching Keonjhar from our current location, via Dhenkikote. He mentioned that the path goes through a dried riverbed, but it can easily be navigated. The road looked not too good, but we decided to move on anyways. The path went through trees and farms, so we were able to manage with a little help from the locals. The trail seemed to come to an end at a point, so we parked our bikes and went ahead to take a look. Ahead lay a rough descent of about twenty feet, with walls jutting out on both sides of the narrow path. The only place you could push a motorcycle is along a narrow drain in the middle of the path. After that lay the dry sand of the river bed, followed by another climb similar to the one in front of us. Ohh, given that we survive the first onslaught. While I and Mr. X were apprehensive, Soumya was determined to make it happen and trekked on foot to the other end of the river to gauge the way. Coming back, he said that we can do it easily if we take down the bikes one at a time. Perspiring hard, we towed the first bike almost to the bottom using brakes, clutch and some strength. At the bottom, we reached a flat slab of stone, where one has to let the bike roll straight if one doesnt want to skid, and then stop the bike in time to avoid hitting the sand. After we maneuvered the first bike, there was a silent relief and we proceeded with the other two in line. Once the three bikes were at the sandbanks, we went off one at a time to make it across the sand in one go. Mr. Xs bike needed some initial momentum, but mine and Soumyas roared through the silence of the surroundings and reached the other end. The climb, as Soumya had said, was easy; the only worrying factor was that the soil was very fine and it could be a disaster if the tyres fail to grip properly. All three of us made it to the top of the embankment and rested our poor bikes and bodies for a minute before plunging ahead towards the city. The next stop was to be a locality named Patna. No, not the popular one that comes to your mind, but something closer. After crossing a bunch of bewildered village folks, we turned up into a road that was under construction. Expecting the best, you get the worst: the road went on endlessly as it was, bumpy and dusty. It never gave a moment of relief to the senses, and made the next part of the days ride the toughest. I mean, the toughest yet.


    Ugly descent


    Dry river bed


    Ha ha...we have to come through here


    Two bikes down...one more to go


    The other end


    Looking back

    Emerging as battered as war-heroes from the trail, we stopped at a place to pour some cold drinks down our throats. Asking about the distance and road conditions ahead, we head out in the mid-day sun towards Patna. Once we reached the locality, the sight of a regular township was a breather, unlike what we had been seeing for a long, long time. We settled down at the first hotel we saw, entering the bleak shop lighted by diffused sunlight. Settling down under a fan, we ordered a meal each and waited for the manna to arrive. Once done, we settled the bill and filled out bottle with water, since we knew that there wont be much around at the next place we were going to. After crossing through the small township, we left for Dhenkikote, which was just beside the NH215. At one place, some construction workers were laying a road, pouring hot tar over the chipped stones. Well, what followed was an assault on the tyres for a while, before we reached the finished section of the road. Dhenkikote was essentially a haat along the NH, so we nudged carefully among the crowd. Once I touched the NH, I had to rip the bike!! After hours of dragging wheels on bad roads, what else was I expected to do? Once the other fellas joined in, we asked for the direction in which our next stop, Sitabinji, lay and headed that way. After being (mis)guided by a shopkeeper on the NH, we started off on one of the routes he said was shorter. As the saying goes, life throws avenues and you choose the one that lies in knee-deep shit! The trail started with a detour and kept getting worse. And each time we asked a villager if we were going the right way, they affirmed it. Going deeper inside, we reach the Sitabinji station and took the only path that we could see ahead. Something that really ticked us off was that the path was broken at a place and was hardly a foot wide ledge, with four-foot drops on both sides. Pushing Soumyas bike and riding me own over it, we arrived at a split in the road. The right one proved to be wrong and led to train tracks, so we returned to the split and headed on the other trail. This too, after taking us through farms, ended in a dead end. We could see houses at a distance, but there was not path to go there. Soumya and I trekked on foot to the houses while Mr. X guarded the bikes. After a long walk, we knocked at a hut and a young man answered. He told us that we were standing at the right place for going to Sitabinji, but the bike would have to come from a different route, a trail just behind the rail station that we had ignored. Still, he wasnt sure how far the place would be from there. Weighting the options that we had in hand, and adding the simmering impatience to it, we decided to return to the NH and take the other route to the place. The return, needless to say, was a pain in the you-know-where.


    Eek! Shitty roads ahead

    Once back on highway, I glared at the guy who had sent us off on the unsafe trail and headed for the other route, which was nearer to Keonjhar town. This time, the roads were a pure delight to ride on. Though narrow, the surface was excellent and we reached the interiors in no time at all to witness the first structure that lay in the path: a monolith standing in the middle of a field. The rock was simply HUGE!! After we overcame our wonder and rode once to the rear of the rock, we headed for the Raavan Chhaya, a mushroom-shaped formation of rocks. The place where we parked had a lot of rocks with plant roots embedded on their sides. Going up the metal stairs alongside the tall rock, we reached a viewing point, from where faint outlines of frescos were visible on the underside of the top rock. Even though dated ages ago, you can clearly make out a few figures in the paintings. It made us wonder how the artist, who myths say is Sita herself from Ramayan, could have drawn these on a rock so high. Were the people in that age so tall? After taking a few photographs of the murals and roaming around on the surrounding rocks, we got back to the bikes and rode back to the monolith we saw earlier. Coming to a brief halt, we came to know from locals that the twins Luv and Kush were born here, and there was a temple dedicated to them a little ahead. But we were too tired to explore that and headed back to the NH for returning to Keonjhar. On the way back, Soumya decided to head back to the citys entrance on the Deogarh side to take a pic of the city from the hills top, while the two of us were reduced to a semi-zombie state with fatigue, so headed back to the hotel. While we freshened up, Soumya had managed to locate the temple and called up to come over. Going back on the bike felt like putting your rear on a nail-bed, but why skip something after coming so far away from home? Off we went, asking directions as we neared. Each person whom we asked about the temple ended his reply with Its so big you can see it from far away. That was for us to confirm! Reaching the temple, we were impressed, though not extremely. After a darshan, we roamed for a while in the temple courtyard while Soumya stood outside. It was already dark when we exited the temple premises and headed for another small temple nearby, Gadatarini temple, where Soumyas friend was having a family pooja. After asking around, we entered through a big door in a huge wall, where the inside was totally covered in darkness. Seeing a bike at some distance, we followed it and crossed a gate in the middle of nowhere. Now we were able to see the temple and the gathering inside. After a quick visit inside, we waited for the guy to arrive and looked casually at the walls around us. It was then that the intricate shapes in the walls started to spell something: we were standing right in the middle of an old fort! Soumya tried to capture the walls, because we had to move out early next morning and we wouldnt be there to observe the beauty in daylight. Soumyas contact had arrived and welcomed us, then asked about our plan to head out the next day, followed with some advice about the traffic conditions. Then he excused himself for the pooja, so we got back to our bikes and decided to explore the fort on wheels. Too bad that we ended up at a dead-end soon. After the pseudo-adventure was over, we got back to the city streets and navigated towards our hotel.


    Strong roots


    Mushroom rock of Raavan Chhaya


    Paintings


    Frescos


    Murals


    Ran out of synonyms


    Suppose it rolls of!!


    More rocks around


    Our puny bikes


    One huge rock! Reminds me of something


    Just compare the heights

    After reaching the room, Soumya decided to take rest, while we two went out looking for a mechanic to get our bikes checked for the big ride for the next day. After a quick check, we headed back to the hotel, when I suddenly remembered my girlfriends wish for another gift for her. I browsed the city streets for sometime before locating a gift shop and obtained a perfect one for her. After this, I thought that enough riding for the day and went back to the hotel, carefully crossing the truck-infested NH and parked downstairs. Soon it was dinner time, so we went downstairs to our now-regular spot and had a healthy dose, knowing we wont be getting some the next day for quite some time. Finally, on getting back, we packed the bags for the ride and fell in deep slumber.

    Distance covered from start 1080 km

  5. #55
    Rusted diffuser911's Avatar
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    Default Day 1 (More Pics)

    The Men



    The Machines











    Stopped for grub


    Approaching Sambalpur


    Stuff wallpapers are made of


    The huge and innumerable fishes in Huma


    Nearing the island on boat


    The Leaning temple


    Bleak landscape around

    More pics coming soon....gotta go to office now

  6. #56
    Rusted diffuser911's Avatar
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    Default Day 2 (More Pics)


    Gandhi Minar


    Now zoomin' out


    Abandoned tracks (I "kept" an iron nail seen here as a souvenir)


    Again, a river


    Rail bridge


    City industries...blackening rivers since inception


    A sneaky capture at the Ghanteshwari temple


    The reason behind the temple's name


    Other side of the dam


    Debrigarh Forest Reserve entry


    Our accommodation for the night


    On way to the food court


    THIS is life...


    Birdwatching


    More birds


    Second sighting...a wild boar (before this, all we saw were dogs)


    Supposedly a bison


    (Fattu) Peacock...ran away


    This one was posing in the middle of the road, but decided to beat it


    Sambar (you can't eat this one with idly...or could you)


    The watch'tower'


    Silver disc


    Holy molly!!!


    Our warm hosts


  7. #57
    Rusted moeed's Avatar
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    Nice clicks there.

    Quote Originally Posted by ken cool View Post
    In India it is illegal to take pictures of all bridges, dams, airstrips, aerial photographs, railroad tracks, railroad rolling stock, trains, power plants/projects and most government establishments.
    I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing the info.

  8. #58
    Rusted diffuser911's Avatar
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    Default Day 3 (More Pics)


    Our cozy room...bed tea muft


    Bidding goodbye to the staff


    One last view


    Stop for breakfast


    A halt in the wilderness


    That's the hut we got water from


    That's me


    A tiger sitting in an alcove beside the fall


    The grand Pradhanpat fall


    That's Mr. X touching the falls face


    Note the guy feeding a hen about to be sacrificed


    Into deep forest ahead


    Poser-time


    Ghat section


    Somewhere near the top of the ghat


    Brief visit to Sana Ghaghara


    Someone could drown in the green waters

  9. #59
    Rusted chicane1879's Avatar
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    Awesome pics, again!!, Never knew about the places until you opened up this thread.Btw, was that a real tiger coz it seems so!!

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