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Chhena Poda Pitha - a Unique and Famous Sweet of Odisha

Do you like cheese cake very much? In particular, the ones made by Cheese Cake Factory? I am sure, it is one of your favorite cakes. Have you heard / seen / eaten something very much similar to cheese cake, which is traditionally prepared by the people of Odisha?

Yes, it is chhena poda pitha, one of the most popular sweets of Odisha that is relished the most not only by Odiyas but by the tourists too

This is typically a dessert by made Indian cottage cheese. The Odiya words 'chhena' means cheese, 'poda' means roasted and 'pitha' means sweet. Chhena poda pitha is a sweet made by roasting Indian cottage cheese.
The sweet was a pleasant invention of a confectioner named Sudarshan Sahoo in a small town named Nayagarh. This delicious sweet has become very popular in Odisha. If you happen to visit Odisha, do remember to relish this famous sweet in any of the roadside confectionery shop.
If you are keen on cleanliness, you may have to get disappointed as such roadsi…

The Beauty of Fall Foliage in Columbus, Ohio.

Autumn in the mid-west region and eastern region of the U.S. is a real feast for the eyes and senses as well. The trees everywhere gradually turn into reddish blaze from September last. The brilliant red leaves slowly turn golden yellow, orange and brown before these fall.

There were row of maples trees on either side of the road in the apartment community where we lived for a year or so. The weather gradually gets colder and colder with chill winds. I couldn't stop myself clicking some of the beautiful pics of those reddish maple trees.

At the onset of fall, some trees turned yellow while some trees are still in green adding beauty to the nature.
Row of lovely maple trees with reddish leaves on either side of the road.
I just used to stroll on these roads with my 2 yrs old daughter (now she is 8 yrs old) to enjoy the fall foliage in Columbus, Ohio.
The lonely roads with red maple trees on either side and the sky above.
More pics of red maple trees.

And the small tank / pool of w…

Our Visit to Sri Venkateswara Temple at Pittsburgh, PA.

I remember seeing SVS temple, Pittsburgh, PA in few Telugu movies like Jeans. Few years back, when we planned a trip to this well noted temple, I was too excited, made a quick trip planner well in advance and booked accommodation in Comfort Inn in Rodi Road, Pittsburgh.

About the temple Sri Venkateswara Temple (S.V.Temple) in Pittsburgh, PA is one of the earliest traditional Hindu temples built in the U.S. It is located on Penn Hills in Pennsylvania state.
Temple timings Monday - Thursday, Saturdays & Sundays - 9 a.m to 8.30 p.m (winters - 9 a.m to 7.30 p.m)
Fridays - 9 a.m to 9.30 p.m (winters 9 a.m to 8.30 p.m)

Almost all religious events / services / poojas are performed in the temple. You can place online order for any of the daily pooja like aksharabhyasam, abhishekam, archana, annaprasana, car pooja and Satyanarayana Swamy Vratam.

As per our trip planner, we drove all the way to Pittsburgh temple from Philadelphia, PA (Pennsylvania state). It was a bright sunny summer weeke…

A Visit to Omkareshwara Temple in Madikeri, Coorg.

Madikeri or Mercara is the headquarters of Coorg district also known as Kodagu. Madikeri which is located in the lap of Mother Nature in the Western ghats of Karnataka, is popularly known as the Scotland of India.

Few years back, we visited this hill station in the month of May for a cool summer vacation. We had a comfortable homely stay in one of the home stays. During our stay we visited some of the interesting places in Madikeri.

On a cool summer morning, we visited the temple of the local deity i.e Omkareshwara temple. This is a Shiva temple that was construction in the 19th century. This is unique in its structure and attracts good number of tourists.
The moment you step into the premises you will be awed to see the architecture. Though this is a Hindu temple, it is built in a typical Islamic style. It is mentioned that the temple is a fine blend of Gothic style of architecture and traditional Islamic Dome with four minarets in the four corners of the temple.

History says that L…

An Evening at Film Nagar Temple in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.

Daiva Sannidhanam temple in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad is popularly known as Film Nagar temple. It is located on the busy main road of Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad. It is a temple complex in a small area. The temple remains open to devotees from 6.30 a.m to 11.30 a.m. It remains open till 12 noon on weekends (Saturdays, Sundays) and holidays. Again, it is open to devotees at 5.00 p.m and closes at 8.30 p.m.
Travel Information The temple is located on Rd No.38, Jubilee Hills, Giani Zail Singh Nagar, Film Nagar, Hyderabad. This is one of the tourist attractions of the city besides other top attractions of Hyderabad.

On a fine Saturday evening we drove all the way from Banjara Hills Rd No.1 to Jubilee Hills Rd No.38. We could easily get a parking lot in front of the temple premises. Though a weekend, the temple is not heavily crowded.

After parking the car, I took few clicks of the temple. Here is one pic where you can see the temple with lighting and the car parking.

At the entrance, you can…

Exploring the ancient historical Khandagiri and Udayagiri Caves in Bhubaneswar, Odisha

During our short trip to Golden Triangle of Odisha, we visited the ancient Khandagiri Udayagiri caves. On day 1 (Makara Sankranti day), we visited Lingaraj temple and on day 2 we visited Khandagiri Udayagiri Caves. We had a peep into the ancient history of the place. We booked a cab from Master Canteen junction (close to Railway Station) which costed around Rs.300/-. The place was heavily crowded with tourists.
Khandagiri Udayagiri caves are in Khandagiri, close to Bhubaneswar. These are the twin hills on either side of the main road, facing one another. There is a small ticket counter at the entrance of Udayagiri. We climbed the rocky steps of Khandagiri and went moving around from one cave after the other. We couldn't stop ourselves from appreciating the ancient artisans who molded the rocks / boulders into wonderful structures which has become an important tourist attraction in the present age.
Tourists from other states / foreign tourist have to comprise with the cleanliness.…

A visit to Mukteswar and Kedar Gauri Temples in Bhubaneswar

During our Golden Triangle tour to Odisha, we visited the ancient Mukteswar temple in Bhubaneswar. We spent some time enjoying and of course admiring the awesome architecture of the temple. The finesse of sculpting work of the ancient artisans is noteworthy at this temple.
In the morning, we took an auto-rickshaw from Master Canteen square, near Bhubaneswar Railway Station and went to Mukteswar temple. This is a temple complex where there are the temples of Siddheswar and Mukteswar. On the other side the temple complex is the temple of Kedar Gauri.

This is a wonderful place for a good relaxation and for a peace of mind as the temple is not crowded unlike other famous temples in Bhubaneswar. Though the temple is in the heart of the city, yet there is no hustle bustle but there is calmness all around. We spent some time in this temple keenly looking at the fineness with which the ancient Odisha artisans carved / sculpted the structures. We couldn't stop ourselves appreciating the a…