Monday, June 30, 2008

Orissa trip - Day 6 (cont) Chilika

We were taken to our already booked cottage .... and it was beautiful. The back door opened to the lawn and right beyond that was the lake !!!! What a view!

We were a little apprehensive regarding the cleanliness of the place as the village is very remote.We should not have bothered. The room was huge and beautiful. The restaraunt was great too. I was dying to sample the fresh fish/crab/prawn there ... right from the lake. By the time we freshend up it was almost past lunch time. But they said we will get food. We had a great lunch .... me having crab curry and hubby sampling the veggie part ... enjoying the taste of fresh vegetables thoroughly.
It was around 4 pm then and the front desk informed us that there will be no time taking boat tours now and we will have to wait till next morning. We were dying to get into a boat and into the lake . I asked the gentleman at the desk if at least we could go on the short trips to the nearby islands. He agreed and asked us to team up with another small family and go visit the nearby island called Kalijaai.

We were only too happy to comply. After getting our tickets we set off. It was a 16 seater motor boat with a driver and a guide. It was going to be evening soon and we should be back by dark.

Ever since I had read the poetry "Kaalijaai re sondhya" (Evening in Kaalijaai ) in Oriya by the famous poet Madhusudhan Das , I had always wondered about Kaalijaai. So it was another quiet dream come true.
It took around 15 minutes by boat to reach Kaalijaai island. It is a very small island with the mandir of a devi. Our boat moored and we went up to the mandir and had a darshan. Then went looking around. The people there had a tame deer that roamed around .... and introduced him to us. They had named him Ritesh.

The vast expanse of Chilika was already disappearing in the fast approaching darkness on east as the sun was setting in the water on the west. Land was not at sight for as far as eye could see. While returning we got some very beautiful snaps of the setting sun. Then sat back and enjoyed the fresh air with the boat speeding on.

The evening and night was very chilly. We had another awesome dinner and sat under the stars for a very long time ... enjoying the half moon and the fresh, sharply cold air. I caught a bad chill and had two cups of coffee back to back to get warm. Watched some night birds for some more time ... tried to get some pics ... but were unsuccessful.
Finally and reluctantly we went to sleep. The next day is going to be eventful .... we are going to Nalaban to meet the flamingoes.

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