Puri is a city in the eastern state of India, Odisha. It is located almost 60 kilometres away from the capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar. The famous 12-century Jagannatha Temple is located in this city, and due to this temple, the city of Puri is also known as Sri Jagannatha Dhama. Apart from these two, Puri has acquired a number of names. The whole economy of this city depends on Puri’s tourism, which comprises of most people visiting this city to see the magnificent Jagannatha Temple. Therefore it is considered a religious capital of Odisha. Due to its rich heritage, the government of India has selected Puri as one of the cities for its scheme, Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY).
Apart from various getaways in Puri, there are a number of popular spots one can visit near the city as well. If one wants to enjoy the archaeological sites, or the coastal areas, or religious places, they can find everything at a distance of a drive from Puri. Because of its geographical positioning, Puri is surrounded by plenty of flora and fauna.Now let’s discuss some of these locations in detail.
Puri’sJagannatha Temple is one of the most renowned and significant temples in Puri. The temple was constructed with a unique style of architecture mainly used at ancient Kalinga region. Its tower is 58 meters (190 feet) in height and a flag is above it which is fixed on a wheel (chakra). The whole temple complex is spread in 10.7acres (4.3 hectare). The temple has four entry gates, with each gate built at the central part of the walls. All these gates faces the four directions i.e., east, south, west, and north, and are named as Singhadwar (Lions Gate), AshwaDwara (Horse Gate), VyaghraDwara (Tigers Gate), and HathiDwara (Elephant Gate) respectively. All these gates symbolize the four fundamental principles of Dharma.
As per the legends, Lord Jagannath instructed King Indradyumma of Ujjayni to construct this temple, which he did in 318 AD. But as per the historical records, the temple’s construction was started by King Chodaganga of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the 12-century and was finished by his descendant, Anangabhima Deva. The temple has the images of Lord Krishna (Jagannatha), his older brother Balabhadra, and his younger sister Subhadra. These images are made of neem wood and are in an unfinished form.
Gundicha Temple is located at the centre of a beautiful garden and therefore is known as the Garden House of Jagannatha. This temple is situated in the northeast direction from the Jagannatha Temple and is about 3 kilometres to it. According to the legends, Gundicha was the name of the wife of King Indrayumma, the primary constructor of the Jagannatha Temple. Gundicha Temple is built with light grey sandstone and is surrounded by a garden. It is considered a prominent picnic spot from Puri. The entire complex of this temple is surrounded by walls and covers the area of 12838 square meters including the garden. A large number of tourists from all over the worldcome to visit this temple.However, foreigners are usually not allowed to enter the main temple premises except duringthe 9-day RathaYatra. This temple is administered by the Jagannatha Temple Administration, Puri.
One of the most famous beaches in Puri is Golden Beach or Ballighai Beach. It is situated at the bank of Nunai River and is around 8 kilometres from the city. It is called Golden Beach because of thegolden yellow sand. The beach is one of the most popular and magnificent picnic spots from Puri. To witness the beautiful scenery at the time of sunrise and sunset, it becomes the most visited weekend getaways from Puri. People of the city often go to the beach at weekends to relax and spend some peaceful time with their loved ones. Even the tourists enjoy this calm and serene place and visit the beach to get away from the crowd of the devotees in the city.
PanchTirth or the five sacred bathing spots of Puri are considered very significant according to the Hindu traditions. Only after bathing in these spots, one’s pilgrimage to Puri is considered complete. These sacred water bodies include Indradyumana Tank, the Markandeya Tank, the RohiniKunda, the Swetaganga Tank, and Mahodadhi. In Sanskrit, the meaning of Mahodadhi is “a great ocean”, and is just another name for Bay of Bengal. These sacred bathing spots are located in the Swargadwar area and they have an everlasting source of water supply from groundwater and rainfalls as this area experiences a good amount of rainfall throughout the year.
Konark is just 36 kilometres away from Puri and around 60-70 kilometres from the capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar. Konark is set against the coastline of Bay of Bengal and is known for its marvellous monuments and the beautiful sceneries. But the thing which gives this small town such recognition and makes it a source of attraction for the tourist is its Sun Temple. This temple is such widely famous because of its architectural design. The name of the town Konark is derived from the Sanskrit word Kona, which translates as “angle”, while the latter part of the name Arka means “Sun”, which further indicates how significant the Sun Temple is in the city.
Everyone who visit Puri, surely travel to the city of Konark to experience this glorious shrine of the sun. But the beauty of Konark is not limited to this temple. There are other places which attractstravellers to this city, such as Kuruma, an abandoned monastery of Buddhists, which attracts Buddhists from all over the country. Other places like Kakatpur Mangala Temple, the Barahi Temple, Konark Math, and Chandrabhaga Sea Beach also enchant the tourists.
Bhubaneswar is the capital city of Odisha and is 66 kilometres away from Puri. Bhubaneswar is situated at the south-western bank of the river, Mahanadi. The city enjoys a rich cultural heritage since 3000 years ago. This ancient city is known for its breathtaking architecture from the Kalinga period. Once believed to have more the 2000 temples, Bhubaneswar is also called the Temple City of India. To lure the tourist, Bhubaneswar has a wide range of temples, lakes, caves, and museums etc. Some of the major temples in the city include Lingraj Temple, Mukteswar Temple, Rajarani Temple etc. For someone who enjoys the nature, this city offers places like BinduSagar Lake, Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary, DhauliGiri, BijuPatnaik Park, Buddha Jayanti Park and the hot water spring of Atri. The weather of the city is quite hot and humid, therefore the winter season is considered to be the best time to visit this city to avoid the unpleasant weather conditions.
Collectively, Bhubaneswar, Puri, and Konark form the “Swarna Tri-Bhuja” or commonly known as the Golden Triangle. This triangle is altogether considered as a single tourist destination located in the eastern part of India. Due to the short distance between them, weekend trips from Puri to these two cities is like a routine for many of the people residing in the region.
This cultural and commercial capital of Odisha is located at around 80 kilometres from Puri and just 28 kilometres from Bhubaneswar. Cuttack is considered as one of the largest and oldest cities of the state; and at one point, it was also the capital city of Odisha. The city enjoys a fertile soil due to its location near the delta formed by the two major river- Mahanadi and Kathjori. Cuttack offers a wide range of places to its tourist. These places could include the marvellous pilgrim spots, various monuments, hills, etc. Apart from these places, every year Cuttack organizes Bali Yatra, Asia’s second-largest trade festival, which attracts the tourist in huge numbers into the city from all over the world. Cuttack’s another such crowd gathering event is its well renowned Kite Flying Festival, which invites a lot of visitors as well.
Udayagiri is around 100 kilometre away from Puri, which takes around 3 hours to reach. Udayagiri can be called an architectural masterpiece of India. Owing to the presence of various Buddhist monasteries, stupas and Jain architectural ruins, it enjoys a great level of importance for Buddhists and Jains. Udayagiri, or Sunrise Hill, has a collection of 18 caves, collectively known as Udayagiri Caves. Along with these, an adjacent hill, Khandagiri contains 15 more caves. Apart from these, there are other sites which are known for their Buddhist sites. Lalitgiri is one such site, which contains relics of Gautama Buddha. Due to its closeness with Puri, various people visit this town to experience the beautiful and gorgeous Buddhist monuments.
This amazing sea beach is located near Konarak temple. This place is clean and perfect for catching on a beautiful sunrise and sunset over the ocean. If you want a peaceful stroll over sea beach then this is a perfect place for you. It’s relatively less visited by people and is around 40 minutes drive from Puri on the way to Konark.There is few shops selling sea shells and tender coconut. For sea bath this is a good place too but be careful as the wave produce currents here.
Today’s commercial port and a beautiful sea beach has grown popularity among travelers which is 171Km away from Puri,in Ganjam district mostly the southern part of Odisa.This place is still less crowdy and clean. You can feed your lust for nature by its golden sand and blue water. You have to get down on the beach through stairs where has a perfectly decorated pavilion to enjoy the beauty of the sea for the travelers.
Nalbana Bird Sanctuary or Nalbana Island is the core area of the Ramsar designated wetlands of Chilika Lake.You can witness a thousands of migratory birds at the same place. You can encounter more than 20 species of birds at a large area.
The amalgamation of several lakes like Sanakuda, Berahpura, Kalijai Hill, Kanthapantha and few more form Chilika Wild Life Sanctuary. From urban cacophony Chilika lake is a nature lover’s paradise. This water body is mainly a lagoon at the mouth of Daya River flowing into the Bay of Bengal. You can enjoy various kinds of birds and dolphins while crossing the lake.A small boat ride mainly steals the show.
It is quite unusual that you can get tanned in a golden sand beach and within 250Km you can enjoy a wintry weather on a hill station.Daringbadi is such a place in Odisa where nature has prepared herself with all her beauty and colour that it can be named as ‘Kashmir Of Odisa’.It is situated at a height of 3000ft.This placed was named by a British Officer called Daring Saheb who was in charge of this place.
This place is located at a convenient distance from Puri. The Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary spreads across 795.52 square kilometers and does not fail to enthrall its visitors with its overwhelming beauty, lush green surrounding, the ever cherished rambling of River Mahanadi besides the very famous Satkosia gorge and large variety of species of wild animals, birds and plants.
Daya River starts as a branch of the Kuakhai River at Saradeipur in Odisa State in India.Daya river has historical significance too.This place is believed to be battle ground of Kalinga War.There has also a myth that Daya river was turned red due to enormous bloodshed in the battle ground. It flows almost 37Km from its origin.
A very small one but has some interesting sand art installation. It is on Puri-Konark route and has minimal entry fees.This museum is located 11Km away from Puri Sea Beach and it takes 20minutes by car.Its a 5000s.ft museum under shades and sober lights.Here has various kinds of sand images which is art lover’s den.Artist Sudam Pradan has made this museum.Visitors can be lucky sometimes as they can witness live sclupture making. He also takes training sessions for students who want to learn this art. If you are lucky, you can also have a chance of meeting the artist.
Gundicha temple is a very beautiful temple in the temple city Puri.This place is surrounded by large wall and beautiful garden.This temple is built with light grey sand stone and architechturally it examplifies Kalinga Temple style.It is stuffed with several images of Lord Krishna,Jagannath,Balabhadra,Subhadra.This place is condidered as Jagannath’s aunt’s residence.During Rathyatra the main images of these three Gods are sent to this Gundicha Temple.This time the temple are decorated with beautiful lights and varities of foods are served to the Gods and Goddesses.
This place is beautiful indeed with historical background. It’s an integral part of our civilization and historical evidence of the genius of architects.This Hindu Temple is designed like Kalinga architecture style.This temple is dedicated to lord Shiva.If you are a devotee or not you can visit the place for its great architecture and undoubtedly for celestial peace.After entering through a big scluptured gate you can visit several small temples which comes under this particular temple.
Puri Light House is a very beautiful serene place.It’s speciality is its tranquility.This place is located at the end of Marine Drive Rd.The beach and the road in front of the light house is very silent and peaceful so you can enjoy your time with raw nature.The best part is One can climb till the top and have a good view of the sea and the whole city.It works as the landmark of puri .
Gouranga Mandir is a Hindu Religious Place.It has a deep religious connection with Lord Jagannath Temple.This temple is very very popular temple among tourist.This temple is of golden God of lord Gouranga.Gouranga is considered to be the greatest devotee of Lord Jagannath and the reformer of Vaishnav religion.This temple is very clean and peaceful.You’ll get to see nice sclupture over the walls.The white coloured walls revive its serenity.
This amezing sea beach is located near Konarak temple. This place is clean and perfect for catching on a beautiful sunrise and sunset over the ocean. If you want a peaceful stroll over sea beach then this is a perfect place for you. It’s relatively less visited by people and is around 40 minutes drive from Puri on the way to Konark.There is few shops selling sea shells and tender coconut.For sea bath this is a good place too but be careful as the wave produce currents here.
Other Nearby Places
Apart from the above-mentioned places, there are various other sites which attract the tourist in huge numbers. Explore Puri with places like Chilika Lake, Satapada (a Dolphin Sanctuary), PattaChitra, and many more.
Because of all these tourist spots in the city as well as nearby, tourism in Puri is rising constantly and will do so in the future as well.
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