Orissa : Puri

 

Puri, is well-known as a holy pilgrimage spot and at the same time the importance of the place as a foremost tourist destination of India is massive. The name of this holy destination is taken along with the names of the other imperative sacred places like Badrinath, Dwarka and Rameswaram.

Tourists who are going there to feel the spirituality of the sanctified spot should visit colossal Jagannath Temple which is renowned world over. The matchless sight of 7 km long beach of Bay of Bengal is impressive. Especially, the sea beach road and Chakratirtha area are the places where the crowd gathers at. The grand road, located adjacent to the Jagannath temple, is a place for the religious people.

Puri was the capital of Orissa before Cuttack. The exclusive beach town is one of the sought after tourist destinations of India. The violent waves are hitting the sandy beach back and forth. The golden beach looks ravishing with the blue waves of the ocean. The beach is always full of enthusiastic crowd. Take a bath in the sea at least once in your life. But inexperienced people should take precautions. Nulia (a triangular cap which helps bathing) can help you on that matter. Sway your body according to the waves to enjoy the bath more. Take the pleasure in the vista of the sunrise and the sunset standing on the golden sands of the beach. The cool breeze in the early morning and dawn will create a sensational feeling. The size and style of the fishing boats floating on Bay of Bengal vary a lot.

Swargadwar, the place known as the Gateway of Heaven, has an adjoining sacred beach where the believers of Hinduism take holy bath to dismantle the sins that they have committed. There is also a cremation ground, situated next to the Swargadwar.

Take the blessings of Bidur (Hindu deity) in Bidurpuri, built as a commemorative of Bidur. A lot of rocks which are worshipped as Narayana (Hindu deity) are present in Bidurpuri. Another sacred spot called Sudampuri has patalganga and it is also regarded as a holy Gupta destination.

Gobardhan Math, Nanak Math, Kabir Math, Sankaracharya Math, Karar ashram, Anandamayee ashram, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Sri Ramkrishna Mission, Sri Anukul Ashram, Gouriya Math, Nilachal Ashram, Jatiraj Math, and Totanath Math are the other coveted destinations for the religious people.

The most important and alluring attraction for the spiritual throng is the SRI Jagannath temple. A number of surprising tales are attached with the formation and establishment of the temple and its deities. People belonging to any other religion other than Hindu are not permitted to get into the temple premise. The temple was built by spending a heavy amount of gold. Every temple of Orissa is built with four evident portions- main temple, Natmandap, Bhogmandap and Jagmohan. Four doors, Sinhadwar, Hastidwar, Ashwadwar, Kanjadwar, are there in the temple by which devotees can access the temple. There is a 34 feet tall pillar, located at the entrance of the main gate, Singhadwar, which is placed at the eastern side of the temple. Two lions, built with stones, are protecting the temple sitting at both the sides of Singhadwar. Likewise the south, west and north gates of the temple are shielding by the idols of horse, tiger, and elephant respectively. Cross 22 stairways to reach the main premise of the sanctified temple. The height of the temple premise is 22 feet. 424*315 feet fence is protecting and securing the temple. The 58*56 feet Bhogmandap, 80*80 feet Natmandir standing on 16 pillars, 80*120 feet Jagmohan, 80*80 feet Bada deul look wonderful for their innovative architectures. The height of Bada deul is 192 feet. Cross the fence around the temple and you will be able to see a lot of idols of Hindu deities. A number of sculptures of men and women in different postures are carved on the walls of the temple. The collection of idols and fine arts on the walls fascinate holiday makers. The variety of pictures engraved on the walls show the creativity and deep thoughts of the artists. You need to spend some time in the temple if you want to watch the diversified topics and colors of the pictures.

Seven idols or seven valuable ornaments are garnishing the chief throne of the holy place. The main deities of the Jagannath temple are Balaram, Subhadra and Jagannath. Golden Lakhsmi at the left hand side, Saraswati at the right hand side and Nilmadhab at the backend are the other idols embellishing the temple. The main deity is reconstructed twice in every year. The name of the deity is Nabakalevar. In 1996, a fair was also organized which was known as the Nabakalevar utsav. The old Nabakalevar deities are kept at Baikuntha (garden) dham, located outside the premise of the temple.

On different occasions, the ornamentations and attires of the deity Jagannath are changed. The attire of the deity is changed seven times a day. 6000 worshippers and 20,000 workers are earning from the activities of this temple. The biggest kitchen of the world is there in the temple. 70 quintal rice is prepared every day for 10000 devotees. Spend 20 rupees to see the deity in its main throne. A lot of mythological tales are attached with the temple and its deities. Entry into the temple is only restricted to the Hindu communities. Atop the 8 meters high tower offers a panoramic view of Vishnuchakra, built with 8 metals and flag. Women who want a child can wish it standing beneath the hallowed banyan tree. Rohini Kunda (well) is located at the back end of the holy banyan tree.  Take a bath in the Kunda to dismantle the sins that you have committed. Recently the Sri Mandar has been renovated spending as much as 20000000.
Sundichabari, the home of the aunty of the deity, Jagannath, is situated near to the bus stand. Jagannath, Subhadra and Balaram use to ride on 13.5 meters tall chariots on the occasion of Rath Yatra to visit Sundichabari from the Jagannath temple. After the deities come back to their own residence (i.e. the Jagannath temple), the woods of these chariots are sold to the willing devotees. People flock in from different parts of India and abroad to be a part of the celebration on the picky occasion of Rath Yatra. These chariots are built with 1072 trunks of trees. 2188 pieces of woods are required to build these chariots. Apart from the main deities, other deities also reside on the chariots. The 1600 meters of dazzling clothes embellish the chariots. Festivals are almost a daily routine of Puri.
The Bakul tree, beneath which Siddha Bakul has worshipped, can be seen. Gambhira, the residence of Kashi Mishra, is another imperative attraction of Puri.  

Take a bath in the divine Swetganga, situated at the north side of Sri Mandir. The nearby Jaseswar is another spiritual place where devotees come to worship the deity. Narendra Sarabar is another wonderful Lake. The residence of Basudev Sarbabhouma, singular Markandeyaswar temple, temple at the south side of the Lake, Loknath temple, residence of Roy Ramananda, Chandan Sarobar, mausoleum of Vijay Krishna Goswami, mausoleum of Kulkananda Brahmachari are the other important and sought after destinations of Puri.
Adharonola Bridge (85*11 meterr) on Mutiya River is an ancient bridge, built in 1300. The architectures on laterite and lime stones will definitely catch the eyes of tourists.
Take a bath in the holy Indradumna Sarobar. Turtles are the habitants of the Sarobar. It’s a nice feeling to watch them in the water of the Sarobar.

A golden idol is residing in Chakratirtha. Sakhigopal temple, will force you to praise its architectural flair. The temple is located at a distance of 17 km from Puri. Puri-Khurda road local trains are going to Sakhigopal. Sakhigopal can also be accessed by road from Puri.

Puri Beach Festival, celebrated once every year, is attracting a large number of people. The carnival has started from 1993 on the adjoining beach of Swargadwar. The interesting festival offers a lot of fun with dance and music.

Raghurajpur, placed in the shades of coconut groves, about 12 km away from Puri, is a famous place. The name of the place has appeared many times in the Hindu Mythology. The destination is also known for its collection of fascinating fine arts. Some of them are destroyed though but due to the vivid initiatives of Halina Jili, the artists again have started working on this. You can buy any of the pictures or handicrafts from different shops of Raghurajpur, but heavy bargaining sjkills are necessery. Items, built with woods and stones are also on display.

Balighai, about 8 km from Konark, has a huge anthology of items, built by stones. Enthusiasts can also visit the place which is situated at a distance of two and half km towards the west of Khurdah road railway station to watch the Buddha shrine and the math. 

Hire a rickshaw or a car for a city tour.

How to reach: Puri can be accessed by railways from Howrah and Sealdah railway station, Kolkata. It can also be easily reached from Bhubaneswar, the Capital city.

Where to stay: You will be spoilt for choice. But advance booking is necessery, as the place is a favorite tourist destination. Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.

Sea beach of Puri          Sea beach of Puri         Camel riding at Puri sea beach

      Sea beach of Puri                         Sea beach of Puri                 Camel riding at Puri sea beach

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