If you have made it this far to the remote corner of India, then you will probably want to check some nearby places. The best way to do that is to hire a car. Obviously more expensive but at least then you get to decide where you want to go and for how long. A lot of the nearby places on the tour bus itinerary are duds.
Kishor Tours and Travels on CT Road (near Vishal Plaza) is a good choice. Rs 1,700 for three people, air conditioned, 12 hours.
The top of their brochure reads, "When Our Hearts Are Empty We Collect Things."
We travelled by the (12277) Duronto Express from Howrah (Kolkata) to Puri on 27-Jan-2013. We had booked by 2 AC Chair car. Having just travelled by Duronto from Pune to Kolkata, we had expected a spanking clean chair car. We were however shocked to see the filthy state of the coach, with debris and trash all over the floors and dirty smelly washrooms. I checked with the ticket collector and he made some wishy-washy excuse about how the sweepers got very little time to clean up the car. Be as it may, the sweepers did swing by eventually and clean the coach after we were well under way. The washrooms too were flushed and cleaned about half way down the journey.
Other than that, the train left on time and arrived in Puri on time. We did get standard meals in the journey (is a part of the ticket price) which was about average in taste and quality.
On disembarking at Puri, we elected to travel in a three-wheeler to the hotel. We had lots of luggage with us and were three people, but the extra-large sized rickshaw fitted us with elan and charged us ~40% less to get us to our destination
The OTDC bus is very efficient and good like VOLVO buses, this bus is made by the TATAs of India ( The current owner of Jaguar and Land Rover, a very big house), very comfortable, airconditioned and with a guide. We hired the bus for a full day. Otherwise you can buy daily seighseeing bus from various centres of Bhubaneshwar and Puri. The day trip includes, Puri, Konarak, Chandrabhaga beach, udaygiri, Khandaygiri, Japanese Pagoda etc. Fare rs.Rs350/- or USD7 for the day!
PURI IS EASYLY APPROACHABLE BY AIR, ROAD AND RAIL FROM ALL PARTS OF INDIA. THERE ARE FOUR DIRECT TRAINS FROM CALCUTTA DURING THE DAY. PURI IS ALSO CONNECTED BY AIR VIA BHUBANESHWAR. BHUBANESHWAR IS CONNECTED TO CALCUTTA, NEW DELHI, BOMBAY, HYDERABAD BY AIR. THERE IS AN EXCELLENT ROAD CONNECTING TO PURI FROM BHUBANESHWAR(60KM). FROM BHUBANESHWAR YOU CAN TAKE A CAR(ABOUT RS700/-), BUS(RS.100/-), TRAIN (RS60/-).
FROM CALCUTTA THE FARE IS ABOUT RS.300/- 3TIER NON A/C AND ABOUT RS1200/- FOR 2ND A/C ACCOMODATION.
Please notice the cleanliness of Puri Jn. it is just contrast to our Howrah Jn. But from Howrah everyday about 4million embark/ disembark!!! It has to make lot of effort to keep her clean!!
To get to Konark, which is about 35km away, I took a small bus from the eastern end of Grand Road which is the broad road where the Jagannath Temple is located (although this is at the western end). The journey takes you through a few villages and along a bit of the coast and over Nau river. It takes about an hour and costs Rs25. As the bus is small, I had to squeeze my legs in at an angle whilst sitting down, it does get awfully full up so bear this in mind.
To get to Puri I took a bus from outside the Orissa State Museum in Bhubaneswar on Lewis Rd. This was handy as it was close to my hotel in Bhubaneswar, the Hotel Pushpak, and also as it saved me going all the way to the main bus station which is little way out from the city centre. The journey to Puri takes 1.25hrs and it costs Rs25. The bus arrives on the busy broad Grand Road in Puri from where you can take a cycle or auto rickshaw to the hotels along the beach.
Train is the Best Way....
2837 HWH PURI EXP HOWRAH JN 22:35 to PURI 07:20
8409 SRI JAGANNATH EXP HOWRAH JN 19:00 to PURI 04:30
AC 1st Class: Rs. 1489
AC 2tier Class: Rs. 880
AC 3tier Class: Rs. 641
Sleeper Class: Rs. 247
2838 PURI HWH EXP PURI 20:05 to HOWRAH JN 04:50
8410 SRI JAGANNATH EXP PURI 22:30 to HOWRAH JN 08:10