Kolkata to Auroville is about 1850 Km, 30 Hrs drive. We planned to break it in 3 days trip of 8-10 Hrs drive. Our first stop was at Chilka, next was Kakinada and then at Chennai.
At Chennai we were to drop our son at his hostel and then proceed to Auroville.
It was a long journey and we had luggage for two new settlers: My son was to move to hostel and we - twp oldies were to move to Auroville. In my estimate, we need to carry plenty of luggage, so I put a overhead carrier.
We started off a day before RathaYatra - July 17. As I was about to leave Kolkata, I heard some rattling sound overhead. Stopped the car and found the overhead luggage carrier has come loose. It's clamps were not sturdy enough to take load of the luggage. Fortunately there were just three of us in the car. We could somehow fit the odd boxes inside. My years of experience with tetris probably helped.
We avoided Puri and went to Chilka instead. Chilka OTDC cotteges were grand! Families with small kids should spend few days there.
|There are small cottages with sprawling lawn, overlooking vast Chilka lake. Place is nicely maintained|
|On the other side of guest house, there are small hills.|
|There are some very old trees. One old Eucalyptus is pride of the site.|
|One fellow got interested with the new visitors and was spying on us from crows nest.|
|My car is getting ready for a dip at Chilka. (Maybe?)|
|You can see the old man enjoying his morning|
|Road between Chilka and Kakinada is very scenic|
|My son Supratik drove most of the time, reliving me to concentrate on my photography|
|Near the cities the road was 6 lane. This allowed us to drive continuously on 100+ KMPH. In the retrospection, I was thanking that the overhead carrier broke off. It saved us lot of time and fuel.|
Second stop was at Kakinada, it was a bit off the highway. I booked it because, I could not get a descent hotel around Rajamundry. Anyway after we reached, hotel at Kakinada also proved anything but descent. There was a cafe at ground floor of the hotel, at night that cafe got transformed into a cowshed. Wish I took the pictures earlier.
Rajamundry at that time was the site of Pushkar Mela. Few lakhs of people were there trying to take a dip at Godavari. The river water must have turned salty with all the sweat that went into the river. Hope they get their desired salvation for the effort. Due to the rush the drive was slow. As Murphy would have determined, it was also the longest drive. I choose to drive most of it and so no picture on the way. Finally, we reached Chennai around 11:30 PM.
|with NK and his family|
Chennai was some small reunion. We met our ex-neighbor from Jamshedpur after a gap of almost 25yrs. NK is running his network security company SNSin. He seems to do a great work of it and now fully entrenched in Chennai.
|Greta met her school buddy - this too after a quarter century. All smiles|
|Here is Shampa, with her daughter and hubby Sekhar|
Chennai to Auroville is a short 2Hrs drive. We took the ECR road for its view. It was a short one, so did not stop to take a picture.