January 26, 2009

Tourist Information on Chandipur, Orissa

Chandipur in Orissa is such a place which may not satisfy your purse and eyes if you go on holidays. With Darjeeling and Purulia, Bankura, Jhargram being perceived as being unsafe, people of Bengal seem to turn their eyes on such places which they normally avoided and turned down as unworthy of a visit. Last Saturday I made a visit to Chandipur with my teacher, who is now a Reader of a university. We drove along the Golden Quadrilateral and both the road and the view around were beautiful and pleasant.

Save for some bumps we had a hassle-free drive; but just before entering Chandipur beach the driver mistook the straight road and headed to the military area. The Jawans, however, guided us politely and we went straight to Panthonivas.

To our disbelief we were told at the reception that no room was available. So we turned to other hotels, but met with the same answer. We inquired deeper and it was revealed that the hotels are overcrowded because of the sudden rush of visitors mainly from Calcutta. Not only this, people were going to Balasore for lodging. So we had to do the same and took refuge from the overheated sun at Hotel Swarnachuda. The hotel turned out to be a nice one with a great restaurant.

In the afternoon we drove to the beach and found a huge crowd of Bengali people, enjoying or not enjoying themselves in their Bengali ways. We heard some young guys speaking in such a language which may put a rickshaw-puller in shame. They came to drink only wine, not the beauty of the sea. Of course, the sea, which shrinks back a few kilometres, presents a complete black and white view without any variety or complexity. What is left out is black sandy mud.

The sea looks beautiful only when the tide comes to the beach. Otherwise, I repeat it is all black and white. A few years ago the shore was decorated with trees which you will not find anymore. Only if you want to spend a few days in solitude, this might be a place.

But do not go on holidays and have your room booked beforehand. Anyway, we sat there for two hours or so and it was very pleasant at dark. In fact, we wanted this kind of marine ambience and the solitude. While we were returning, my teacher looked on a fortune-teller Baba (or you may say Slate Baba), who holds a slate before you and tell you to place the pencil on one of the boxes. After you do so for a number of times, he will tell your problems and remedies. I do not know (nor do I believe in this kind of thing) whether he is right or not. But my teacher did this and he later told me that the Baba was absolutely right. We gave him only 10 rupees and he was satisfied.

You will find more beauty in the fishing spot at the place where the river Buribalam or Bunavalam falls at the sea (save for the smell from the fishes in the sun).

However, if you can manage your schedule, you will not be disappointed if you visit Remuna, Nilgiri, Jagannath Mandir, Tipisagadia, Maninageswar, and above all, Panchalingeswar. Remuna is famous for Khirchora Gopinath Temple. It is said that Srichaitanya and his teacher Madhabendra Puri visited Remuna.

In fact, if you visit Panchalingeswar, your frustration with the Chandipur beach will be lessened and the day will be successful. For a small amount you can offer worship there. The place is also very safe and confortable.

So the bottom line is: if you want to visit Chandipur, get your room booked and go to the other places as well. Otherwise, you come back with empty looks.

[Information about Chandipur >>How to reach: You can go there by trains of South Eastern Railway or by private vehicle. If you go by train, come down at Balasore station and hire a jeep or auto-rickshaw to reach Chandipur. If you go by private vehicle, you will be charged Rs. 500 for entering Orissa.]

January 20, 2009

Mehendi Henna Design

I got this picture in a rural fair. Vendors sat on the ground with Mehendi (Mehandi or better spelt Mehndi) or Henna (made of the plant Henna, Lawsonia Inermis ) with ready-made block of designs. A very small girl got attracted to it and coaxed her poor father to getting her small palm colored with Mehendi. The man very rapidly did this. But when I told him that I wanted to take a photo, he extended the designs beyond the palm and the girl was more delighted. All this happened at twilight.

January 09, 2009

Red and Pink Roses

I was seeking an opportunity to shoot the roses--white, red, pink, in the garden of my college. But since in the working days it is full of students, I could not do so. But on the day of Muharram it was holiday and I visited the garden and captured these roses in the tender sunlight of the morning. The yellow rose interestingly turns white after some days. In the picture it has started becoming so.

All these are macro shots. So you find the flower larger than the actual ones.