Puri

Welcome to the abode of Lord Jagannath – Shri Jagannath Puri!

Puri – one of the sacred cities of India is a beautiful sea side destination in Odisha. Renowned for Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri is situated 65 Km north of the capital city – Bhubaneswar.

Puri lies in the coastal delta formed by the Mahanadi River on the seashore of the Bay of Bengal. One of the Char-Dhams (four sacred places in India for followers of Hindu religion), Puri is believed to be the dwelling place of Shri Jagannath. Apart from its religious significance, Puri is known for its link with Adi Shankaracharya – the great Saint, who founded the oldest math in the city.

The city thrives in its temples, maths, ashrams, crowded streets, masses of pilgrims and bustling markets. Apart from imposing temples, Puri is famous for its beaches, where one can behold one of the most beautiful sunset and sunrise.

Being a coastal city, humidity persists in the city throughout the year. The temperature of the city varies from maximum 36° C in summer to 17° C during winter. The best time to visit the place is during Rath Yatra, which is one of the largest gatherings of the pilgrims in the country.

The main attractions of Puri concentrate in its ancient, splendid temples. Some of the remarkable temples of the city to visit are – Shri Jagannath Temple, Gundicha Ghar and Konark Sun Temple. Apart from temple, the city houses some very beautiful beaches where you can feast your eyes with the mesmerising sunrise & sunset sights. There are also some maths in the city, which are visited by the travellers like Suna Goswami Math and Govardhan Math.

 

Jagannath Temple

Built in 1161, Jagannath Temple is a part of one of the ‘Char Dhams’ (four most important pilgrimage centres following Hindu religion). This revered temple is devoted to prime deity Lord Jagannath (form of Vishnu) accompanied with his two siblings Subhadra (sister) and Balabhadra (brother).

The temple is built in Kalinga style of architecture on a raised platform of about 420,000 square feet. Surrounded by fortified walls, the temple constitutes more than 120 temples and shrines.

Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival) is one of the most important festivals of Puri, which is hosted in Jagannath Temple. In this event, huge decorated chariots are brought out, one for each deity. The idols are positioned in their respective chariot and a grand procession is followed by the devotees.

The temple is also worldwide famous for its tasty Mahaprasad (holy food offered to the deity), which is prepared in the temple’s kitchen (World’s largest kitchen which feeds around 10,000 people daily).

ADDRESS – Grand Road, Puri

TIMINGS – 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM

ENTRY FEE – Free Entry

Gundicha Temple

Built during 16th and 17th century by the queen of Indradyumna – ‘Gundicha’, Gundicha Temple is a widely known temple of Puri. This temple is placed in the centre of a beautiful garden with wall boundaries on all sides. This is one of the most worshipped temples of the place, Iocated 3 Km from the main temple of Jagannath and both these temples are situated at either end of the Grand Road. According to the popular belief, this temple is abode of the aunt of Lord Krishna and a single sight of the lord here is equal to a thousand visits to the main temple. As per myths and legends of Hindu religion, this temple is the very place where the lord spends nine days of a year during Rath Yatra Festival. At this time, the images of the Balbhadra, Jagannath and Subhadra are transported in beautifully decorated wooden chariots from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Ghar.

ADDRESS Gundicha Temple, Puri

TIMINGS All days of the week

                 6:00 AM – 3:00 PM

                 4:00 AM – 10:00 PM

ENTRY FEE – Free Entry

Puri Beach

Located on the shore of Bay of Bengal, Puri beach is one of the major sacred places thronged by the Hindu devotees who take a pilgrimage to Puri. Apart from this, the beach is also a major tourist attraction for its unparalleled beauty and spectacular views of sunrise and sunset.

The Puri Beach also serves as venue for annual Beach Festival, which takes place in November. Situated at a distance of 35 Km from the Sun Temple and 65 Km from Bhubaneswar, the beach is visited by large number of locals as well as foreign travellers. This beach is also famous for the sand sculptures, including the artistic creation made by the renowned and internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarshan Patnayak.

ADDRESS – Chakratara Road, Puri

Chilika Lake

Crowned to be the largest coastal lagoon in India, Chilika Lake is situated on the coast of Odisha. This pear shaped lake, covering an area of 1,100 square kilometres, is separated from the Bay of Bengal. Sheltering a huge range of flora, fauna and aquatic animals, this brackish water lake is one of the most supportive ecosystems of the country. In the migratory season, the lake invites more than hundred species of birds from the foreign lands, making it a paradise for bird lovers and ornithologists. One can also spot dolphins in this lagoon.

ADDRESS – Chilika, Satapada, Khordha, Puri, Odisha

TIMINGS – 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM

ENTRY FEE – Free Entry

Konark Sun Temple

One of the most famous tourist destinations in Puri, Konark Sun Temple is one of the masterpieces in religious architecture. Built in 13th century by King Narasimhadeva, the temple is in the shape of a colossal chariot with intricately carved twenty four stone wheels and seven horses carrying Surya, the sun god. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located at 35 Km from Puri and 65 Km from Bhubaneswar. The name Konark is made of two words Kona meaning corner and Arka meaning the Sun. As per the legends, after killing demon Gyasur, Lord Vishnu put his belongings at several places to celebrate the victory. With his Conch at Puri, Disc in Bhubaneswar; he placed the Lotus at Konark. This monument was also called the ‘Black Pagoda’ by the European sailors, as they used the temple’s tower for navigation.

ADDRESS – Konark, Puri

TIMINGS – 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM

ENTRY FEE – INR 10 per person for Indians

                      INR 250 per person for foreign tourists

                      Free entry for children up to 15 years

Sand Art Park

Located at a distance of 12 Km from Puri, at Giral Beach; Sand Art Park is house of beautiful sand sculptures. Spread over 30 acres area, this sand park was set up by India’s first sand animator, Manas Kumar Sahoo. He is an internationally renowned sand artist and animator, who designs excellent & meaningful sand sculptures with his skilled hands.

ADDRESS – Near Surya Complex, Grand Road, Puri

TIMINGS – 12:00 AM – 12:00 PM

ENTRY FEE – Free Entry

Swargadwar Beach

Swargadwar, which literally means ‘Door to Heaven’ is a significant attraction of the place. Located 2 Km from Shri Jagannath Temple, this place is related to many mythical stories. As per one legend, it was the bathing place of Sri Chaitanaya Dev, who was rewarded to merge into Lord Brahma and go to heaven, due to his devotion. It is believed that those who pass away at this sacred place is transported to heaven directly and attains salvation.

ADDRESS – Swargadwar Beach, Puri

TIMINGS – 12:00 AM – 12:00 PM

ENTRY FEE – Free Entry

Balighai

Located around 8 Km northeast of Puri, Balighai is one of the pristine and remarkable beaches in Odisha. This white sandy beach is situated at the origin point of Nuanai River. One can have stunning views of sunrise and sunset here. Apart from boat ride, there are many water sports available at this beach like water skiing, parasailing. You can also visit the Balihirana Deer Sanctuary and the Sea Turtle Research Centre, which are located at a short distance from here.

ADDRESS – Balighai, Puri

Chandrabhaga Beach

Chandrabhaga Beach is a serene and one of the finest beaches, located 3 Km from Konark Sun Temple. This beach used to be the confluence of Chandrabhaga River, so derived its name Chandrabhaga. The river is still believed to be holy and well regarded for its mythological value. It is considered that a dip in the River can cure leprosy. On Magha Saptami, people visit the confluence of River Chandrabhaga and Bay of Bengal to take a holy dip.

ADDRESS – Close to Sun Temple, Konark, Puri

TIMINGS – 12:00 AM – 12:00 PM

ENTRY FEE – Free Entry

The cuisine of Odisha is simple & healthy, yet delicious in taste. With no or very less use of oil, the cuisine of Odisha has a rich culinary tradition. Most of the people in the state are vegetarian, but a considerable population consumes fish and other sea foods like prawns, crabs and lobsters, available in abundance at the long coastline of the state. Curd and coconut milk is widely use in different dishes.

Pakhala is a major dish of Odia cuisine, which is a combination of rice and water, fermented overnight. This dish, which is very significant in rural areas is relished with many side dishes and is also believed to protect the human body from extreme summer heat. Dalma is another popular & healthy dish, which is prepared by cooking lentils with four to five types of vegetables, followed by tempering with spices. Santula is another famous and healthy boiled vegetable based dish. Pitha which are a kind of rice cakes, is another major delicacy of Odisha, prepared in many varieties like Poda Pitha, Haladi Patra Pitha etc.

Sweets are integral part of Odia cuisine. Rasgulla, which is famous all over the country, has originated from Odisha. Chhenapoda is another sweet dish of Odisha, which is known for its unique and delicious taste. Malpua and Kakara Peetha are one of the must try sweet dishes for people having sweet tooth. Ariselu is another authentic Odia sweet dish, prepared from rice flour and jaggery.

Puri, being one of the most visited tourist destinations as well as pilgrim centre of the country, is provided with many good quality restaurants, eateries and food joints. Apart from Odia dishes, South Indian dishes like dosa, vada, idli & samosa, poori-chhole, poha are widely eaten and are easily available in the eating joints of the state.

Here, we are telling you about some of the popular restaurants of Puri.

The Gajapati

This is a multi- cuisine in-house restaurant of Holiday Resort, which offers delicious Continental as well as Indian food. It is advisable to try its authentic local sweets and some tasty snacks.

RECOMMENDED DISHES - Odia Desserts

ADDRESS – Chakratirtha Road, Puri, Odisha

OPENING – CLOSING TIME11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

COST FOR TWOINR 200 - 500

Honey Bee Bakery & Pizzeria

Visit Honey Bee Bakery & Pizzeria and enjoy sumptuous pancakes and pizzas in its rooftop restaurant. This café is also known to serve one of the best coffee and sandwiches.

RECOMMENDED DISHES

  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches

ADDRESS – C T Road, Puri, Odisha

OPENING – CLOSING TIME9:00 AM – 10:00 PM

COST FOR TWOINR 120 – 350

Chung Wah Restaurant

Want to chow some authentic Chinese in Puri? Then, visit Chung Wah Restaurnat. Started in 1975, this restaurant is popular for serving tasty Chinese dishes prepared from fresh vegetables and real flavours of China.

RECOMMENDED DISHES:

  • Sichuan Chicken
  • Spring Rolls
  • Prawns
  • Mixed Noodles
  • Poached Eggs

ADDRESS – VIP Road, Hotel Lee Garden, Puri, Odisha

OPENING – CLOSING TIME11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

COST FOR TWOINR 100 – 600

Xanadu Garden Restaurant

Xanadu is a fine dinging place with a backdrop of beautiful garden. The place is furnished with attractive interiors and nice ambience. You can enjoy some delicious dished here accompanied with relaxing music.

ADDRESS – CT Road, Puri, Odisha

OPENING – CLOSING TIME7:00 AM – 11:00 PM

COST FOR TWOINR 400

Peace Restaurant

Peach Restaurant is a good budget choice for an eating place in Puri. With thatched roof and simple dining area, the restaurant serves some very good dishes, especially Indian food.

RECOMMENDED DISHES:

  • Fried Pomfret and other sea food
  • Paneer Chilly
  • Soup

ADDRESS – Chakratirtha Road, Puri, Odisha

OPENING – CLOSING TIME8:00 AM – 10:30 PM

COST FOR TWOINR 300 onwards

This holy city of Puri is visited by large number of travellers, not just for pilgrimage but also for the colourful festivals it hosts. The place is paradise for fest lovers as Odisha is known to celebrate sixty-two festivals and most of them are held in Puri.

Let’s know about these festivals:

RATH YATRA

Rath Yatra (chariot festival) is the most awaited and significant festival of Puri. This festival is one of a kind in the whole world, which features the largest chariot of Lord Jagannath. Rath Yatra is celebrated in the month of Asadha (June/July, which is rainy season in Odisha). During this time deities – Lord Jagannath and his two siblings lord Balbhadra and Subhadra, come out of the temple to give all their devotees darshan (sight). The idol of each deity is then taken in their own decorated chariot to Gundicha Temple, 3 Km away, which is devoted to lord’s aunt.

On this day, devout devotees from all over the country visit Puri and pull the chariots to the Gundicha Temple, followed by a grand procession. The chariots used during this Yatra are built every year by the carpenters.

PUSHYAVISHEKA

Pushyavisheka, which is held on the full-moon day - in the month of ‘Pausha’ (December - January), marks the beginning of the annual cycle of Puri festivals. This festival is Abhisheka or coronation ceremony of Lord Jagannath.

DOLA YATRA (Holi)

Dola Yatra is basically Holi festival of other parts of India, which is held in the month of March. Though Holi is far and wide celebrated in the entire country, Dol Yatra is somewhat different in its manner of celebration. In it representative deities – Dologobinda, Bhudevi and Sreedevi are taken outside the main sanctum – Dola Vedi, where special rites are performed followed by the celebration of the festival of colours.

CHANDAN YATRA

This festival takes place on Akshaya Tritya (April) every year, which marks the beginning of the construction of the Chariots for grand Rath Yatra. This festival is also end point of the festive cycle of Odisha.

SNANA YATRA

Also known as Snana Utsav, Snana Yatra is commemoration of Lord Jagannath’s birthday by the local inhabitants. This religious festival is held in the month of May as per Hindu calendar and in these idols of the deities of Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra and Subhadra are brought outside the main sanctum and bathed in 108 pitchers. After it, they are dressed in Gajanana Vesha and taken to ‘Snanamandapa’ where they are offered Bhoga (special food for deities). This is a very significant festival of Puri, which is celebrated by devotees with much enthusiasm and devotion.

NABAKALEBARA

Nabakalebara is observed in Shri Jagannath Temple, where re-incarnation of the idols of the deities – Lord Jagannath, Lord Balbhadra, Devi Subhadra and Sudarshana takes place. The old idols of the deities are replaced by the new ones, but their soul substance remains the same. ‘Naba’ means new and Kalebara means body is very significant ritual which is observed in a long gap of 12 to 19 years, as in 1912, 1931, 1950, 1969, 1977, 1996 and 2015.

KONARK DANCE FESTIVAL

Started in the year 1986 at Konark Natya Mandap, Konark Dance Festival showcases outstanding classical dance performances in Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Manipuri, Kathakali and other traditional dance. Held every year, this well attended dance show is performed by talented dancers in the backdrop of the magnificent Sun Temple, Konark. It is a real treat for the dance lovers to watch the traditional dance performances in such an aesthetic ambience. Along with this big cultural event, a craft’s mela is also organised in which fine pieces of sculptures and handicrafts are displayed.

VENUE – Konark Natya Mandap, Arka Vihar, Konark

PASSES – INR 400 (for all five days of the event)

Shopping is indispensable and one of the favourite parts of any itinerary. How can this be left in Puri! This religious place is full of many unique and tempting items to shop, though you will have to do a little bargain before purchasing any item. There are many government emporiums to private outlets, where you find a mixture of sundry items to take back to home. Puri is famous for its handicraft items. So, don’t forget to buy handicraft bags, wall hangings, lampshades, that are tokens of this holy site. The place is also perfect to buy good quality cotton and silk sarees. Among traditional sarees Passapali, ikat and Bomkai are very famous and widely preferred. As Puri houses one of the popular beaches of country, you will find attractive shells items. Stone articles, jewellery, decorative items, palm leaf paintings, silk and cotton textiles, metal ware are other miscellaneous objects, which can be picked from the markets of Puri. As Puri is a religious place, so you can find plenty of religious objects here. Among this you can buy Jagannath figures, which are holy yet attractive items to carry back home.

Some of the chief markets of Puri are:

Pipli

Pipli is a small village that is located between Puri and Bhubaneswar. The place is renowned and remarkable for applique work. You can get here some really beautiful wall hangings; lamp shades etc. don’t give a miss to this place, if you are in Puri and do bargain before you purchase anything.

ADDRESS – Pipli, Puri, Odisha

TIMINGS – 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

SHOP FOR – Lamp Shades

 

Boyanika

This market is situated near Jagannath Temple, where you can buy some traditional handloom items of Odisha. It is a leading manufacturer of hand woven sarees and clothes in Odisha.

ADDRESS – P.J.N. Marg, Unit III, Bhubneshwar, Puri, Odisha

TIMINGS – 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

SHOP FOR – Handlooms

 

Raghurajpur

Located 12 Km from Puri, at the bank of Bhargavi River, Raghurajpur is known for its excellent art and craft. The artisans of the village produced some excellent handicraft items, in which the most noticeable and famous item is Pattachitra – Palm leaf painting. Other items include wooden toys, wood carvings and other handicraft objects.

Being one of the holy cities for Hindus, Puri has plenty of staying places from deluxe to budget. As the place is visited by large number of pilgrims and travellers, it offers good hotels in a wide range. If you want a luxurious stay in Puri, there are many options like Toshali Sands Ethnic Village, The Hans Coco Plams and Mayfair Waves. Experience the comfort and modern facilities in hotels like Hotel Shakti International, Nayak Beach Resort, Hotel Lee Garden, Chanakya BNR Hotel etc. Apart from these options, there are budget hotels, guesthouses and lodges also in Puri, welcoming its guests with good facilities.

Here, we are telling about some selected hotels in detail.

Jamindars Palace

Hotel Jamindars Place is a luxurious hotel in Puri, located 1.7 Km from Shri Jagannath Temple and 3.9 Km from Konark Beach. This modern beachfront hotel is constructed with a Colonial – style exterior and features rooms with modern décor and balconies with sea views. This three star hotel is well equipped with all the necessary and modern facilities, inviting its guests for a comfortable stay.

AMENITIES

  • Parking Facilities Available
  • Business Centre
  • Banquet Facility
  • Laundry Service
  • Free Internet Access

ADDRESS Chakratirtha Road, Beside Panthanivas Hotel, Puri, Odisha

PRICEINR 4,400 onwards

Hotel Shakti International

Situated 1.7 Km from Puri Railway Station and 1.5 Km from Shri Jagannath Temple; Hotel Shakti International is a nice staying place. The hotel is well-appointed with tidy rooms and all the necessary facilities.

AMENITIES

  • Parking Facilities
  • Central Air-Conditioning
  • Conference Facility
  • Swimming Pool
  • Banquet Facilities
  • Business Centre
  • Multi Cuisine Restaurant, Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian Kitchens Separate, Jain Food Available

ADDRESS Near Sea Beach, VIP Road, Puri, Odisha

PRICE INR 3,000 onwards

Ananya Resort

With numerous facilities and pleasing service, Ananya Resort is a fine staying place in Puri. Located 1.5 Km from Shri Jagannath Temple and 3.6 Km from Konark Temple, this resort offers well furnished rooms to its guests, for a comfortable stay.

AMENITIES

  • Parking Facility
  • Swimming Pool
  • Suits
  • Disabled Friendly Facilities
  • Laundry Service Available
  • Fitness Equipment / Meditation Room/ Yoga Hall/ Spa
  • Banquet Facilities
  • Central – Air Conditioning
  • Car Rental
  • Multi Cuisine Restaurant, Kitchen – home cook food is also available on request, Jain Food Available

 

ADDRESS – 12/411 Bankimuhan, VIP Road, Puri, Odisha

PRICEINR 3600 onwards

Hotel Deepak

This budget hotel is located 3.1 Km from Shri Jagannath Temple, 3.7 Km from Konark Temple and 1.8 Km from Railway Station. The ideal location of the place, availability of AC & non AC rooms and good facility make Hotel Deepak, a nice choice to stay in Puri.

AMENITIES

  • Parking Facility
  • Laundry Service
  • 24 Hours Room Service
  • Multi Cuisine Restaurant

ADDRESS – C. T. Road, Near Ramakrishna Math, Puri, Odisha

PRICEINR 1,000 onwards

 

Hotel Pushpa (Berries Group of Hotels)

Hotel Pushpa, located 1.1 Km from Shri Jagannath Temple, is a nice place to stop over in Puri. Provided with AC rooms and good quality facilities, this hotel offers a cosy stay.

AMENITIES

  • Free Wi-Fi connectivity in every room
  • Parking Facility
  • Laundry Service
  • Banquet Facilities
  • ATM in the hotel premises
  • Multi Cuisine Restaurant

ADDRESS – Gopal Ballav Road, Sea Beach, Puri, Odisha

PRICEINR 1,200 onwards

Being an important pilgrimage centre for Hindus, Puri has good connectivity with the other parts of country by air, rail and road. With good network of roads, railway and flights, Puri can be easily accessed from any part of the country. To get around the holy place, the most convenient and easily accessible mode of transport is cycle rickshaws. Auto rickshaws are also available in the city, though few in numbers. You can also here bicycle or motorcycle from many travel agents or rental outlets in the city.

Reaching Puri by Air

The nearest airport to Puri is Biju Patnaik Airport, located in Bhubaneswar, 60 Km away. The airport is well connected to other major cities of the country like New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Nagpur, Hyderabad etc. with domestic and regular flights.

Reaching Puri by Train

Puri is linked to other major cities of the country including New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Ahmedabad with direct express trains.

Reaching Puri by Road

Puri is well connected to nearby major cities like Cuttack and Bhubaneswar by frequent buses. The bus terminus in Puri is situated near the Gundicha Temple. Facility of regular minibuses to Konark is also available. In addition to it, there are direct bus service from Kolkata and Visakhapatnam. Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) buses are also run from all the major cities, towns and villages to Puri.

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