Puri is a popular city of Odisha state, famous for Sri Jagannath and also as a beach destination. This is one of the most religious cities in the country and attracts the crowd throughout the year. For a budget destination, puri is a good choice within all neighbor states. It has everything like lots of temples, some historical structures, beaches, Zoological gardens, lakes and many more.
I have been to puri multiple times and gathered some information that will help others. Enough of introduction, let’s outline, what we about to discuss here
Sri Jagannath temple:
This is an important Hindu temple, dedicated to Sri Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu. A famous festival Ratha Yatra, every year took place here, where three gods (Jagannath, Balaram, and Subhadra) are pulled on Rath (decorated temple car), millions of people participate in the event. Unlike another god, these gods are made of wood and get replaced in every twelve years with an exact replica. Other than the Hindu religion, no one is allowed inside the temple. But a small replica is built for those who cannot enter.
The temple houses its own market to provide daily needs, wells to provide water and the bhog (prasadam) preparation process is also different than any other temples. In a magical way, clay pots are placed in a special earthen oven, seven in numbers, one on top of another. Yet the one on the top is cooked first. This kitchen considered to be the world’s largest and biggest Kitchen. More than 5000 people get Bhog every day and in the festive season, the amounts get multiply many times.
There are a lot of believes exist,
- You cannot hear sea roar from the very first step in the temple.
- Nothing flies over the temple
- Temple flag waves in the opposite direction of the wind. This flag gets replaced every day by a single boy (priest).
- You cannot see the shadow of the temple.
- The Chakra on top of the temple can be seen from any part of the city and always felt to face your side.
Konark Sun Temple is famous for its architecture and history, located near Chandrabhaga Beach, approximately 35 KM from Puri. Although this temple was built to worship Surya god, due to the death of lead labor (who lead the other labor to built the temple) in this holy land even before the god established, worship never took place (as per local guide). Lots of men and women structure in the wall of the temple tells the story of that time. The Chakra works as a sundial and accurately tells time and other Chakras denotes the different phase of Life.
The temple was built in the shape of a temple car (Rath) and completely made of stones & metals (only in few joints). Locals say, there was a huge magnet on top of the temple which attracts other ships. The magnet got stolen by foreign bandits. Architect people will love this place and how the structure made is itself research. Archaeological Survey of India maintains this temple also UNESCO declared this as a world’s heritage site.
This temple is dedicated to worship Lord Shiva. It is approx 55 kilometers from Puri and worth visiting for a religious purpose.
Dhaulagiri (Shanti Stupa):
This place symbolizes peace, even the name Shanti refers to peace. The main worship of god is Buddha here. It is located on an elevated hill, hence view from this place looks awesome.
There are lot more temples in puri, even Masir Bari (Sri Jagannath’s Aunt House), Pisir Bari (Sri Jagannath’s Aunt House), Sri Gour Bihara, etc. One needs at least two days to visit each popular temples in Puri.
Khandagiri and Udayagiri Caves:
Udayagiri and Khandagiri are two adjacent hills, houses multiple caves, 18 and 15 respectively. Local says that Jain Sadhus used to live in these caves. Some believe these caves are partially made by human beings. In Udaya Giri, caves are pretty evident but in Khanda Giri those are rare. If you reach on top of both the places, the view will be great. Beware of monkeys, they run before foods especially peanuts and banana.
This is the largest coastal brackish water lagoon in India & Second in the World. Chilika lake spread over 1100 sq. kilometers. It hosts some rare species of birds, fauna and sea habitats. There are multiple entries points to the lake like Satapada, Rambha, Barkul, all have their own beauties. Who loves to explore more, can visit the islands. Mangalajodi is a place near Chilika is famous for bird lovers. Although out of all these places, a tourist coming from Puri in general enter from Satapada and take few hour-long boat ride to few islands and dolphin point. I had noticed a significant change in dolphin count a few years back.
I have a plan to visit Puri again in some time, if I get any new or detailed info, I will definitely update here. Also, I will add a few more pictures soon.
I do not want this post to be boring so our next part will be on a few more sightseeing points, foods, accommodation, transportation, famous things to buy and suggested Itinerary. Click here for Part 2.
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BTW, You can check our Vizag, Bakkhali, Mandarmani, Digha guide here.
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