Bhubaneshwar – Puri – Konark - Kolkata (7 nights and 8 days)
From the streets of bustling Kolkata and shores of serene Orissa an East India Golden Triangle tour shows you the face of a miraculous land studded with unmatched natural glory. The highlights being The Kali Mata Temple in Kolkata, The Sun Temple in Konark, The Jaggannath Temple in Puri and The Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneshwar. Not to forget Udaygiri and Khandgiri caves and the pristine beaches of Puri.
Day 01 :
Arrive Bhubaneshwar, known for its architecture and ancient temples.This capital city of Orissa is also aptly known as ‘The Temple Metropolis of India’. It is probably the only city in the world that enables an authentic overview of the stages of development of Hindu religion. Arrive and transfer to hotel. Overnight stay in Bhubaneshwar.
Day 02 :
Today after breakfast proceed for a half-day city tour which includes visit to The Lingaraj Temple – dedicated to Lord Shiva and has been described as ‘the truest fusion of dream and reality’. Later proceed to visit few other temples namely Lakshmanesvara group of temples, Parasuramesvara Temple, Svarnajalesvra Temple, Muktesvara Temple, Rajarani Temple and Vaital Temple. Evening free for leisure. Overnight stay in Bhubaneshwar.
Day 03 :
This day after breakfast, leave for a full day excursion to Udaygiri and Khandgiri caves (8kms / 30mins), that served as the site of an ancient Jain monastery which was carved into cave like chambers in the face of the hill. Of particular note of their artistic carvings are the Rani Gumpha (Queen's Cave)and the Hati Gumpha (Elephant Cave). The Hati Gumpha has carved chronicles of King Kharavela's reign. Overnight stay in Bhubaneshwar.
Day 04 :
Today after breakfast, leave for Konark (65kms / 1.5hrs) famous for The Sun Temple. Konark is one of the most vivid architectural treasures of Hindu and is a World Heritage site. Visit The Sun Temple often called as the ‘Black Pagoda’that belongs to the Central Indian style of Temple architecture. The entire temple was designed in the shape of a colossal chariot with 24 wheels about three meters high and pulled by seven horses, carrying the sun god, Surya, across the heavens. The wheels of the chariot are also symbolic and have been interpreted as the 'Wheel of Life'. Thereafter continue your drive to Puri, notable for The Jagganath Temple. It is considered that a pilgrimage of the temples of India is not complete without making the journey to Puri. It also has one of the best beaches for swimming in India and is also a popular beach resort, positioned in a unique place so that both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the beach. Arrive and transfer to hotel. Overnight stay in Puri.
Day 05 :
This day after breakfast, proceed for a temple tour in Puri visiting The Jagganath Puri Temple and The Gundicha Temple. The Jagganath temple is an important pilgrimage destination for many Hindu traditions, particularly worshippers of Krishna and Vishnu. Also famous for its annual Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated chariots. Later visit Gundicha Temple or the Garden House of the Hindu God Jagannath, while it remains vacant most of the year, it is occupied by idols of the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra for nine days every year during the annual Rath Yatra in the Hindu month of Ashadh. In the evening enjoy the pristine beaches of Puri. Overnight stay in Puri.
Day 06 :
This day at leisure to enjoy the pristine beaches of Puri. Late evening transfer to the railway station to board the Srijagannath Express to Kolkata, departing Puri at 2250hrs. Overnight on the train.
Day 07 :
This morning, arrive Howrah Junction, Kolkata at 0810hrs, you will be met, assisted and transferred to your hotel. Kolkata is one of the largest cities in India and also long known as the Cultural Capital or the Literary Capital of the country. It served as the capital of India during the British Raj. Kolkata, continues to spawn generations of poets, writers, film producers and Nobel Prize winners. Later in the afternoon proceed for a half-day city tour visiting the famour Howrah Bridge – located over the Hoogli river is said to be the busiest bridge of the world. This bridge is a cantilever truss bridge that was constructed without using any nuts and bolts. Though, earlier it had a tram route, but presently, it is serving mainly as a Road Bridge. Thereafter proceed to the Victoria Memorial – one of the finest museums in India is a fantastic place that will take you into the world of past history, where you can view the photos and effigies of prominent personalities, who made an incredible contribution in the glory of India. Thereafter visit The Birla Planetarium, second largest planetarium in Asia, a site that attracts attention of all. Later visit St Paul’s Cathedral church. Constructed between 1839 and 1847 in Gothic style with stained glass windows and two Florentine frescoes, the cathedral is the largest in the city and next to the Birla Planetarium. Not to miss, the National Library which houses over a million books and is the biggest in India. Overnight stay in Kolkata.
Day 08 :
Today morning, after breakfast, proceed for The Dakshineswar Kali Temple, located in Dakshineswar near Kolkata, on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River. The presiding deity of the temple is Bhavatarini, an aspect of Kali, literally meaning, 'She who takes Her devotees across the ocean of existence'. The temple is famous for its association with Ramakrishna a mystic of 19th Century Bengal. The temple compound, apart from the nine-spired main temple, contains a large courtyard surrounding the temple, with rooms along the boundary walls. Also visit Belūr Maṭh, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, a chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It is located on the west bank of Hooghly River and is one of the significant institutions in Kolkata.. The temple is notable for its architecture that fuses Hindu, Christian and Islamic motifs as a symbol of unity of all religions. Overnight stay in Kolkata.
Day 09 :
Today you will be transferred to the Kolkata airport to board your flight to onward destination. You depart with fond memories of the “Golden Temple Triangle”.