Lucky winners of “VIP Trip” enjoy immersive cultural and sporting experience in Odisha

On 16 January 2023, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced that Krzysztof Glodowski (Poland) and Saurabh Vinayak (India) were the lucky winners of the contest organised by FIH and its Global Partner Odisha, where all fans around the world were invited to try their luck, through a simple draw, and win a trip – for two people – to Odisha during the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.

The contest winners Krzysztof Glodowski and Saurabh Vinayak arrived in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on 23 January, along with their guests, Krzysztof’s wife Stefania Glodowska and Saurabh’s mother Rakhi Vinayak, and have been thoroughly enjoying the immersive sporting and cultural experience in the eastern state of India.

The sporting experience has been unparalleled, watching the best teams in the world play their FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 matches at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar. The group were in the stands as Australia, Belgium, Germany and Netherlands played pulsating hockey, and qualified for the World Cup semi-finals, and as Belgium and Germany won their respective semi-finals and qualified for the finals.

During the non-match days in Bhubaneswar, the group has also stayed busy, experiencing the delights that the decked-up city of Bhubaneswar has to offer. Starting with Olly Land that has been a huge hit with local as well as travelling hockey fans, the quartet visited many local attractions, including the international food festival and Ekamra Haat, with visits planned to local temples including the Lingaraj temple on 28 January.

On 26 January the group also travelled to Konark and Puri, two popular tourist destinations 70 kilometres south of Bhubaneswar. In Konark they visited the Sun Temple, which is a Hindu worship site of the Sun God “Surya”. The temple which has stood the test of time, was built in the year 1250 CE, is recognised as a UNESCO heritage site and remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather there every year for the “Chandrabhaga Mela” around the month of February.

Following the visit to Konark the group travelled to Puri, a coastal city hugely popular with tourists from all over the world. The city is known for its pristine beaches, along the shores of the Bay of Bengal sea. After a stroll across the Puri beach the group then visited the Jagannath temple in Puri. The Jagannath Temple is an important Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath, a form of Vishnu – one of the trinity of supreme divinity in Hinduism. The present temple was rebuilt from the tenth century onwards, making it one of the oldest temples in India.

Apart from further culturally immersive experiences in Odisha, the group of lucky winners will also watch the finals of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, before they depart on 30 January, with a lifetime of memories.

FIH would like to thank Odisha state for their hospitality and for their help in making this trip a unique and extremely memorable experience for our lucky winners.