I had gone on a “flying” visit to Bhuvaneshwar to meet some suppliers of Ikat textiles. More than half my time was spent on flight as the airline staff stuffed us into the aircraft and kept us there for over five hours due to fog in Delhi. But once in Bhuvaneshwar I had nothing to complain. I saw the most beautiful selection of Ikat sarees both traditional and new. Pitabas Meher, a designer with the weavers service centre belonging to a family of weavers showed us a range of sarees inspired by the different ragas and seasons. All dyed in subtle shades of natural colours creating a very sophisticated effect.
Later in the evening I checked into Ginger, a new brand of budget hotels for traveling executives. It was a welcome change from the regular over prized strange smelling hotels where pathetic food is served in archaic cutlery by waiters in dirty clothes replete with bow ties! The rooms were clean, with no carpets(means clean!) and no room service. The food was basic buffet; they had wi-fi, an ironing table on each floor and complimentary gym facility(first time i ever used the hotel gym). The billing was a bit slow but otherwise it was a pleasant experience. I will be looking out for more Ginger hotels on trips to smaller cities.
The highlight of the trip was the visit to Lingaraj Temple. I am not the temple going sorts but I did enjoy the distinct architecture and also payed respects at the Vishwakarma Temple in the complex. Vishwakarma is the god of all craftspeople and since I work with craftspeople all the time I can surely do with some blessings from him!
But what truly blew my mind were the dhoti and angavastra(narrow shawl) clad priests of the temple. Never before have I seen men so comfortable in fuschia pink or lemon yellow!
The taut bodies swayed effortlessly in the brightest colours. I wanted to stay longer in what could have been a perfect setting for a vogue shoot but I had to leave as I had a flight to catch!