Situated in the South Indian state of Orissa, Puri is one of the most sacred Hindu cities, being the abode of Lord Jagannath. Thousands of devotees start thronging the Jagannath temple and other nearby places of revere since the break of dawn and the buzz continues till late in the evening. Puri is also home to an enchanting beach, which besides attracting devotees also draws a number of tourists for its salubrious climate and quaint atmosphere. The chequered history of Puri witnessed it being conquered and ruled by numerous dynasties such as Kalinga and Maurya, before being captured by the British during the early part of the 19th century.
Climate & Best time to Visit
Puri being a seaside city experiences a humid climate. The summer season can be extremely hot, especially during the peak months, while monsoons experience torrential rainfall accompanied by high levels of humidity. Winters from October to March is the time when the conditions are comfortable and best for a visit.
Also Read: Culture and Tradition of Odisha
Religious Attractions in Puri
Built during the 12th century, the Jagannath temple is a fine illustration of the Kalinga style of architecture. The intricately carved gopuram of the temple rises to a height of 214 feet, making it the tallest temple in Orissa. Four towering gateways minutely carved and colorfully decorated separate the inside sanctum and the outside world. The rath yatra (chariot procession), held during the month of July every year is a major event and is attended by thousands of devotees from across the globe. The event marks the homecoming of Lord
The Gundicha temple is located near the Jagannath temple, at the spot from where the Rath Yatra of Puri originates. The place holds special significance for Hindus as Lord Jagannath is said to have stayed here for nine days.
Other Attractions in Puri
The magnificent bridge connects Puri with the rest of the cities in Orissa. The perfection in the architecture is sometimes hard to believe considering the 13th century period when it was built. A number of devotees can be seen around the area during the morning, offering prayers to the rising sun.
A major tourist attraction in Puri is the Chilka Lake, which is also one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia. The shimmering waters of the lake and the surrounding lush greenery make it an ideal picnic spot, attracting a number of tourists and holidaymakers every day. The shops located nearby provide eatables and other necessities.
The location of Puri, besides the sea, blesses it with some of the finest beaches found anywhere in the country. The golden sands and cool climate of the area draws a number of tourists to enjoy a day of fun and frolic beside the beach. The beach festival is held in the month of October/November every year.
Puri is a major pilgrimage and tourist destination which receives a regular influx of tourists throughout the year. The city offers all kinds of accommodation including budget and luxury. Some of the best-rated hotels in Puri are Hotel Vijoya International (3 stars, situated on Chakratirtha Road just 65 km from the airport, 0.5 km from railway station & 1.5 km from bus stand), Sterling Resort (3-star equivalent, situated in Sipesarubali Village just 65 km from the airport, 5 km from railway station & 4 km from bus stand), Hans Coco Palms (3 stars, situated in Swargadwar just 65 km from the airport, 0.5 km from railway station & 3 km from bus stand), Toshali Sands (4 star, situated on Puri – Konark Marine Drive just 65 km from the airport, 8 km from railway station & 3 km from Puri Beach) and Mayfair Beach Resort (3 stars, situated on Chakratirtha Road just 65 km from the airport, 0.5 km from railway station & 1.5 km from bus stand).
By Air: Bhubaneshwar is the nearest airport, which is connected to major Indian cities through regular flights. From Bhubaneshwar, you can board a bus or hire a taxi to reach Puri.
By Rail: Puri has its own railway station which connects it with major Indian cities through regular trains.
By Road: Puri is connected to the rest of the cities in Orissa through National Highway No. 5. State transport buses operate regularly between Puri and major neighboring cities including Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar.
Distance from Major Cities
Delhi: 1306 Km
Bhubaneshwar: 61 Km
Calcutta: 397 Km
Hyderabad: 817 Km
Mumbai: 1367 Km
Vishakhapatnam: 354 Km