July 03, 2008

Khandagiri - 2

While we were on our way down, Amanda fell for a monkey and insisted on being photographed with it. The intensity of the rain had ebbed and we walked up to Hathigumpha on the other side of the road again. Then we went higher. We reached this plateau where we did some crazy posing with raincoats and umbrella. We walked down towards Ganesh Gumpha, ending up on this isolated trail.

Now the brain called for nourishment. My taste buds were clamouring for warm and crisp singadas. Amanda was thinking on similar lines, so we ran out of Udayagiri like 10-year-olds on an overdose of testosterone. At Khandagiri Chhak, we looked around, but couldn't find any singadas but we ate some nice alu chops. Further down the road, near Jagamara, we stopped again. This time, the vendor had a selection of vadas - he had singada, dal vada, alu chop and potol chop (wish Manguli were here :P). I tried some of the singada (which was ok) and potol chop (which tasted nice). As far as singadas go, I haven't had a single decent one ever since I got to Orissa.

Near Gandamunda Chhak, we met Saswat...safe in "rainycoat and rainypants". Amanda was shivering from getting drenched (a little heavier and she would have put Sridevi to shame). Ever the chivalrous guy, he gallantly offered her his rainwear (I prodded him to). In a short while, we stopped for chai in plastic cups. All the priming had prepared me for the grand finale - gupchup (wink). At Lingaraj Vihar in Pokhariput, we found a gupchup guy who had braved the rain. He was not great, but who cares when gupchup beckons!

Gupchup done, I was back home. I practised for a bit and then fell asleep after a boring dinner. But the afternoon fun overshadowed it all.

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