Konark Experience: Konark .. The very name brings images of the awe-inspiring Sun Temple. Magnificent in its scale, beauty and details, the Sun temple forms the centre or rather be-all of the small sleepy town of Konark, and that itself is enough to make you visit Konark !
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: The main attraction of Konark is the Sun temple which is best seen during the early mornings (when the sun rays light it u from front and the crowds are relatively sparse). or around late evening when after devouring the sights of the Sun temple in fading sunlight, the whole complex is bathed in bright yellow lighting !
Apart from the Sun temple, Chandrabhaga (7 kms) and Ramchandi (around 13-14 kms) beaches can also be visited.
Apart from the usual touristy souvenirs of shells, conches, wood and marble, nothing much to shop from Konark.
Activities & things to do: The visit to Konark is incomplete without a visit to the Sun temple - be it in the early morning or around the dusk time. The temple looks ethereal in the early morning sun-rays and alluring in the bright lighting after dusk. For some fanciful story telling, hiring a guide can be useful.
If you get tired of the Sun temple, then you can soothe your tired soul at the nearby (7kms) Chandrabhaga beach, have fresh coconut water on the beach, enjoy seeing the numerous crabs frolicking on the beach early in the morning ;) , or buy some usual souvenirs of shells, conch (shankhs), and various handicrafts from the numerous shops on the beach.
You can also head out to the Ramchandi beach a few more kms. down the road to Puri, and enjoy a boat ride to the beach through the creek that separates the parking area from the open unsheltered beach which does have quite a few umbrellas with beach beds and is a beautiful one to spend some time in quiet contemplation with nature in company ! :)
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Konark is around one and half hour drive away from the well-connected capital of Orissa - Bhubaneswar, through good smooth roads along the very green and welcoming Orissa hinterland and villages.
On the way, the Ashokan rock edict and the Shanti Stupa at Dhauli can be visited, where emperor Ashoka renounced violence and wars after the battle of Kalinga. The view from the stupa of the area around it is simply breathtaking and marvelous.
On the way, further down to Konark, a short break can be taken at the Pipli village, for having a look/shopping for the various handicrafts, and items made using Appliqué work(patch work in bright colors), for which Pipli famous.
Apart from that, the best place to stay in Konark is the Panthnivas Yatri Niwas, which can allow one to visit Konark at sunrise time :)
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