Puri

Puri India
4.5/5
Best Session
October - June
Ideal Duration
3
Station:
Puri
Major Airports
Bhubneshwar (60 Km)
Weather
25.21 ° C
Weather Type
Clouds
9999/-
onwards
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Overview

Puri is easily accessible by rail and road. If you want to take the aerial way then the nearest airport is at Bhuvaneshwar around 60 km from Puri. Flights from all the major cities land at Bhuvaneshwar Airport every day. Puri commands an excellent road network. The state capital of Bhubaneshwar is linked by National Highway 203. Puri is also a major railway junction on the South Eastern railway. Puri Station is very near to the hub of activities including the hotels. 

How to Reach Puri by Train: Puri is connected to major cities of India including Delhi, Kolkata, Waltair, Tirupati and Bokaro.

How to Reach Puri by Road: Puri has a good network of local as well as Highways. Bhubaneshwar is connected to Puri by NH 203.

How to Reach Puri by Airways: Bhubaneshwar is the nearest airport that is 60 km away. You get flights to Bhubaneshwar from major Indian cities.

Distance from Puri to other locations
Bhubaneswar 60 km
Sakhigopal 17 km
Bramhagiri 25 km
Bali Harchandi 37 km
Pipili 40 km
Ashtanga 60 km
Konark 35 km
Local Transport

While in Puri you can move from one place to the other through Cycle Rickshaws or the Auto Rickshaws. For longer distances both private as well as State Government buses are available. The Puri Bus Stand is around 2 km from the railway station.
Frequent buses are available for Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Konark, Satapada besides other places both within and outside Orissa.

Driving Direction
Puri is a beautiful city situated in Orrissa, Eastern India. The beaches and the most visited pilgrimage center of Jagannath Puri remains the perennial attractions of the region. Puri is a huge depository of the edifices dating back to 3rd Century BC To 17th century AD. The tourist attractions that can be visited while on a tour to Puri includes Chilika Lake, Marakandesavara temple, Narendra Tank, Puri beach and Swargadwar beach. Biju Patnaik Airport which is the closest airport provides the domestic air flight services to travelers. The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International airport, nestled 432 kilometers away from the Puri provides international flight services. Puri is the major rail junction which provides train services to the major cities of India. Orissa road transport corporation buses connect Puri to many cities in Orissa. Frequent bus services are available from Bhuvaneshwar (56 km), Cuttack (32 km) and Konark. Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) offers deluxe buses for sightseeing tours in Puri, which costs about Rs 250 per person. The NH 203 road connects Puri to all the cities of India. The travelers coming by their own vehicle can take NH 203 highway respectively.
Festivals
Puri and its surrouding places is known for vibrant fairs and festivals round the year. The grandest of which is the Ratha Yatra held in June/July. Infact the Ratha Yatra is essentially the grand culmination of several festivals held earlier in the year. Let’s take a look at what this coastal city has to offer.

Abhisheka( Dec/Jan): Abhisheka is the beginning of a series of festivals related to Lord Jagannath of Puri. Abhisheka or Avhisheka is the coronation ceremony of the Lord. It is held on a full moon day in December/January corresponding to the Oriya month of `Pausha`. That is why it is called as Pushyavisheka, denoting coronation in Pausha month.

Dolayatra( March): Dolayatra, known in north India as Holi is observed from the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Falguna (March-April) till Purnima( day of full moon). Dolagobinda or Madan Mohan is enshrined on a swing and abir (coloured powderapplied on his holy feet.

Chandanyatra( April-May):Chandan Yatra a 21 day festival commences on the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya, the 3rd day of the bright fortnight of Baisaksh. It corresponds to the English calendar of April -May. During this festival, idols of various gods are taken out in a procession to Narendra Tank. The idols are then placed in a boat amidst chanting and music and taken on a cruise.

Snana Yatra( May–June): Snana Yatra counts among the popular religious festivals of Puri. It is held on the full moon day of the Oriya calendar of Jyestha ( May- June). This is the day when the deities of Lord Jagannatha, Balbhadra and Subhadra along with Lord Madan Mohan and Sudarshan are taken out in a colourful procession. At the end of the procession the idols are placed on a Snana Vedi on the outer enclosure of the temple. Here the holy ritual of bathing takes place. For this 108 pitchers of water are drawn from a nearby well close to the Northern Entrance.

Ratha Jatra( June-July): Ratha Yatra or Car festival is something beyond Puri , Orissa and even India. No matter the word juggernaut meaning something gigantic in the English dictionary was inspired by the Jagannatha Rath Yata. This festival watced by millions takes place normally on the 2nd day of the bright fortnight of the Oriya month of Asadha. This corresponds to the English calendar of June and July. On this auspicious day, the deities of Lord Jagannath, his eleder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra are brought out from the main temple. The Gapjapati Raja of erstwhile royal family also performs “Chhera Pahnra” cleaning humbly the Lord’s chariot with a broom having a golden handle. Then passing through the teeming devotees the deities travel on three huge wooden chariots especially made for this occasion to the Gundicha Temple, three kms away. The place reverberates with vigorous chanting and sound of cymbals and Mridanga, the devotees as if in a trance pull the chariots away. The scene is ecstatic and is beyond description by words. A must visit occasion.

Puri Beach Festival (Novermber): Puri Beach Festival is held every year in the month of November for 4 days. A variety of cultural events, Orissan craft and cuisine are the main highlights of the event. Adapting to the choice of Gen next the organizers have also added a fashion and a rock show to add some fizz to the event. This event makes it an interesting affair for tourists and locals alike.
Location: On the coast of Bay of Bengal
State: Orissa  
STD Code: 06752
Distances: Bhubaneshwar(60 Km), Cuttack(95 Km), Kolkata(550 Km), Waltair(480 km), Gopalpur(242 Km)
Languages Spoken: Oriya, Bengali, Hindi and a bit of English
Temperature: Summers 38°C(Max); 27°C (Min), Winter – 28 °C(Max); 15°C(Min)
Best Time to Visit: October till mid-March

Kiomoi Practical Tips on Puri
Jagannath Temple: Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the temple. Electronic items like mobile and cameras are also not allowed inside. Beggars: Keep loose change if you are benevolent, but remember giving alms to one will invite thousands to gather round you and make your life difficult. Better to keep an indifferent attitude.

Pandas: Pandas are another nuisance in and around Puri. They start pestering you moments after you alight from the train to the platform. They seem to sense tourists wherever they are and whatever they are doing. So if you are km ahead before the Jagannatha temple, sipping a drink you cannot get away from their sharp eyes. The point, however, is that, If you want to have a peaceful Darshan and offer Pujas without hassles, then it is better to hire one but not before a hard bargain.

Clothing: Puri remains hot and humid for most of the year so light cotton clothing is the best. Carry sunglasses and a cap with you. Carry water bottles to avoid dehydration.

Auto Rickshaws: Auto Rickshaws are available in plenty to take care of your local travel itineraries. However, it is better to fix the fare beforehand.

Ideal Duration: Spending two to three days is enough to see all the attractions of Puri in detail. However if you plan to visit other destinations like Chilika lake or Gopal pur you have to make a plan for a week.

Weather
Puri on the coastal Bay of Bengal on the east coast of India experiences a tropical climate. Though Puri is visited round the year especially people from west Bengal due to its proximity, but summers are hot and humid in Puri. In comparison winters are better.

Summer
Months- March to May
Maximum Temperature: Around 36° C
Minimum Temperature: 24° C
Summers are hot in Puri with mercury going high in the daytime. However due to breeze blowing in from the sea the evenings are cooler. 

Monsoon
Months: June to October
Maximum Temperature: Around 32° C
Minimum Temperature: 25° C
Puri experiences the south west monsoon in June and as such during monsoon months is very humid. Due to heavy rains the sea becomes very turbulent. From September to October there is a relief from humidity as the rains gradually decline with some gentle showers. However there is an added charm to see the wild sea during the rains. It is a mesmerizing experience to be on the beach at that point of time.

Winter
Months: November to February
Maximum Temperature: Around 28° C
Minimum Temperature: 17° C
Winter starts making its presence felt from the month of November., The temperatures take a dip and then steadies at an average of 16° centigrade in the peak winter months of December and January. This is the best season to visit Puri as despite bright sun shine during the day the cold winds from the North and North east keep the temperatures low.

Tourist Offices
Offices/ Counerts of Orissa Tourism Development Corporation(OTDC)

Puri
1)Government of Orissa Tourist Office
CT Road, near Banki Muhan, Puri-752002
Tel: 06752-222664

2)Tourist Counter, Puri Railway Station 

Bhubaneswar
Dept. of Tourism, Paryatan Bhawan
Museum Campus, Bhubaneswar - 751 014 

Konark
Yatri Nivas, At/Po Konark
District - Puri - 752111 
Bank & ATMS 

State Bank of India ATM
1-Surya Complex,
Grand Road, Puri - 752001
2-VIP Road,
SBI Puri Campus Harihar Chowk.,
3-Grand Motor Service Station
Hospital Square 

Axis Bank ATM
Trimurti Heights, Badasankha Grand Road, Puri 

ICICI Bank
Nayak Plaza, Grand Road, Puri 

Bank of Baroda ATM
VIP Road, Puri

Within a close distance of Puri, there are places that make nice getaways. They range from the world-famous temple, Buddhist caves, Wildlife Park, the hub of traditional handicrafts along with many other attractions. Take a look: 

Konark Temple: Konark the seat of Sun temple and one of the world heritage sites declared by UNESCO is 35 km from Puri. 
Chilika Lake: The nearest point on the Chilika Lake from Puri is the Satpada Island that is at a distance of 50 km. 
Bhubaneshwar: The capital of Orissa is known as a temple town, for it houses some magnificent temples. Bhubaneshwar is around 60 km from Puri. 

Nandan Kanan: Barely 20 km from Bhubaneshwar is Nandan Kanan, a paradise for animal lovers. It is an amalgamation of a sanctuary, botanical garden and a zoo. 

Khandagiri: The twin hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri are 90 km away from the coastal town of Puri. The caves provide an insight into the prevalence of Jainism 

Pipli: Pipli just 40 km from Puri is a beautiful village on the road leading to Bhubaneswar. Pipli is known for its beautiful appliqué (embroidery) work. The whole town of Pipli is lined up with shops luring tourists to buy the beautiful pipili chandua. Canopies, chhatris and tarasas. Hand bags and wall hangings are the best bets. Aggressive bargaining ensures good prices. 

Sakshi Gopal: Sakshi Gopal temple is 20KM from Puri. The temple is next to the railway station of the same name. The temple has a life-size image of Lord Krishna. It is a popular belief that a visit to Puri is incomplete without a Darshan of Lord Krishna of this temple. Beware of Pandas here as they try to deny you the right to a peaceful darshan. 

Dhauli Stupa: Dhauli Stupa or peace pagoda built atop a small hillock is around 55 km from Puri. This Stupa lies on the banks of the Daya River and was built by Fujii Guruji a person of Japanese origin. The area is of special significance that has changed the course of history. It was around this area that the great Kalinga war between Ashoka and the Kalinga was fought. Ashoka won the war but seeing the vast number of dead bodies and the Daya river turn red with blood made him numb with shock and remorse. The structure is a towering white pagoda with the idols of Buddha. From the hillock, you can get a kaleidoscopic view of the area around. 

Raghurajpur: Lying on the southern bank of the river Bhargavi Raghurajpur is just 14 km away from Puri. It is developed as a heritage craft village and is the birthplace of the world-famous Odissi Dancer and Guru Shri Kelucharan Mahapatra. Every family of this village is engaged in the artwork. Other attractions of Raghurajpur include numerous small temples. Some of the prominent ones include Bhuasuni (local deity) Lakshmi Narayan, Radha Mohan, Raghunath, Gouranga, Gopinath, etc
Attractions of Puri
Jagannath Temple Narasimha Temple Gundicha Siddha Mahavir
Indradyumna Tank Narendra Sarovara Lokanath Temple Parbati Sarovar
Rohini Kunda Markandeswar Swethaganga R K Mission
Puri Beach Swargadwar Jagannath Ballav Math Museum
The coastal town of Puri by the Bay of Bengal is one of the busiest tourist places of India. No wonder devotees as well as ordinary tourists throng here all the year round to capture moments of pleasure. Puri tops the popularity chart as an impressive tourist destination with magnificent temples, sunny Beaches, vibrant wildlife, exotic handicrafts, grand festivals along with a host of other things. Let’s have a look. 

Jagannatha Temple: Jagannatha Temple the primary attraction of Puri is located at the one end of a road that is in local lingo called Bada Danda. The construction of the temple of Lord Jagannath Temple goes back to the 12th century and was built by Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev. The temple is also known as Bada Daula or Sri Mandir. There are four gates to the temple with the main gate located eastwards is known as Singh Dwar (Lion’s Gate). Inside the temple complex, the main temple at the center is flanked by two outer rings of small temples. Wooden images of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balavadra( elder brother of Lord Jagannatha) and Goddess Subhadra(sister) are worshipped. The temple is open from early morning to midnight. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple. 

Narasimha temple: The Narasimha temple is also situated near the Jagannath temple complex. It is located on the southern side of the inner enclosure. The 10th-century temple built in sandstones is a full-fledged Pancha Rath. Many inscriptions on the wall of this temple shed history on its past. 

Gundicha Mandir: The Gundicha Ghar or Gundicha temple is located around 21/2 km away at the other end of the majestic Bada Danda road. During the famous yearly Ratha Yatra Jagannatha along with Balavadra and Subhadra visit the Gundicha Ghar. According to legends, it is the residence of Shri Krishna’s aunt. This temple is also sacrosanct because the lord during the Chariot festival stays here for nine days. 

Siddha Mahavir Temple: The Siddha Mahavir temple dedicated to Lord Hanumana is located at a distance of about one Km from the Gundicha temple. Though the small temple is not in any way grand or impressive it is very important from the point of view of devotion. It is said that Goswami Tulsidas, author of the epic Ramcharitamans stayed here. The temple built in sandstone has two structural features. They are called as Vimana and Jagamohannna. 

Indradyumna Tank: Indradyumna tank or Sarvora is one of the five sacred tanks of Puri and is located northwest of Gundicha Ghar. It has a small shrine of the famous king Indryadyumna believed to be the one who made this grand Jagannatha temple originally. The complex also houses a Bal Gopal Temple. 

Narendra Sarovara: The Narendra Sarovar covering an enormous area of 3.24 hectares is located north-east of the Jagannath Temple. A small temple on an island within the tank is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, Balarama, and Subhadra. It is here that the acclaimed Chandana yatra or the boat festival is held. Lord Madan Mohan supposed to be the representative of Lord Jagannath is taken for a boat ride that is fully decorated with a flower known as Chapa. 

Lokanath Temple: Loknath temple is located around two kilometers to the west of the Jagannath Temple. Inside the sanctum sanctorum there is a Shiva Lingam submerged in water. In front of the Lingam is a statue of Nandi the bull. 

Parbati Sarovar: The sacred Parbati Sarovar is in the same complex where the Loknath temple si housed. It is around 3 km from the Jagannath temple. The Shiva lingam of the Loknath temple remains submerged with the water from the natural spring of Parbati Sarovar. 

Rohini Kunda: Rohini Kunda is situated inside the Lord Jagannath Temple complex. It is in front of Goddess Vimala Temple. The water of the Kunda known as `Karana Water` is considered extremely sacred. It is sprinkled by devotees on their body for purification. Just behind the Rohini Kunda, you can see an image of Kak Bhusanda Kaka (crow) with an interesting legend that links it to Lord Vishnu. 

Markandeswar Tank and Temple - Markandeswar Tank is situated to the north of Jagannath Temple. This tank is also important as it is connected with a lot of rituals associated with the lord most important being Chandan Yatra. The temple bears ancient stone inscriptions pertaining to the Gange Dynasty. 

Swethaganga: Swethaganga a small tank is located to the west of the Jagannath temple. There are two small temples on the banks of the tank. One is of Sweta Madhava and the other belongs to Matsya Madhava. They are supposed to be incarnations of Lord Vishnu. 

Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama: Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama was established in the year 1944. A great place to be, for the devotees of Ramakrishna, Ma Sharada and Swami Vivekananda. You can see the evening Arati here. Phone: 06752-22 2207 

Jagannath Ballav Math: Jagannath Ballav Math is located opposite the Municipal Market. It is essentially a Math (monastery) associated with the memory of Ray Ramananda, a 16th-century administrator-turned saint of Orissa There is a beautiful garden behind the monastery with a beautiful temple of Hanuman. 

Swargadwar Beach: Swargadwar Beach is located within close proximity to the Temple of Jagannatha. It is just 2 km. Swargadwar Beach used to be the bathing place of Sri Chaitanyadev, believed to be the incarnation of the Lord himself and a famous Vaishnava saint. The beautiful surroundings of the beach are the added attraction of the beach. 

Puri Beach: Puri Beach with the vast expanse of blue and rowdy waves slashing the shores mercilessly with loud thunders is an interesting place. The place is not very quiet though with salespersons of every genre trying to outsell and jostling for space. The famed Puri Beach Festival also takes place here. If you are lucky then you can see the sand art -beautiful images made by hand with the sand of the beach. The Sunrise and sunset are other attractions. 

Puri Museum: Puri Museum lets the curious visitors pep into the past with a rich collection of various artifacts. Open from 10 to 5 pm on all days except Monday and public holidays.

THINGS TO DO
We have tried here to list the ten things that are absolute must if you happen to be in Puri. Just have a look.

Do the Panchatirthas: The five sacred bathing places of Puri are collectively known as the Pancha Tirtha. They are Indradyumna Tank, Markandeya Tank, Rohini Kunda, Swetaganga and ‘Mahodadhi’the Sea. A visit to Puri, it is believed is inconsequential until the ceremony of Pancha Tirtha is performed. That is bathing in the five holy Tanks. Thus by visiting the Lord’s abode and bathing in the Pancha Tirthas you are assured of Salvation ( Jiva Mukti).

Partake Mahaprasad of the Temple: The Jagannatha Temple kitchen is unique it can cook and feed around 1lakh people daily.without any problem. That makes it perhaps the largest kitchen in the world. This Mahaprasada (Holy Food) is the most famous dining in Puri. Every day the traditional 56 varieties of cooked and uncooked dishes are prepared and offered to the deities and then sold to public in a large compound called Ananda Bazaar. This is done after 2 pm at nominal rates. The food is satvik and must be eaten in plantain leaves without wasting a single morsel. One must try the “ Abhada” prasad atleast once. Made with an array of lentils,vegetables and rice this is an amazing dish.

Watch the sand art at the beach: This is one must do on the Puri Beach. The art of making sculptures in the sand started a few years back by a local college dropout Sudarshan Patnaik is now an acclaimed art form at the golden beach of Puri. Sudarshan Patnaik has now become an internationally renowned artist. You can see the enthusiastic artists making sculptures of various personas, events or creating awareness about environment or social causes all on the sands. The gallery of sand art on the beach can be observed by any one in the afternoons. The timings are from 4-6 P.M. If you are keen to learn this interesting art form you can enroll at Golden Sand Art Institute an open air institute in Puri Beach located behind Mayfair Hotel. A basic 7-10 days familiarization course is available to the tourists can take.

Splurge on the Sweets: If you are a sweet aficionado then Puri is the right place to be. Puri boasts of some fine sweets like Khira, Rasagolla/Rasgulla, Gaja and Chanapora. There are plenty of sweet shops in and around Puri selling these stuffs.

Enjoy the sunrise and sunset: Puri may lack the sophistication of the Kerala or Goa beaches but never the less is an interesting place with huge number of visaitors thronging the beaches all the year round. However, enjoying the sunrise and sunset remains one of the best thing to do in Puri. All you have to do is get up early around quarter to 5 will do and enjoy the warm sunrise over the sea. Then have a dip in the sea and enjoy your time. Same holds true for sunset also. Place yourself in a vantage position and observe the sun going down and finally disappearing into the sea.

Take great snaps of the temple: As photography is prohibited inside the Jagannatha temple, some intelligent guys have come out with a brilliant idea. There is a library called Raghumandan Library located opposite the main entrance of the Temple on the Grand Road. This library has an open verandah up some stairs. From there you can have a majestic view of the temple. This viewing opportunity is off course not free and you have to shell out some donation.

Buy Souvenirs: Puri offers little knickknacks that you can take home as souvenirs. Stalls selling various things can be found outside the Jagannath Temple and all the way down Grand Road. The small but colourful figures of Jagannath, together with his brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra is quite appealing because of their unique shape and appearance. Then there are the Patta Chitra and the sambalpuri and Katki saris. Also between Puri and Bhubaneshwar a village called Pipili also offers shopaholics especially women to have a field day.

Take a safari at Nandankanan zoo and Wildlife Park: Your visit to the Puri can be termed as incomplete if you do not visit the Nandankan zoo and National park. You can enjoy the experience of seeing these animals in almost natural habitats by undertaking exciting White Tiger Safari and Lion safari in specially protected battery operated zero pollution buses.

The Puri Beach Festival: Puri Beach Festival is a must attend for all fun loving people. Held every November the festival is a celebration of the spirit of Orissa. From traditional cultural shows to fashion events and rock shows Puri Beach festival caters to every type of sensibilities.

Take a tour of Ashramas and Mathas: If you have some time in your hand then hire a cycle rickshaw or an auto rickshaw and ask him to take you to various important Ashrams and Mathas of Puri. Puri due to its spiritual appeal has been a favourite of ascetics who made it their sadhna bhumi. So you can visit the Sankaracharya Pith, Sri Chaitanya Math, Bharat Sevasram Sangha Ramkrishna Mission etc to spend some time solemnly. Undertake these visits no matter if you are not much into religion.

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