Ferry in Chilika Lake and Sri Jagannath Temple in Malad

As the sun glows above the sky and the birds fly beneath the clouds, we boarded a ferry in Chilka Lake to accomplish our wish of completing our coastal line road trip through Orissa. A few fishermen were trying their luck with their nets in the lake while our ferry ripped apart the deep bluish-green water of the lake.

Sri Jagannath Temple

A Morning in Malud

Sun was quite quick to leave us on the dark roads of Malud. If not for Nillu and his friend Sanjay, we would have been forced to drive at least 50 to 60 kilometers to find a hotel. The young men of Malud helped us to find our accommodation that night in a government guesthouse with the permission of local police.  The night was calm and we were cozy in that government bungalow while the wind blew whistle outside our window.

The next day, we woke up to a knock on the door. Sanjay was in front of us with a pretty wide smile and messy hair. He was there to warn us about the ferry time. The first ferry leaves Malud Ferry Point at 8:30 in the morning, and when the time was almost 6:00. The next 30 minutes were on the fast-forward mode of our that day’s reel. By 6:30 we were off from the bungalow and followed Sanjay’s motorbike until a street food vendor. On our way, we did not forget to meet the police inspector who helped us last night and thank him for his kindness.

Videos Related to Chilika Lake in Orissa

On the street food corner, two men were busy cooking and serving Orissa’s favorite assorted breakfast. We too tried a few things from the roadside restaurant – puris and green peas curry, mini vadas, and an interesting item called gulgula. Gulgula, the name itself tickled me. By taste, it was lightly sweet and I loved the combination with spicy green peas curry. All thanks to Sanjay for such a wonderful breakfast in one of the unexplored villages of India.

Malud’s Sri Jagannath Temple and the Pristine Village

The time was getting closer to the ferry’s departure, but we were to explore one more interesting place in Malud – the Jagannath Temple of Malud. Unlike the famous Puri Jagannath Temple, Malud Jaganath Temple was smaller and almost deserted. Of course, the deity was of Sri Jaganath’s but with the companionship of Garuda’s idol. We had a brisk walk inside the temple and started off to the Ferry point.

What I loved most about our road trip to northeast India was our chance to experience the pristine villages of India. Vast green paddy fields of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh slowly changed into lemony yellow shades as we reached Orissa. Fields of Malud were boundless and mostly ready to harvest or just after harvest. The wetlands, the agricultural lands, and the plains of Malud captured my mind. I wish I could stop and take a few photographs, but the time was close to 8:00 and we were just 30 minutes away from the ferry departure. I raced through the narrow yet curvy roads. The distance to cover was 24 kilometers and it took almost 35 minutes to reach the venue; just on time. At last, we boarded the ferry to Chilka Lake.

A Voyage by a Ferry in Chilka Lake

We sailed over the expanse of Chilika Lake and its pearl green water. The country boats which were anchored to the shore swayed in rhythm as the lagoon flapped waves. Birds flew high in the sky with their eyes fixed on the leaping fishes. Fishermen spread their net, but we cruised calmly on the largest coastal lagoon in India. Chilka is not only the largest in India but also the second-largest coastal lagoon in the world. Spread over an expanse of 1,100 kilometers the pool and its shore make a lovely home for over 160 species of birds.

A ferry trip of almost 45 minutes through the chest of Chilika Lake took us to Satapada, another village with plenty of treasures for a traveler. In fact, three days may stand feeble to explore the most amazing places in and around Chilka, but we were on a tight schedule to complete the entire journey covering 10,000 kilometers and 15+ destinations in just 30 days. However, our 45 minutes voyage on a ferry at Chilika Lake was something that I would always love to remember and share.

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Written By

Param Dass

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