After our brief tryst with Paro we rode on to Thimpu. In Thimpu we stayed in Riverview Hotel that
is beautifully located as the name suggests and visited
the largest Buddha statue in the making,
the Royal Palace and walked around the main street
visiting the restaurants but after Paro, Thimpu was nothing to write home about.
Soon it was time to leave Bhutan and head towards the Indian coast of Orissa which we did via Phuentosholing, Purnea, Farakka, Bankura, Bhubaneshwar to Puri. The ride was a mix of very bad
(high density of truck traffic) roads to bad to some very good roads. It was a pure transport section where one’s skill to manoeuvring through traffic was tested. This journey took us five days.
We visited the famous Sun temple in Konarak on the way from Bhubaneshwar to Puri. I consider that as the highlight of this route for me. In Puri, there was some special puja going on due to which we could not get darshan of the dieties. But the ambiance of the temple pervaded everywhere we went in the city.
While in Puri we got information of the impending HudHud cyclone which would land on the eastern coast. Due to this we had to make a route correction and instead of proceeding down the eastern coastline to Kanyakumari we headed inland to Ranchi. Why Ranchi? Well because Diwali was fast approaching and what better way to spend the festival than with close friends. Aditya’s schoolmate
and friend, Sanjiv Lall (Restorer of antique jeeps and houses),was only too glad to host us in his palatial house in Ranchi where we celebrated Diwali with gusto!