The 3rd week was a relaxed one. I received the 2nd certificate of the month, for a project I did there. With just 3 hours of classes each day, I had lots of time to watch movies and sleep.
As the weekend came about, we decided to visit a place called Dhauli. King Ashoka constructed Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda) at this place when he became a buddhist after seeing the destruction in the Battle of Kalinga.
Later, we also decided to visit a museum as suggested by Mincy.
So, on 22nd of June, we geared up for Dhauli. First we went to the railway station’s bus stop, MasterCanteen. By now, the pastry and drinks shop at the corner of the bus stop had become our information booth. Everytime we needed to ask about busses, we’d go there. 😛
This time too, he told us where to look, and we finally boarded a bus to take us to ‘Dhauli Road’. It dropped us beside the highway. The top of the Pagoda was visible from there, and there was a well-maintained road leading up to it. Tourist cabs and jeeps whooshed up and down the road, meaning our destination was at the end of the climb.
We decided to walk our way up there, and soon enough the scorching sun began punishing us for our audacity. Even umbrellas didn’t help much. Drenched in sweat, we continued hiking till we reached a point where a steeper, less travelled road forked away. We took the steeper road hoping for a shortcut. Instead, we reached a garden called ‘Peace Park’. In the middle, standing tall, was the famed Ashoka Pillar, from which the Indian National Emblem is borrowed.
Climbing further up, we reached at the footsteps of a temple. Opposite to it, a little ahead, was the Pagoda.
Painted in pure white, four Buddha statues in four directions at four positions. It was a lovely view from up there too !!
Five glasses of sugarcane juice each, thats what it took to recover from the climb. Advice : Do not dare to follow our example 😉 However, It wasn’t that bad coming down.
Coming back to the station, we felt that we hadn’t made enough of the day. So, I looked up “Regional Museum of Ancient History” on my phone’s Google Maps, found its nearest landmark to be Acharya Vihar.
So, we boarded a long-route bus to Cuttack. Since they were reluctant to receive short-route passengers, we didn’t tell them our destination beforehand. Instead, I kept a tab on our position via GPS on my phone. As a result, we crossed Acharya Vihar before we knew it, and unboarded at the next stop.
From there, we hunted our way back to the Museum using the GPS and finally found it.
It was huge building with a variety of mind-blowing exhibits. There was no entry fee, nor any restriction to click photos. Thats where I missed my camera the most, since I’d forgotten to take it along that day 😦
Anyway, that was one of great places that tourist sites often miss out. On our way back, we found a direct bus to Patia, near my campus (lucky us !).
Thus, the days adventures ended here..