Bhubaneswar, December 10 (LocalWire): As the month of December advances, the chilly weather slowly envelops the state of Odisha, ushering in the season of cheer and travel.
In the hot tropical state of Odisha, where heat and humidity are constant companions, the winter months are a welcome relief bringing a cool, pleasant climate motivating people to chalk out their vacation, travel and picnic plans during the December-February period.
This winter, follow the LocalWire as it brings you various destinations in Odisha that you must include in your go-to list.
Whether it is week-long refreshing vacations, old-fashioned rejuvenating picnics or stimulating day-trips, here are some suggestions on where to hop next.
In the first of the series of our travel guide, we encourage you to visit the Kala Bhoomi Odisha Crafts Museum at Pokhariput in Bhubaneswar.
Even though it lies on the western fringes of the capital, it attracts visitors of all ages, from school children to foreign nationals, who come here to have a taste of Odisha’s vibrant craft culture. Here are some interesting facts about it.
1) The museum is spread across nearly 13 acres and is divided into two blocks: handicraft block and handloom block. Each block is divided into five galleries.
2) The handicraft block is divided into five galleries, and each gallery is devoted to a different craft of the artisans of Odisha: terracotta, traditional painting, stone and wood carving, metalwork and natural materials.
3) The entrance to the museum has a minimalistic stylised garden, with lush green lawns and trees spaced far apart. It is a welcome change from the usually crowded parks that one comes across. It affords the casual observer ample opportunity to reflect and marvel at the beautifully conceptualised museum.
4) All the buildings are shaped like huts. While the walls are made of laterite stone found abundantly in Odisha, the slanting roofs are layered with burnt clay structures.
5) The entire outdoor landscape is dotted with young banana plants, aged teak trees, bamboo stems, and various other trees. Just beside the entrance, there is a giant banyan tree that bears the marks of worship—sindura and decorative cloth.
6) Numerous burnt clay pots can be seen around the garden, while clay horses are scattered around the foot of the banyan tree.
7) The lobby leading to the inner chambers has a triangular dome-shaped roof made up of wooden planks. The wooden benches are well polished and give one a feel of a bygone era.
8) Everything that one comes across in the museum is made up of natural and organic materials. The design is old-fashioned and simple, subtlety coming across as the underlying concept of the thought behind the place.
9) The inner structures are built around a central courtyard, designed to resemble the houses of ancient times. A single tree stands tall in the courtyard, enclosed by a structure made of the same laterite stones used to build the walls.
10) Various short films depicting the lives of artisans, the process of craft-making and the rich and colourful heritage of Odia craftsmen are shown in the AV room.
On planning a day-trip, do not forget to include the exquisite Bocca Café beside the entrance as part of your agenda. The cafe, which is in sync with rest of the museum, has small open hut-like structures covered with bamboo and straw, dotted with carved stone benches and tables.
The Kala Bhoomi Odisha Crafts Museum is open on all days, except on select national holidays from 10 am to 5 pm.
For visitors coming to Bhubaneswar, it is very close to the Biju Patnaik International Airport and is easily accessible by car or a three-wheeler.
A taxi from the airport to the museum costs around Rs 250, while a ride from the Bhubaneswar Master Canteen Railway Station will cost around Rs 120.
Those reaching Bhubaneswar by bus may take a taxi or a three-wheeler after alighting at the Baramunda bus stop here.