This city by the sea is one of the four main Hindu pilgrim centres in India and is famous for its Lord Jagananath Temple. Millions of devotees flock to this holy place every year to participate in the Rath Yatra or ‘Car Festival’. This annual ritual spreads over the entire summer and monsoon seasons making it the most fruitful to visit Puri.
Golden sunshine, miles of yellow sand, blue waves and white surf… under an umbrella sipping green coconut water… this Puri beach. It is a pleasure to swim here, as the sea is shallow for almost a mile. Very near the beach, huge waves come rolling in – ideal for surf riding.
Places to Visit
Jagannath Temple – This 65-m- high temple has all the richness and plasticity of the Kalinga Style of architecture. It was built in the 12 century during the reign of Chodaganga Deva. Apart from the main temple, smaller shrines of Vimala, Vishnu and Lakshmi, and Ananda Bazar – biggest food market in the world (all within the precincts), merit a visit.
Gundicha Ghar – Also called the Garden House, Gudicha Ghar is near the main temple. It is a much smaller sanctum where Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken by chariot amidst great festivity during the Rath Yatra.
Sakshi Gopal – About 25 km from Puri is this impressive temple with a charming life-size image of the child Krishna or Gopal. Legend relates that once Gopal came down from Vrindaban to give evidence in a dispute between two Brahmins. He fell in love with this beautiful place and stayed on.
Athamala Bridge – An engineering marvel, this 85-m-long bridge was built in the 13 th Century over Madupur stream.
According to tradition, Puri was once a thickly wooded hill inhabited by the Subaras ( Pre-Aryan and Pre- Dravidian tribes).. Major places of tourist attraction nearby are Konark and Bhubaneswar. Konark is famous for its Sun Temple (Black Pagoda), and extinguishly carved, architectural marvel dating back to the 13 th Century. It is built in the form of a chariot of the Sun God, rising dramatically out of the sand dunes on the beach. Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, is also a city of temples and various shrines, built in the splendidly ornate style of this region. Around Bhubaneswar can be found ancient Dhauli Edicts (Buddhist), Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves.
By Air – Nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar (56 km)
By Rail – Puri railway station is a major one links with several important cities of India.
By Road – Well connected by a network of roads to all the major towns of Orissa and the surrounding areas.