After parking your vehicle as you walk the short distance to the reception of Lotus Resort, the Kushabhadra River and Ramchandi Beach on the left greet you. I was welcomed with a refreshing cold towel, chandan tilak and blowing of the conch. The welcome drink of coconut water was sourced from the resort’s own organic garden. To reach your accommodation you walk through trees and plants which attract almost 30-40 species of butterflies.
The cottages and villas have the ambience of wood cabins with thatched roofs and the pinewood used for their construction has been imported from Canada. They have been designed by local artists. While the cottages have a bedroom and bathroom, in the villas there is an additional living room. The rest of the amenities including hair dryers, tea/coffee makers, mini bar, safe lockers and TV are the same. Almost 4 of the cottages which are sea facing have no TV for those who would like to be one with nature and disconnect from the world.
Bharat Bhusan Biswal, General Manager, Lotus Resort, Konark adds, “Lotus Resort is the first on the beach resort in Orissa and has got its own private beach. You can enjoy beach sports like volleyball and cricket or unleash the party animal in you with an evening beach party with barbecue. Yoga and meditation can be arranged on the beach on request. Lotus Resort is also the only location in Orissa where you can see the sunrise throughout the year and sunset from November-March.”
There are separate kitchens for cooking vegetarian and non vegetarian food be it continental, chinese, tandoori or odia. Served at Kushabhadra Restaurant (named after the Kushabhadra River), my meals were cooked from vegetables got from the organic garden. I relished Tomato Chutney, Aloo Bharta, Baigan Bharta made from aubergine and Kakharu Phula Pithau made from pumpkin flowers. For fish lovers, preparations are made from the single boned Khanga and Khuranta local fish freshly caught from the Kushabhadra River. Other fish preparations are also offered. Guests can even choose their fish from the resort’s fish pond and have it cooked as per their preference.
It was interesting to observe how kids got excited on seeing how the various vegetables and medicinal herbs and plants grew in the organic garden and the medicinal garden. It was a fun way to educate them. The massage I did at the resort’s Ayurvedic Centre and Spa was a herbal one. This head to toe massage was done with medicated oil and used a combination of aromatherapy and deep tissue technique. It acts as a pain killer, relaxes the muscles and increases blood circulation. Just what I needed! The gym, in house geese, viewing deck, invigorating aroma of lemon grass in my cottage, 24 X 7 security patrolling around in case you require something all added to why I would only stay at Lotus Resort, Konark on my next visit as well.
In the evening recharged after a walk on the Ramchandi beach, I headed to the Archaeological Museum which serves as a preview of the Sun Temple. Konark is internationally known for its Sun Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn the significance of the 7 horses and the 12 pairs of intricately carved wheels on which the chariot shaped temple stands. Don’t miss the Sun God or Surya carved on three façades from green chlorite stone. The Sun Temple is also known for its kamasutra sculptures. The stalls outside the temple sell souvenirs.
Stone carving is a popular craft of Konark and I was fortunate to visit the work space of a renowned stone carving artist thanks to the staff at Lotus Resorts. Fisherman’s Village was another local experience where I learnt of their way of life and saw the fishermen get ready to go out to sea. Chandrabhaga Beach, the Lighthouse and Ramchandi Temple are other tourist attractions of Konark.
For me, an aquatic highlight were the water sports. I don’t mean the common water scooter, kayaking or boat rides. I mean wind surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving. These are organized by Kalinga Divers which is founded by Sabir Bux. Bux is a 3 times Limca Book record holder and an international rescue diver. So you are in very good hands as you surf, snorkel or scuba dive. Bux has also trained a team of local kids for rescue operations and this team is available to help during flood relief operations.
Konark, Puri District-752111
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