Saturday, July 16, 2011

Trip to Chilka Lake

It was 6:30 AM on a lovely morning on 6th December, 2009, Sunday when we started our trip to Chilka lake from Jajpur Road. We were 4 in the group : myself, my wife, father-in-law and mother-in-law. We alighted on the Bhubaneshwar local exactly at 7:30 AM. While on the train, gorged on the masala muri, boiled egg, puri sabzi that the vendors were selling :) Thus gorging ourselves and gossiping within ourselves, we thoroughly enjoyed the train trip. At 12:30 PM we got off at the Chilika station, and was taken aback by the serene surroundings. After having a sumptuous lunch at Chilika dhaba, went in search of a hotel. After having found a decent one, and keeping our luggage there, we started off for the Chilika lake at 3:30 PM. Some boats were about to leave for the Devi Kalijai island, which was abt 1 hour journey from the shore. I was pretty excited since I knew on the way I would see the sunset, and cud take gud silhouettes, if I got the subjects :) The boats were heavily filled up, and since 3 of us know swimming, except my wife....felt a little sceptical. The boat started on its way....the water seemed endless, and I felt as if we were wading out to the sea. But the water was calm, with not much waves. We could see other boats returning from the Kalijai island. The weather was excellent. It took us 1 hour to reach the Devi Kalijai island. Reaching there, we offered our prayers to Devi Ma, and I started taking pictures around the island :) It was a small island though. We could see people in groups cooking in empty areas on the island and having a gala picinic. After staying on the island for an hour, it was time for us to start back. On the way back, I could see the sunset, and luckily could capture some boats as silhouettes during that time. I was pretty lucky in that matter. On reaching our hotel, we freshened up fast, since everyone was dead tired by that time. Had early dinner and went to bed early, since our plan was to go to the Nalban islands early the next morning, and on the way to catch the sunrise.
DAY 1 ends.
DAY 2: We woke up exactly at 4:00 AM. It was pretty chilly so decided we will take our baths after we return from Nalban islands. We brushed our teeth, washed our faces and started off to the pier. When we reached the pier we hired a boat who would take us to Nalban islands which was about 1.6 hours journey into Chilika. It was dark everywhere around, and we could see a long line of fishing boats starting off for their daily catch. The scene was spectacular. About 30 minutes later, we could see the sun appearing as a distant speckle in the horizon. Instantly I switched my camera on and started shooting. The scene was unbelievable, with the sun appearing as a bright red ball with its reflections in the calm waters of the Chilka, the migratory birds around, and a serene calmness all around!!! You got to feel it to believe it.
The Nalban island is not a piece of land, but its a place where the migratory birds from Siberia come. I could see the birds sitting in the water, and far away, there was a sentry watch tower monitoring our activities. Also we could see some dolphins swimming around our boat. We stayed in that place for over an hour, and enjoyed the peaceful scenery. Unfortunately I don't have a telephoto lens else could have taken some bird shots.
After staying there for 1 hour, we started back. After 1.6 hours, we reached the shore, paid off our boatman and went back to our hotel after having a delicious breakfast of Puri Sabzi at a roadside hotel. And not to mention of the hot rosogollas :) On reaching our hotel room, we took a quick nap of 2 hours. Then got up and got ready to go to Puri. Its with a heavy heart that I left Chilka, but I was pretty sure though it was the first time, certainly its not the last !!!

Some photographs from Chilka Lake :

Sunset silhouette at Chilka


Dawn at Chilka
Fishermen at Chilka

Boats at Chilka

Good Morning Chilka

Endless Waters

Jewels in the water


Fishermen at Chilka

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