Location: Located 60 Km from Bhubaneswar, Orrisa.
Tourist Attractions: Jagannath Temple, Gundicha Ghar, Puri Beach, Temple of Child Krishna at Indradyumna Tank, Atharnala Bridge, Raghurajpur Sakhi Gopal, Konark, Chilika Lake.
Best Buys: Handicraft Items, Appliques, Shell Products, Handloom Sarees.
Best Hangouts: Enjoy a day at Chilika Lake, watching the aquatic beauty and the dolphins.
Best Activities: Walk by the seashore, sipping on hot tea or tender coconut for a heavenly experience
Nearest Tourist Destinations: Bhubaneswar, Konark
When to Visit: October to April (Pleasant climatic conditions) & June-July for the Rath-Yatra.
Festivals: Rath Yatra(Jun-July), Beach Festival(Late March), Nava Kalebara
Puri, also known as "Sri Purusottama Dham" is a sacrosanct centre for Hindus all over the globe for the Jagannath temple and is also known for the good stretch of the beautiful white sand beaches on Bay of Bengal. Thousands of pilgrims visit Puri for the Lord Jagannath temple and the annual Rath yatra festival. The beatifying effect of the temples, wide beaches that offer scenic view of sunrise and sunset, traditional fishing farms where the clasical old methods of fishing are used by the local fishermen and fabulous resorts and hotels makes it a distinctive tourist destination. Overall the calm and cool nature of the locals here makes Puri a peaceful getaway.
Major Tourist Attractions in Puri
The Jagannath Temple
The majestic temple of Jagannath is a major attraction for the tourists visiting Puri. The Jagannath Temple is one of the four most important Hindu pilgrimage sites or the Char Dham, alongwith Dwarka, Badrinath and Rameshwaram. This 65-meter high structure was built in 12th century and stands in the Nilgiri Hills. The Nata Mandir and the Bhoga Mandir were built in the 14th and 15th century. The meals in temple are made out of the donated raw materials only. Non-Hindus cannot enter the Jagannatha temple. This is strictly enforced.
The Gundicha temple is another important site to visit in Puri. This temple is said to be the home of Lord Krishna's aunt 'Gundicha'. A myth goes that the Lord stays here for 9 days during the Rath yatra in Puri. During the Rath Yatra, Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are ceremoniously taken in lavishly designed wooden chariot (Rath) from the Jagannath temple to Gundicha Ghar. At the house, the aunt welcomes them by offering them the padoapitha (rice cakes).
Temple of Child Krishna at Indradyumna Tank
The Indradyumna Tank, famous for being related to Lord Krishna, has a small shrine dedicated to King Indradyumna of Orissa. There is a temple of Child Krishna nearby too. It is one of the five sacred lakes of Puri and is situated on the north western part of the Gundicha temple.
Asia's largest freshwater lake (spread in 1100 sq km area) is situated 50 kilometers from Puri. Dotted with many emerald green islands with colorful names such as 'honeymoon islands' and 'Breakfast island', Chilika is home to a rich variety of aquatic fauna. The thrilling sight of dolphins round the year and abundance of migratory birds in winter make it an ideal place for vacations.
Situated 35 km from Puri, Konark is home to the Sun Temple, also called the Black Pagoda. Konark is a must visit for its historical and architectural importance. The Konark beach is said to be one of the finest and most romantic beaches on the eastern coast.
Air: Puri can be reached by air as its nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar, 56 km away. Regular buses and trains service is available from Bhubaneswar to Puri.
Rail: Puri railway station is a major railway station and is well connected with almost all the major cities of India.
Road: Puri is connected with Bhubaneshwar, Konark, Berhampur, Taptapani, Sambalpur and Kolkata by road.
One can pick from a range of luxury and budget hotels in Puri. Besides, star categorized hotels around, Puri offer excellent view of the
landmarks through their suites. Most of the places to stay in Puri are located in the pilgrim centers or near the railway station.