One of the Char Dhams in India, Puri’s popularity as a religious destination has been a blessing for Puri tourism. The city revolves around the great Jagannath Mandir and the Rath Yatra for its Hindu visitors. And even if you have different beliefs, there is no reason to skip visiting Puri. Along with its temples, the city offers a wonderful coastline where visitors can experience the ocean and its Creator from a close distance.
|Puri Tourism: A Quick View of the City|
|Population||201,026 (as of 2011)|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR)|
|Time Zone||GMT +5:30 (IST)|
As you explore Puri, make sure you do not miss out on these sights.
One of the major reasons for the blooming tourism in Puri is the magnificent temples it houses. The Konark Sun Temple, built by the King Narasimhadeva in 1250, is a beautiful example of Orissa’s architectural heritage. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, it is renowned for exquisite stone carvings along its entire structure. Then there is the Shree Jagannath Temple, an even more ancient structure. Built in 1198, the shrine is dedicated to Jagannath, an incarnation of Vishnu, Lord of the Universe. It is designed in the Kalinga style of architecture and is believed to be the symbol of universal peace. The Rath Yatra concludes every year at its premises where thousands of devotees throng to the temple.
The city’s proximity to the Bay of Bengal is a gift for locals and visitors alike. Out of the places to visit in Puri, its beaches are a must-visit after the beautiful temples. The first Asian beach to receive a Blue Flag certification, Puri beach is one of the most popular sites in the region. Its choppy waters make it perfect for surfing enthusiasts and visitors can stroll, browse pearls and seashell souvenirs, or marvel at the splendid sand sculptures. And if you wish to experience a relatively more peaceful atmosphere, you could head to the Balighai beach. Located only 8 km away from Puri, you could try your hand at parasailing or water skiing. And a barely known fact about this beach is that you will find Olive Ridley turtles laying their eggs in the sand during the months of December and January. A tempting view for nature lovers.
Once you have finished visiting all of Puri’s famous places, do not miss out on the neighbouring sights awaiting you. 50 km away from Puri is Chilika Lake, Asia’s biggest inland salt-water lagoon. The lake is dotted with small islands of lush green natural beauty and is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a narrow neck of land. The flocks of migratory birds make the winter months a great time to visit the lake. Follow this with a visit to Raghurajpur village, 15 km away from Puri. It is set against a picturesque backdrop of lush green and tropical trees along the bank of the Bhargavi River. The fascinating thing about this place is that every household here is involved in some form of handicrafts. These include its specialty Pattachitra paintings along with stone carvings, wood carvings and wooden toys. You could browse through the painted murals on the houses, and even buy a few pieces as souvenirs for your home.
Odia cuisine is as flavourful as any other Indian region, but its specialty lies in its seafood. The prawns and pomfrets cooked with a hint of spices are particularly famous. Bidesi Ghara is a traditional fish-lover’s paradise with dishes like doi ilish (fish in a curd gravy) and kosha mangsho (pan-fried mutton). You could also try savouring the food at roadside shacks for an authentic experience. Its most popular dish is chudaghasa, which is flat rice blended with jaggery and curd. And the highlight for every visitor coming to Puri is the bite of mahaprasad or bhog at Ananda Bazaar, which is first offered to Lord Jagannath and then distributed amongst the devotees. Finally, all of this can be washed down with the green coconut water, locally called paida.
The district headquarters of Puri district, the city is located on the Bay of Bengal, 60 km south of the state capital Bhubaneshwar.
As the temperatures fluctuate between 16 o C and 28 o C in the winter months (October to February), a visit to Puri at this time is ideal for those looking for a pleasant trip. Although the monsoons (June to September) show heavy rainfall, the city attracts thousands of devotees who come to pay their offerings to Lord Jagannath during the Rath Yatra. The temperature ranges between a stable 27 o C to 31 o C making for a comfortable climate. Summers can be an extreme ordeal with scorching heat and temperatures reaching as high as 45 o C. The city is best avoided from March to May.
By Air – The closest airport to the city is the Biju Patnaik International Airport at the state capital Bhubaneshwar which is located 60 km away from Puri.
By Rail – Puri railway station is connected to Kolkatta and Khurda by a broad-gauge line of the South Eastern Railways.
By Road – The city is linked to Bhubaneshwar via NH 203 and NH 203 B connects Puri with Satapada via Brahmagiri.
Puri has had different names since the ancient period, but all historical records revolve around the historic Jagannath Temple. The temple was built by the King Indradyumna Ujjayni in 318 AD after priests and servitors spirited away the idols to escape the wrath of the Rashtrakuta king Rakatavahu. The medieval and early modern periods saw the city and its temple being invaded 18 times to loot the treasures of the temple. Later, the city was part of British India from 1803 till India attained independence in 1947.
With great food, great people and its ever-present temples and beaches, Puri tourism is going to keep growing. So, don’t miss out and do make the most of it!
Indian Rupee (INR)
The Puri tourism is under the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation, a wing of Orissa Ministry of Tourism. There are many places to visit in Puri as tourism packages available which will cater to the requirement. The tourism website has detailed information about everything related to Puri tours, including the detailed Puri tourism guide. Online or manual bookings of these packages are available throughout the year and can be booked from any part of the world.
The place had once been the home of the Pre Dravidian and Pre Aryan inhabitants, thus, a rich legacy is left behind, reflected all throughout this quaint town. This is one of the unique things about this place, it has one foot firmly in the past, while the other one is in the present. Therefore, you will find old structures juxtaposed beautifully against modern buildings of hotels, apartments and other structures.
Every year, hundreds of Hindu devotees Travel to Puri in order to visit this holy city of Lord Jagannath. However, even as a non-devotee you can go on a Trip to this place to enjoy its amazing beach. Puri boasts of one of the best beaches in the country. The golden, sun kissed beach is a great draw for tourists, who make a beeline to soak up the abundant sun. However, on the flip side, Puri Tours are a great tourist attraction, which leads to the beach being crowded overwhelmingly. If you can beat the crowd, you can enjoy the this Tour.
Puri Holidays are a great way to sit idly on the beach all day long and breathe in the salty, balmy sea breeze. Puri Travel Packages are therefore immensely popular amidst tourists.
Puri Vacation packages also reach peak fervor during the Rath Yatra, where the chariot of Lord Jagannath is driven across the sea side city. Hundreds of tourists visit the city to glimpse the event. Go on Puri Vacation packages to enjoy the sun and the beach.