Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Trip to Orissa

While planning for a trip to Orissa one has to keep in mind the weather first.Summer is a big no-no , and so is the rainy season.I love this state of mine, being born and brought up there. I consider myself ,if not full , at least half an Oriya just as I am a full Bengali. I am nostalgic about the summers there ... the exhausting heat, wonderful Paanto bhaat with a lot of side dishes as
lunch and after a heavy sleep .... sweet mangoes in the evening. And the rains of Orissa .... what heavy rains ... thunder, lightnening and the cyclones.Life comes to a complete standstill. Anybody will think am crazy. But yes I do miss the rains of Orissa.All said and done ... still these 2 seasons are not for any tourist visiting Orissa.That leaves us with winter. One can consider Autumn ... but sometimes the rains don't leave well before October.So the best time to visit Orissa will be from October/November till March.

We planned our trip for November end.One of the few reasons was the Flamingos arrive at Chilika well into the winter. And we planned to meet them.

Orissa is all lush and green with rice fields,rivers and ponds. Roadsides ad backyards often dotted with ponds or little streams. Rice, fish and vegetables are the staple food of the common man.

Recently someone asked me "Why is Orissa not developed?" and I asked in return what does developement mean to him. The vague answer ... oh you know ... IT, Industries, Flyovers etc, etc. almost shut me up in consternation.

Am glad Orissa is not developed that way. A land of simple people who work hard to feed the nation and a little of themselves too, self reliant to a great extereme as far as food is concerned, Orissa is rich in a lot of ores too. Mining is a thriving thing and so are other small industries. Electricity generation and a thermal plant are also here ... just as there are numerous IT companies too.
Orissa thrives on tourism too ... blessed by the beautiful coasts of the Bay of Bengal, large forests and numerous rivers ... not to mention the world's largest salt water lake ... Chilika.
Am glad people are not too interested in this quiet and peaceful state.
I love it this way.

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