Puri

Puri in Odisha (Orissa) is a major pilgrim centre in India, the perfect destination for headstrong devotees and almost all the believers in religion make it a point to explore Puri. At a distance of 60 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, Puri in Odisha (Orissa) is visited by several tourists for religious reasons as well as for other attractions. You have the holy Jagannath temple that adds significance to Puri tourism. And for Vaishnavas, Puri is one of the 'Char Dham' that every Hindu aspires to visit more than once in a lifetime. Puri, the city by the sea, is also famous for its Golden Beach, ideal for swimming and surfing. Adi Shankara founded one of the Peethas here.

The fame of Puri emanates most from world-famous Shri Jagannath Temple - the home of Bhagwan Jagannath or Lord of the Universe. It is one of the most impressing monuments of the Indian State Odisha (Orissa). Shri Jagannath Temple Puri was built by a famous king of Ganga Dynasty Ananta Varman Chodaganga Deva in the 12th century AD at the seashore Puri Odisha. It depicts all the richness and plasticity of Kalinga style of architecture. This astounding Vaishnava temple enshrines Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Balabhadra. Its majestic structure of 65 metres stands on its elevated platform in the heart of the city. Its swirling pinnacle commands the landscape for miles around. Within its precincts are the smaller temples of Vimala, Lakshmi, Vishnu and innumerable Gods and Goddesses and the Ananda Bazar, the world's biggest food market.

In Jagannath Puri, idol was constructed by Lord Vishnu with the help of wooden logs. Jagannath Temple in Odisha (Orissa) entails four entrance gates that are called as Singhadwara, Ashwadwara, Hathidwara and Vyaghradwara. All four names refer to lion, horse, elephant and tiger. Come to visit the temple in Puri and you will get the best accommodation in Deep Resort very close to Puri Beach.

Puri is also famous for its annual Rath Yatra or Car Festival in which the images of Lord Jagannath, worshipped by Hindus, along with Subhadra and Balabhadra, roam around the city in a very royal manner. Thousands of visitors come to Puri to experience this eye-catching scene that is viewed once in a year. Most of the sightseeing in Puri is related to enthralling beaches, 'Mathas' and holy sites. There are myriad monuments that are worth watching. They include Gundicha Temple Puri, Shyamakali Temple Puri, Daskhina Kali Mandir Puri, Pancha Tirtha Temple Puri, Shri Loknath Temple Puri and the list goes on. Gundicha Temple is a small sanctum about 2 km from the main temple, where the idols are taken during Rath Yatra for a week's sojourn.

It has been observed that over the years, Puri tourism has tremendously and continuously accelerated because of an array of festivals - Konark Festival, Puri Beach Festival, Chandan Yatra, Sahi Yatra, Sriksetra Mohoshav, Gundicha Utshav etc, all have immensely contributed to the tourism in Puri.

How to Reach: Puri is 60 km from Bhubaneswar by road and 35 km from Konark on Marine Drive. It has direct trains from Calcutta, New Delhi, Tirupati and Ahmedabad.