I had wanted to visit the Tarini temple in Ghatgaon in Keonjhar district. So we kept day no. 3 for this trip. By now we had rested enough to take the 5 hours journey. This temple is extremely revered by anybody who lives in Orissa. The goddess is another form of Shakti ... and is called "Bipad Tarini" .... or "one who saves from all bipad (danger) ".
And there is an interesting fact about this temple. One can get to see the world's most efficient and trustworthy courier service ... free of charge. Even if you can't go all the way to this place and still want to make an offering (usually a coconut ) all you have to do is stand on the highway and hold a coconut up to any approaching bus or truck. If it is going to Tarini or even via Ghatgaon ... they will take your coconut and it will surely be delivered to the temple. Surely.
Nobody refuses an offering to goddess Tarini. Everyday thousands of such coconuts make a journey to the temple from different parts of the state.
The journey to Ghatgaon was through beautiful ghats and a forest. We had called up an authorised guide in Keonjhar and he had told us everything regarding the length of the journey and the roads. It was not at all tiring. Our driver was also very friendly ... a young guy ... full of enthusiasm ... showing us, guiding us and instructing us about what to do and what not at the mandir.
Another lesson that we had learnt on our trip to Rajasthan (post coming up later). Always, always select a taxi with a young driver ... of course go by your instinct too. The young guys are always full of energy and give a lot of inputs regarding the places you are visitng. And god forbid, if there comes up a difficult situation ... will always know how to come out of it with cool headedness. The older drivers will always be in a hurry to get back ... get tired easily ... and will always desist you from trying out new places.
Anyway, we reached the mandir in good time and offered puja. As it was a weekday we could pray in peace. There was no rush and everything went off peacefully. The mandir has been renovated an is much cleaner than I remember. When I was offering puja hubby was quietly noticing something. Later he asked me why every lady was offering puja in others' name ... a child/husband/son/daughter .... any close one. I told him that is what all women do ... Indian or otherwise ... they never think of themselves ... or even ask for anything for themselves ... not even from god. All they want is their loved ones live safely and in peace.
Everything went off well and I was at peace. We left earler than we had anticipated ... so decided to have lunch at the hotel in Panikoili ... we had eaten here before too. Then we decided to stop at Pahala on our return journey to sample the famous rasagullas, gulab jamuns and chena poda ... hot and right off the stove. This place has the freshest sweets that are served hot ... and the softest ones.
While we were enjoying the break at Pahala we saw a strange sight. A man was going on his way to Puri on his motorcycle .... only he was standing on it. Our driver said he does it often .
Thus ended day 3 of our trip. We spent the evening checking out the local market and eating more phuchkas. Dinner was at a new place that we found out ... it was ok ... the same Punjabi dishes with revolting gravies. I still had not come across local food yet .... and was dying to have some dalma/santula/aloo posto. Considering you get so fresh vegetables there ... it was a total let down when it came to food in the hotels.
Next day we leave for Puri.