Weekend Getaways From Puri- The Spiritual City Of Odisha

Golden beach

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.

Find Best Hotels In Puri

21 Best Tourist Places to visit Near Puri

  1. Jagannath Temple
  2. Gundicha Temple
  3. Golden Beach
  4. PanchaTirth of Puri
  5. Konark, Odisha
  6. Bhubaneswar, Odisha
  7. Cuttack, Odisha
  8. Udayagiri, Odisha
  9. Chandrabhaga Beach
  10. Gopalpur
  11. Nalbana Bird Sanctuary:
  12. Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary
  13. Daringbadi
  14. Tikrapada Wild life Sanctuary
  15. Daya River
  16. Sudam Sand Art Museum
  17. Gundicha Temple
  18. Lokenath Temple
  19. Light House
  20. Gouranga Mandir
  21. Chandrabhaga Beach

1. Jagannath Temple

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.

2. Gundicha Temple

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.

3. Golden Beach

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.

4. PanchaTirth of Puri

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.

5. Konark, Odisha

Konark,Odisha

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.

6. Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Odisha

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.

7. Cuttack, Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Odisha

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.

8. Udayagiri, Odisha

Udayagiri, Odisha

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.

9. Chandrabhaga Beach

Chandrabhaga Beach

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.

Notes:

  • The distance between Puri Railway station to this place is 27.4km.
  • By Marine Drive Road you can reach this place within 40minutes.
  • The best time to visit this place is at early morning or afternoon as the sunrise and sunset is the most beautiful scene from this place.

10. Gopalpur

Gopalpur Sea Beach

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.

Notes:

  • There has a number of buses to take you to Gopalpur within 4hrs.You can also book cabs from Puri.
  • Gopal Pur is a whole day trip from Puri,you can stay for night.
  • Try to avoid monsoon season as the sea is little rough here and the water level gets higher than usual time.

11. Nalbana Bird Sanctuary

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.

Notes:

  • This area gets completely submerged during monsoon season so travelers are advised to ignore monsoon.
  • The place is open from 6a.m till the sun sets.
  • Via NH316 it will take 3hrs by car from Puri.The distance between Puri and Nalbana is 78.2Km.

12. Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary

Chilika Lake

The amalgamation of several lakes like  SanakudaBerahpuraKalijai HillKanthapantha 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.         

 Notes:

  • From Puri Chilika Lake is 104Km away.
  • Rented cars are easily available from Puri.
  • It’s a whole a trip from Puri so carrying some light foods will be wise.

13. Daringbadi

Way to Daringbadi

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.

Notes:

  • From Puri the distance is 250Km to this place.
  • It will be easier to reach here from Behrampore also.
  • Carry woolen clothes while visiting this place.
  • September to April is the best time to peep in.

14. Tikrapada Wild life Sanctuary

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.

Notes:

  • This place is 205Km away from Puri.
  • If you want to enjoy a wild experience after a lavish sea life then set out for this place by booking a car from Puri.
  • Winter is the best season to visit this place.
  • For residence,prior booking is mandatory.

15. Daya River

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.

Notes:

  • The distance between Puri and Daya River is 33.3Km.
  • It will take 1hr 15min to reach here if you take rented car from Puri.

16. Sudam Sand Art Museum

Sudam Sand Art Museum

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.

Note:

  • Via Beldal Puri Rd/Puri Konarak Marine Drive Rd it will tale 20 minutes to reach there.You can book cabs or auto available near Swargadwar road for this trip.
  • Ticket price is 30 per person excluding children.
  • This museum opens at 6.30 am and closes at 8pm.

17. Gundicha Temple

Gundicha Temple

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.

Notes:

  • This place is 3kms away from Puri Jagannath Temple.You can walk straight to reach the temple or you can get any auto or public bus to go the temple.
  • There is no entry fee in this temple.
  • You can Visit this place from morning to 9pm at night.

18. Lokenath Temple

Lokenath Temple, Puri

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.

Notes:

  • This place is located at 2.5 Km away from main Jagannath Temple.You can avail auto or any Odissa Transport bus in front of the temple.
  • This place has free entry.
  • You can visit this place anytime from morning to 8.30pm at night.
  • At 6 p.m they held an evening worship which is worth visiting.

19. Light House

Light House

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 .

Notes:

  • This place opens for 1hrs from 4p.m to 5p.m at afternoon.This time the place most beautiful.
  • This place doesn’t have any entry fee.
  • From Swargadwar Rd you can take auto or any local cart to reach here which will take only 10minutes,or it can be a wonderful evening walk if you walk to this place beside sea beach.

20. Gouranga Mandir

Gouranga Mandir 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.

Notes:

  • Temple’s timing is 8a.m to 12o’clock in the morning and from 4p.m to 8p.m at evening.
  • This temple doen’t habe any entry fee.
  • Via Sea Beach Rd and Chaka Tirtha Rd it will take 10 minutes in any vehicle from Swargadwar road.The distance between Swargadwar and Sonar Gouranga Temple is 3.3 Km.

21. Chandrabhaga Beach

Chandrabhaga Beach

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.

Notes:

  • The distance between Puri Railway station to this place is 27.4km.
  • By Marine Drive Road you can reach this place within 40minutes.
  • The best time to visit this place is at early morning or afternoon as the sunrise and sunset is the most beautiful scene from this place.

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.

P.s. You might like these related resources:

Gauri Babele

Gauri Babele

Hey! I'm Gauri.Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice.An engineer turned writer.Loves animals tolerate humans.Has a thing for pizza and old books.Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *