About Puri

One of the four must-visit pilgrimage sites for Hindus (Char-Dham), Puri is a beach city with its most famous attraction as the Jagannath temple. Known as the resting place of Lord Shiva, Puri in the state of Orissa is situated alongside the coast of Bay of Bengal. This town is home to one of the most sacred temples in Hindu mythology, the Jagannath Temple. The majestic history and heritage of Puri date back to the 3rd century B. C. Puri, Konark and Bhubaneshwar complete the Golden Triangle of Orissa, with their religious significance and cultural heritage being the centres of tourism in this state. There are a lot of places near Puri that one must visit, like the Chilika lake, Puri beach, Gundicha Ghar and the very famous Sun temple of Konark. Puri is soon turning into an industrial hub with major manufacturing companies coming here. The Rath Yatra(chariot festival) which takes place during the month of June-July should not be missed if you are planning to visit during this time.

Place to must visit in Puri


Places to Visit in Puri

Travellers are preffering these places in Puri

Experience Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Distance: 2 kms

Sri Jagannath Puri Temple

Located in the sacred town of Puri, the Jagannath Temple or the pride of India was built in the 11th century by King Indradyumna. This glorious temple is the abode of Lord Jagannath who is a form of Lord Vishnu. It is the most revered pilgrimage site for Hindus and is included in the pious Char Dham Yatra with Badrinath, Dwarka and Rameshwaram. Apart from the main shrine that rises high, many minor temples within the complex will make you feel like you have entered God's home itself. The splendid Oriya architecture of the Jagannath Puri Temple is an icing on the cake. The four gates are beautifully designed with intricate carvings. The scrumptious Mahaprasad of the temple is something you should not miss. In one of the largest kitchens of India, the lip-smacking food is cooked in earthen pots for thousands every day and offered to devotees. The vibrant religious festivals of the town allures tourists in large numbers. The most awaited of them is the Rath Yatra celebrated with immense gusto. The colourful ambience, interesting rituals, vim and vigour of the pilgrims is worth witnessing. Be it the sanctity, the delicious food, the serenity or the exuberance towards God, Jagannath Puri temple seems to tick all the boxes and hence, is a place worth including on your bucket list.

Experience Time: 1-3 hours

Distance: 4 kms

Puri Beach

Puri Beach is a fine coastline of the Bay of Bengal with the sun gleaming on the pristine waters of the beach. Located at a mere distance of 35 km from the Sun Temple, the place is ideal for holiday makers looking for some solitude. It is often flocked with devotees visiting the beach for a purification dip who come to Puri to pay their homage to Lord Jagannath. The beach is also renowned for the sand sculptures made by internationally known sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik. The sculptures are usually inspired by the art covering the temple walls or other mythological character or episode. The most entrancing time at the beach is during sunrise and sunset. Adorned with fine white sand and crystal clear water, Puri Beach is quite renowned for its peaceful and calm surroundings. You can get a taste of the local life of Puri as well, as it is a favourite haunt of the natives of this place. Tourists can easily distinguish the local fishermen by their triangular straw hats and dhotis. These fishermen also serve as the lifeguards on the beach and take visitors out in the sea on their boats to look at the mesmerising sunset. The stretch on the Chakratirtha side is much more tranquil and pleasant for a long stroll, and if you're feeling a little adventurous you can also go into the waters for a swim.

Experience Time: 1 - 2 hrs (temple visit),

Distance: 2 kms

Jagannath Rath Yatra

Jagannath Rath Yatra is one of the most awaited and much-celebrated festival in Orissa as well as countrywide. It is dedicated to Lord Jagannath i.e. Lord Krishna, his sister Goddess Subhadra and his elder brother Lord Balabhadra. Commonly known as Gundicha Yatra, Dasavatara, Chariot Festival or Navadina Yatra, it is celebrated every year in the month of June or July. For this, the Puri Rath Yatra sees 4-5 lakh pilgrims every year. Indians, as well as foreigners, flock in large numbers to get a glimpse of the idols in the chariot. It is believed that those who manage to get a glimpse of the idols will have a prosperous year ahead. The Yatra begins when three richly decorated chariots resembling temple structures are pulled through the streets of Badadanda in Puri. Devotees from all over the world assemble in Puri with an earnest desire to help pull the Lords' chariots along with the priests and their fellow devotees. This is considered to be a pious deed, and people even risk their lives in the huge crowd for the chance to serve the Lord. This is the only day when devotees who are not allowed in the temple premises, such as non-Hindus and foreigners, can get their glimpse of the deities. The huge processions accompanying the chariots play devotional songs with drums, tambourines, trumpets and other such instruments, making this procession a vibrant affair. The Ratha carts themselves are some approximately 45 feet (14 m) high and are pulled by the thousands who congregate at Puri for this annual event from all over the country and abroad.

Experience Time: 2 to 3 hours

Distance: 53 kms

Chilika Lake

The Chilika Lake, which is a paradise on Earth for bird watchers and nature lovers, is the largest internal salt water pond that can be found in Asia. The pear-shaped lake is dotted with a few small islands and has fisheries and salt pans around its shore. This island is nestled in the heart of coastal Odisha and extends from Puri district in the north to Ganjan district in the south, and is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a 60 kilometres long narrow strip of sand-flats and marshy islands. The Chilika Lake also houses the most accommodating ecosystems in the world, which means that a wide assortment of flora and fauna can be spotted here. The lake offers a flamboyant display of a myriad of avian charms in all diverse hues and colours, ranging from the white-bellied sea eagles to flamingos, and from golden plovers to sand pipers. The dynamic variety of birds: both native and migratory ones, is not the only marvel at display here. The enthralling lake also offers scenic views of sunrise and sunset and a host of other options to choose from. Attractions such as the Bird Island, Breakfast Island and Honeymoon Island are also frequented by tourists who visit the Chilika Lake. The lake also boasts of being one of the only two sites in the world where the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins can be spotted. The decent and affordable lodges available here are an added cherry on this already delightful cake. Visit this bewitching lake to spend a day in nature's company and experience tranquillity like never before.

Experience Time: 1 hour

Distance: 1 kms

Narendra Tank

Narendra Tank is one of the largest tanks in Odisha and is believed to have been built during the 15th century. This tank is considered holy and has a lot of small and big temples surrounding it. There is an island in the middle of the lake with a small temple called Chandana Mandapa.

Experience Time:

Distance: 3 kms

Lokanath Temple

According to a legend popular in Orissa, long ago, Puri was a centre of Shiva worship. According to this legend, Lord Ramachandra himself installed the Lingam in the Lokanath Temple. This lingam is always submerged with water, which substantiates the legend that Goddess Ganga flows through the top of the shivalinga as a stream. It can only be seen on Pankodhar Ekadasi, before Shivaratri, when the water is removed from the lingam. On that day, thousands of devotees come for a darshan.

Experience Time: 1 hour

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Markandeswara Temple

Assumed to have been constructed during the 13th century, Markandeswara temple is known for its magnificent architectural and artistic essence. The entrance of the temple is adorned with a figure of Nataraja with ten arms. The tiny figurines of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha are intricately detailed and are placed in the niches of the main shrine. The corners of the temple have shrines of Lord Shiva in different avatars. Overall, the temple, in all the grandeur of its past glory is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Puri.

Experience Time:

Distance: 2 kms

Lakshmi Temple

Situated near the Jagannath Temple, this is a very important temple owing to the beliefs around the history of this structure. It is believed that the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati happened on the sixth day of the fortnight of Jyeshta and they were invited to this temple by Goddess Lakshmi. This temple is a must-visit for all tourists and devotees in Puri.

Experience Time: 1 hour

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Ganesh Temple

Inside the famous Jagannath temple complex in Puri, is situated a small Ganesh temple, housing an exclusive image of Ganesh known as Natya Ganesh i.e. Dancing Ganesh. Inside the famous Jagannath temple complex in Puri, is situated a small Ganesh temple, consisting of an exclusive image of Ganesha known as Natya Ganesh i.e. Dancing Ganesh. The temple has great archaeological significance. In spite of its small size, every year large number of devotees offer their prayers. History reveals that the idol is gifted by the King of Kanchi. The Jagannath temple complex comprises of many other temples dedicated to gods Hanuman, Surya, Saraswati, Vimala. In front of the Ganesh temple, a small water-pot built up of stones known as Rohinikund is also present.

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Raghurajpur Artist Village

Raghurajpur village is a heritage crafts village near Puri, known for Pattachitra paintings, as well as other art forms like palm leaf engraving, wood and stone carvings, papier mache and Gotipua folk dance, the predecessor of classical Odissi dance style. The village is also the only place where the traditional decoration for Lord Jagannath's throne, called Patas, is made. The art-enriched village owes its culture to an era as early as 5 BCE.

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Swargadwar Beach

Running along the main Marine Drive of Puri, right in front of the Swargadwar Crematorium, the ever-so-famous beach of Puri is the throbbing heartbeat of the city. Crowded with visitors throughout the year, the Swargadwar Beach is dotted with numerous stalls selling local handmade products, seashells, and jewelleries. A whole morning goes away by splashing and bathing at the safe, sandy beach, while the evenings are kept for enjoying the oceanic view and tea and snacks from the many stalls.

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Vimala Temple

Goddess Vimala residing within the complex of Jagannath temple in Puri is as important as the main deity. Regarded as a Shakti Peetha, one of the many shrines scattered around India dedicated to the supreme goddess. Goddess Vimala here is a tantric manifestation of the Goddess Mother and is revered by the Shaktism followers as a protector guardian of the temple and the Lord.

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Alarnatha Temple

Alarnatha Temple is a shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Brahmagiri near Puri. The legend says that the Lord's devoted follower Chaitanya Mahaprabhu could not see his God for the 15-day period of Anavasara, following the Snana Yatra, when the three idols of Jagannath temple are kept hidden in a secret chamber. Taking pity on his beloved worshipper's devastation, Lord Vishnu directed him towards the Alarnatha Temple. Every devotee ever since follows the same ritual during that phase.

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Sakshi Gopal Temple

Sakshigopal temple has a few legends about how it became a revered shrine for Lord Vishnu. One is about the lord coming to bear witness to a village wedding. Another myth is that the temple is one of the 16 shrines of King Vajra, the grandson of Lord Krishna built for the Lord. Nevertheless, the temple acts as a marking gateway for those who arrive to the holy city of Puri via train or roadway.

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Gundicha Temple

Located 3 kilometres away from the main temple complex of Jagannath, the Gundicha Temple acts as the summer retreat for Lord Jagannath, his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra. This temple marks the ending of the Ratha Yatra, where the deities rest for seven days, before making the journey back to their original home. Gundicha temple is empty for the rest of the year, except for the many images depicting the Lord's life.

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Baliharachandi Beach

Baliharachandi Beach is the much quieter and offbeat alternative to the Puri Beach, with a peaceful calm and tranquillity about the whole place. There are not many people here, and even fewer stalls. Since the beach falls between Puri and Konark, visitors take a round on the way. Scurrying little crabs, scattered seashells and an unobstructed view of the sea make up for the lack of other entertainment.

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Daya River

Daya River is a branch shooting of Kuakhai River and empties into the Chilika Lake known for the Dolphins. The river is historically important, not only in terms of the history of Odisha-Bihar region, but of India as whole. It is on the banks of Daya, in the green slopes adjoining the Dhauli Hills that the famous Kalinga War was fought, which marked an end of Emperor Ashoka's violent ways and embracing Buddhism. There are many Ashokan edicts here, carved on the surface of rocks up along the hill.

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Baleshwar Beach

Baleshwar Beach, or Chandipur Beach as it is more popularly known, is one of the less crowded and more serene beaches of Odisha. What makes this beach unique is its tide pattern. During particular ebb tides, the sea water recedes back from the sandy beach for up to 5 kilometres, leaving muddy traits behind. Because of this, this beach is ecologically rich and also great place to find molluscs, crustaceans and horseshoe crabs.

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Balighai Beach

Balighai beach is all about serenity and quietude that you will hardly find in the other beaches near Puri, The luxury resorts make sure that you can make this a destination getaway instead of a drive-through, and at the same time enjoy the tranquil environment of a clean environment and solitude, surrounded by Casuarina and Eucalyptus, and the azure blue up ahead.

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Sonar Gouranga Mandir

Sonar Gouranga Mandir in Puri is one of the main centres of pilgrimage. It is located near the Puri Jagannath Temple, only three kilometres away, and close to the beach. The temple has the shrines of Shri Rama, Lord Jagannatha, Balaram and Subhadra, while also including other incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Located on the Chakratritha Road, photography is prohibited within the temple.

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Sudarshan Crafts Museum

The Sudarshan Crafts Museum was established by Sri Sudarshan Sahoo to create a location where artists and art lovers can see the evolution of modern craftsmanship. The museum displays the change that has taken place in traditional sculptures over the decades. The museum has facilities for artists as well, giving them an opportunity to ply their craft in the workroom, and have a showroom to display it.

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Pipili

Pipili is a town in Puri, famous for the abundant handicraft products which are available here for sale. The entire economy depends on the crafts, and they provide all sorts of products. Figures of Gods, animals, birds, flowers etc., pillow covers, sheets, handbags, purses are all of the best quality here. The town itself has numerous food stalls to sate hunger in between shopping.

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Mausima Temple

The Mausima Temple is located on the Grand Road in Puri. The name of the temple translates to 'Aunt Mother' and is closely related to the tradition of Rath Yatra which is so famously prevalent here. The legend says that Goddess Mausi Ma saved Puri from floods by drinking half of the sea water. The temple itself has strong fortress-like walls and intricate architecture, representing safety.

Experience Time: 1 - 2 hours

Distance: 49 kms

Astaranga Beach

Astaranga meaning "colourful sunset" is a magnificent beach located in the state of Orissa. As the name suggests this beach is famous for the picturesque views that it provides during the sunset. The sky takes on vivid hues and the blue water in juxtaposition of it makes the whole place look magical. The Astaranga beach is a famous fishing village and every morning a market is set up on the beach from where you can purchase the different varieties of fresh fishes. This beach is a perfect place to getaway from the helter skelter of the city and spend some quiet and peaceful time rejuvenating yourself.

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