Situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal in the state of Odisha, Puri is one of the most frequented pilgrimage destinations. The Jagannath temple is considered one of the major tourist places in Puri. It is also known as the Jagannath Dham and is one of the char dhams of Hindus. Most of the tourists flock to Puri during the auspicious occasion of Rath Yatra, a festival which is celebrated to remember the visit of Lord Jagannath to Gundicha Temple via His aunt’s house. It has many beautiful and pleasant sights along with various attractions, so planning a trip to Puri is worthwhile.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the place is generally during the winters in the months of October to February as it remains quite hot during the summer. There are lots of places to visit in Puri that you can explore on your trip.
How to reach Puri?
Reaching the city is hassle free as it is well-connected to the rest of the country by roadways, railways, and airways. The nearest major airport to Puri is Bhubaneshwar. It is around 60 kilometers from the main city and flights from all main Indian cities land here. Indian railways also run various trains from different Indian cities to Puri. People living in West Bengal can avail bus service to Puri or can reach by car. You can also plan a short trip to the city on weekend if you live not very far away from Puri.
Places to Visit in Puri
Since Puri is a popular tourist place, there are lots of splendid places to visit in Puri before you die. Here you can spend some quality time with your family and enjoy the rich culture and religious feel of the place.
1. Jagannath Temple
The residence of Lord Jagannath, who is known as the Lord of the Universe, the Jagannath Temple is a standout amongst the most religious places in India. It is one of the most popular places in Puri. Every year a large number of people from different parts of the world visit Puri to offer their prayers to Lord Jagnnath. The temple is an example of engineering magnificence overshadowing its environment. It opens at 5.00 am and closes at 1.30 pm. It again opens at around 5.30 pm in the evening and closes at 9.30 pm.
2. Puri Beach
Without a doubt, the shoreline of eastern India is a standout amongst the most prevalent places to visit. The beaches of Puri are characterized by sands of different texture along with beautiful sunrise and sunsets. The beaches are also ideal for swimming. In the month of November, the tourism ministry organises a beach festival, which attracts a lot of people from around the world. Other popular Puri beaches are Balighai beach, Beleswar Beach, Golden Beach and Swargadwar Beach.
3. Swargadwar Beach
The meaning of the word Swargadwar is door to the Heaven and this beach is considered sacred by the Hindus. It is detached and peaceful, protecting its consecrated nature. A lot of Hindu pilgrims come here to take a dip in the water as they consider it to be holy. You can also enjoy taking a walk on the beach.
4. Chilka Lake
Chilka Lake is the biggest saltwater tidal pond in Asia located 100 km from Puri. The lake stretches from Bhusandpur in North of Puri to Rambha-Malud in the Ganjan region in the south. It is the home to some of the lovely islands called Honeymoon, Somolo and Nalabana. One can also witness a wide range of migratory birds here. Just about 160 unique types of birds can be found here between November and February. Off the Satpada Island, dolphins can likewise be spotted. Over the years, the Chilka Lake has also become a popular tourist destination in Puri.
5. Narendra Tank
The tank was constructed in the fifteenth century and is one of the biggest tanks in Odisha with 16 ghats (washing places). There are lots of temples of different shapes and sizes, which have been built around the tank. This is a sacred tank where the Chandana Yatra of Lord Jagannath, also called Chandana Pushkarini is celebrated every year.
6. Gundicha temple
This temple is barely 3 km from Jagannath temple. It is constructed in a distinctive Kalinga style and is enhanced with beautiful stone carvings. The temple is in the middle of the garden and built with light gray sand stone. The Gundicha Ghar was built by queen Gundicha of King Indradyumna who was the founder of the 1st Jagannath Temple. This temple is known as Lord Jagannath's aunt's house and during the Rath Yatra, Lord Jagannath is moved to this temple for one-week and placed on a raised seat called 'Ratnavedi'. There are many stories related to this place.
7. Sudarshan Craft Museum
If you are an art lover, you will love visiting the Sudarshan Craft Museum. It was built in 1977 by Shri Sudarhsan Sahoo. Here you can view the artistic works of Sudarshan Sahoo. These include wooden carved items, stone and fiber glass work, handicraft work and paintings. There is a Buddhist temple, a library and a workshop in the museum premises. The artwork in this museum is rare, gives an enriching experience and exudes culture and tradition. Here novice artists can also display their work.
8. Raghurajpur Craft Village
This is 11 km from Puri and known worldwide for Pattachitra paintings. The yearly Basant Festival is also held here. Raghurajpur is Odisha's first heritage craft village that came into existence in 2000. This place is known for expert Pattachitra painters and Gotipua dance troupes. In this village, artisans make sheer poetry on treated cloth, dry palm leaf and paper. This is an oldest form of art of Odisha. The main village also offers beautiful view highlighting coconut, palm, mango and jack fruit trees and mural paintings. Other things this village is known for are Tussar paintings, engravings on palm leaf, stone and wood carved items, wood, cow dung and papier mache items.
9. More Temples in Puri
Puri is a holy city of the Hindus with several temples. Few of them are Shri Lokanatha, Jameswara, Markandeswara, Kapalamochana, Nilakantheswar, Siddha Mahavir and many more. Markandeshwar temple is located on the north of the Jagannath temple. It is among the Pancha Tirthas of Puri and is one of the fifty two sacred places dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Popular Hotels in Puri
If you are planning a trip to Puri with family, then you will be amazed that there are hundreds of convenient and comfortable options to stay in Puri. During the Rath Yatra, most hotels get booked in advance as thousands of people come to participate in the celebrations with full enthusiasm. If you are already in Puri and need to book a hotel, search for “Puri hotels near me” or simple “hotels nearby” on your phone. You will find all types of accommodation options in Puri including luxury, star-rating, budget hotels, etc. located near the famous landmarks of the city. Some are Sterling Puri, The Chariot Resort, Hotel Lucky India Royal Heritage, Hotel Reba Beach Resort and many more.
So, book a hotel in Puri today and plan a trip to this land of scenic beauty and check out all the places to visit in Puri with family.