The Place : The small coastal city of Puri is known all over the world as the seat of Lord Jagannath literally meaning the Lord of the Universe. Situated at a distance of 60 kms. From Bhubaneswar, Puri is considered to be one of the four most sacred places for the Hindus, because of the shrine of Lord Jagannath.
The magnificent 192 ft. high, 12th century A.D. temple of Jagannath is one of the finest specimens of Orissan architecture. The temple and the deities enshrined are revered by millions of pilgrims coming to seek Lord?s blessings. Despite being closed for the non-Hindus, Jagannath continues to attract scholars of Oriental studies from all over the world.
Besides the historic Jagannath Temple (Srimandir), the wide spread, beautiful, sandy sea beach sacred tanks like Narendra, decorated art of deities, traditional dance and music, cultural festivals, the hamlets of traditional artists and variety of handicrafts are few veritable feasts to the eyes of tourists. The hamlets like Chitrakar Sahi, Pathuria Sahi, Kundheibenta Sahi are the home of numerous artisans and craftsmen who produce rare and exquisite handicrafts of large variety.
Sri Jagannath Temple
The main temple, a majestic structure of 65 metres high, stands on an elevated platform in the heart of the city ? its swirling pinnacle commanding the landscape for the miles around. It is a monument of the 12th century A.D. with all the richness and plasticity of the Kalinga style of architecture. Apart from the main temple one can see within its precincts a host of other smaller temples including Goddess Vimala, Laxmi and Vishnu and Ananda Bazar, a unique restaurant of the world.
The other notable shrines like Gundicha, Lokanath, Sonar Gourange, Siddha Bakul, Gambhira Math, Chakratirtha and tanks like Narendra, Swetaganga, Markandeya, Indradyumna, etc are worth visiting.
The festival of chariots known as the Ratha Yatra, an annual ritual spreading over the entire summer and monsoon months, makes Puri attractive and enjoyable for the tourists. The Hindu new year beginning in Mid April heralds the summer and is the season for the famous Chandan yatra at Puri. The Chalanti Pratimas or moving images of the deities take a ritual boat ride after a refreshing bath in fragrant sandal wood scented water. This is followed by Snana Yatra, literally the festival of bath, in which the main images are installed on the bathing platform and given a ceremonial bath. The Lords then convalesce inside the sanctum sanctorum, closed to public view. During theis period the devotees have to be satisfied with a darshan of images of the Lords on cloth paintings or Pattachitra especially made for the purpose. Then comes the annual journey of the three deities, on grand chariots to their garden house ? ?GUNDICHA?. On the way their aunt feeds them with Podapitha (specially baked rice cakes). The deities on reaching Shri Gundicha give darshan to countless devotees everyday and after a lapse of 8 days, return to the main temple riding their chariots. Apart from this, tourist festivals like Shreekshetra Ustav & Beach Festival are also great attraction for the tourists.
Puri offers a rare opportunity to the tourists to witness the colourful sunrise and sunset on the same beach where they can bathe and laze for hours on the golden sands. One can also see and enjoy traditional fishermen in hundreds, plying their catamarans or sail boats and drawing into their nets a rich catch of prawn, pomfrets and other fishes on this long and wide beach extending for miles. The roadside hotels and stalls offer the best sea food delicacies to the tourists.
The grand road, as it is called, is ideal for a leisurely stroll and shopping for souvenirs and mementoes. Typical Puri handicrafts include miniature stone sculptures, woodcarvings, seashell items, patta paintings on cloth canvas and colorful appliqu? work. One can also pick up these pieces from Art and Craft Museum, Sun Crafts, Utkalika and other many of the shop?s located in around Sargadwar, literally, the Gateway to Heaven.
All type of Hotels, Resorts, Holiday Homes are available.
OTDC Assistance: -
Website : http://www.orissatourism.gov.in and http://www.otdc.in
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tourist Office, CT Road, Puri – 752002, Tel : 06752-222664,
Tourist Counter, Railway Station Puri, Tel : 223536.
Tourist Office, New Bus Stand,
Pin – 760004, Tel: (0680) 2280226
Tourist Counter, Railway Station, Pin – 760004, Tel: 2203870
Tourist Office, Jayadev Marg, Pin – 751002, Tel : 0674-2431299,
Tourist Counter, Airport, Tel : 2534006,
Tourist Counter, Railway Station, Tel : 2530715,
India Tourism, B-21, B.J.B Nagar, Pin – 751014, Tel : 2432203.
Tourist Office, Utkalika, B/4 – Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi, Pin – 110001,
Telefax – 011-23364580.
Tourist Office, Utkal Bhawan,
55, Lenin Sarani, Kolkata, Pin – 700013,
Tourist Office, Tamilnadu Tourism Complex, Near Kalaivanar Arangam, Wallajah Road,
Pin – 600002, Telefax: 044-25360891.
Tourist Office, Hotel New Bengal, Near Crawford Market, D.N. Road, Pin – 400001, Tel : 022-23401951.
(Content Source – Courtesy Orissa Tourism Development Corporation)
State : Orrisa
Season : Throughout the year
How to Reach :
Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport – 60 km Indian Airlines has flights from Delhi, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai. Sahara Airlines has flights from Hyderabad with connectivity facilities to all other important cities. Air Deccan and some other flight operators operates between Kolkata & Bhubaneswar.
A terminus on the East Coast Railway having fast and superfast train links with New Delhi, Kolkata and Baidyanath Dham (Okha), Ahmedabad, Tirupati, etc.
60 km by road from Bhubaneswar. One can also approach by road via Konark through the Marine Drive covering about 100 kms.
Nearest Railway Station : Puri
Nearest Airport : Bhubaneswar
Local Watchables :
Balighai (8 km)
Sea Beach and Sea Turtle Research Centre
Baliharachandi (27 km)
Shrine of Harachandi on the desolate sand dunes and a nice picnic spot.
Beleswar (15 km)
Shrine of Lord Beleswar Shiva on the sea beach.
Brahmagiri (25 km)
Shrine of Lord Alaranath, worshipped as Jagannath during ‘Anavasar’.
Raghurajpur (14 km)
Artisan village & centre for unique ‘Gotipua’ dance.
Sakshigopal (20 km)
Shrine of Lord Sakshigopal and Samadhi of Panchasakha, freedom fighters monument.
Satpada (50 km)
A scenic spot on Chilika, ideal for bird watching & viewing Irawady Dolphins.