Table of Contents
- About Puri
- Things to do in Puri
- How to Plan a trip
- Hotels, Resorts and Homestays
Puri, the Land of Lord Jagannath is an ancient city and a pilgrimage center located around 60 km south of Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa. The city is famous for its 12th-Century Jagannath Temple and is one of the original Char Dham pilgrimage places for Hindus. Additionally, some pristine beaches make this town worth a visit.
Sri Jagannath Puri Temple
The town is synonymous with Sri Jagannath Puri Temple. It is one of the original four ‘dhams’ in the Char Dham yatra undertaken by many Hindus to attain salvation. Lord Jagannath is a form of Lord Vishnu. While most Hindu temples have idols made from stone or metal, the image of Lord Jagannath is made from wood. This is replaced every twelve or nineteen years through a ceremony called Brahmaparivartan. Three deities are worshipped here – Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra (elder brother). Sri Jagannath Puri Temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival where these three deities are pulled on huge decorated chariots.
Interesting (Unbelievable) Facts about Sri Puri Jagannath Temple
- We all know that a flag flutters in the direction of the wind. However, the flag mounted atop the Jagannath Temple flows in the opposite direction to the wind without any scientific explanation.
- Every day, a priest climbs the walls of the temple to change the flag atop the temple dome. The height is equivalent to that of a 45-storey building. This is done without any protective gear. It is believed that if the ritual is skipped even for a day, the temple will have to be kept closed for 18 years.
- The Jagannath Temple has no shadow at all! In no direction, at any time of the day.
- There is a Sudarshan Chakra at the dome of the temple weighing about one tonne. Without modern machines, it is a mystery how it was placed there.
- Locals say that they have never encountered a bird above the dome of the temple.
- While the number of people visiting the temple varies between 2,000 and 200,000 every day, the prasadam prepared is never wasted – not even a bite!
Things to do in Puri
Here are some interesting things to do in this temple town:
- Visit the Sri Jagannath Temple – Apart from the religious significance, visiting the Sri Jagannath Temple is an experience one must not miss. Try to go there early in the morning and soak in the atmosphere, as people throng to the temple for ‘darshan’.
- Explore the numerous east coast beaches – There are many beaches in Puri including one of the cleanest beaches in India – the Puri Beach, the lesser-known but amazingly beautiful Balighai Beach, the exotic Baleshwar Beach with a forest cover.
- Visit the Chilika Lake – This is Asia’s largest inland saltwater lagoon and India’s biggest coastal lagoon. It spreads across an area of more than 1000 square kilometers and is home to the Irrawady Dolphins. It also attracts exotic migratory birds from different parts of the world.
- Visit the Raghurajpur Craft Village – Your trip cannot be complete without visiting the famous Raghurajpur Craft Village to witness some mesmerizing local art and craft.
Tourist Places to visit in Puri
Here are some tourist places in Puri:
- Puri Beach: This beach is quite close to the Puri Jagannath Temple and has gained popularity as one of the cleanest beaches in India. While the sunrise and sunset at this beach can be memorable, the local street food can surely create a memory that you will cherish forever.
- Atharnala Bridge: A good place for a day picnic with some amazing views of the Jagannath Temple. There are around 18 picturesque arches creating a perfect location to soak in nature. Keep your camera gears handy.
- Sudarshan Crafts Museum: Head to this museum to look at traditional artwork and sculptures on display. You can also indulge in some arts and crafts courses offered by the museum.
- Astaranga Beach: This is a white sand beach with one of the best sunsets in the area.
- Loknath Temple: This is a unique temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Shiva Lingam is submerged under the River Ganga and is removed once a year on Pandokhar Ekadasi for worshipping.
Places to visit near Puri
If you are in town for a few days, book an affordable outstation car rentals service in Puri and take a trip to some tourist places nearby which are worth a visit:
- Raghurajpur: Located at a distance of around 10 km, Raghurajpur is well-known around the world for its Pattachitra paintings. These paintings are made on palm leaves using natural colors. Also, the subject of the paintings is usually based on Hindu mythology.
- Konark: Located at a distance of around 38 km, Konark is home to the iconic Sun Temple – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ancient temples are spread across the town with some beautiful beaches.
- Chilika Lake: Located at a distance of around 40 km, this is Asia’s biggest saltwater lake. It has a wide range of flora and fauna making it ideal for nature lovers.
- Pipili: Located at a distance of around 38 km, Pipili is known as the cultural hotpot of Orissa. You can buy some beautiful local handicrafts.
Places to Eat in Puri
Here are some famous places to eat in Puri:
- Honey Bee Bakery & Pizzeria, Chakra Tirtha Road – A laid back café
- The Gajapati, Chakra Tirtha Road – Indian and Chinese cuisine
- Wildgrass, VIP Road – Local seafood specialties
- Chung Wah, VIP Road – Authentic Chinese food
- Radhika, New Marine Drive Road – Indian vegetarian dishes
- Ocean Café, Hans Coco Palms, New Marine Drive Road – For an amazing barbecue on the beach
- Bhojohori Manna, Gopal Ballabh Road – Local delicacies
How to Plan a Trip
How to Reach Puri
Here is how you can reach the pilgrimage town of Puri:
- By Train – Puri is the last railway station on the East Coast Railway route. It is well-connected to major cities in India. In fact, many cities have special direct trains to the city for visiting Sri Jagannath Temple.
- By Road – Puri has good road connectivity with most cities in the region. You can reach Puri from the following cities with ease:
- Bhubaneswar to Puri Car Rentals – The distance between the two cities is around 70 km. Book a Bhubaneswar to Puri cab and reach your destination in 1.5 hours.
- From Cuttack – The distance between the two cities is around 80-85 km and can be covered within 2 hours by road.
- From Kolkata– The distance between the two cities is around 500 km. Book a Kolkata to Puri cab and reach your destination in 10 hours.
- By Flight – The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar that is at a distance of around 70 km. You can book a Bhubaneswar airport taxi and reach within 1.5 hours.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the temple town is from October to February. During this period, the weather is pleasant and cool. This is also the peak season for tourism since you can unwind at the beaches. The annual Rath Yatra takes place during the months of June and July. Hence, if you are planning to witness it, then you should plan accordingly. Summers are very hot with temperatures ranging from 40 to 45 degrees. The city receives heavy rain and intermittent thunderstorms during the monsoon months from June to September.
Puri Jagannath Temple Timings
You can visit Sri Jagannath Temple from Monday to Saturday between 5 AM and 11 PM. The temple is closed on Sundays. The best time to visit Jagannath Temple is early mornings when the temple opens.
Sri Jagannath Puri Dress Code
While visiting Sri Jagannath Temple, it is recommended that you follow this dress code:
- Men – Formal clothes. Shorts and other informal attire are not welcomed.
- Women – Saree or Salwar Kameez. Short tops and other informal attire are not welcomed.
Hotels in Puri
Here are some popular hotels for a memorable stay:
- Mayfair Heritage, Chakra Tirtha Road
- Mayfair Waves, Chakra Tirtha Road
- Pride Ananya Resort, VIP Road
- The Hans Coco Palms, New Marine Drive Road
- NRS Royal Palace, Sipasarubali
- Sterling Puri, Sipasarubali
- Pramod Convention & Beach Resort, C.T. Road
- Toshali Sands Nature Escape, Puri Marine Drive
- Hotel Pramod House of Classics, Station Road
Best Road-trips to Puri
|Bhubaneswar to Puri||63 km||1 hours and 30 minutes|
|Konark to Puri||39 km||1 hours and 08 minutes|
|Digha to Puri||344 km||7 hours and 28 minutes|