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Puri:  
City Sightseeing Details :
• Area 16.84 sq. km
• Population 1,25,199
• Altitude Sea level
• Languages Oriya, Bengali, Hindi and English
• Best Time to Visit October-April
• STD Code 06752
Introduction :
Puri as known to the Hindus all over the world is a holy town located on the eastern coast of India. Besides being a religious centre, Puri is also known for the good stretch of the white sand beaches on the banks of Bay of Bengal. The easy accessibility from almost all the major towns and cities of India, wide beaches, the fishing farms and the superb resorts make it an important tourist destination and a major base point to visit the nearby important sites. The famous temple of Lord Jagannath and the annual Rath yatra festival here attracts a large number of tourists every year. The Jagannath Temple is one of the four most important Hindu pilgrimage sites or the chardham, the other three being Dwarka, Badrinath, and Rameshwaram. Moreover, the scenic spots all over this small town with the beaches that offer breathtaking view of sunrise and sunset and the traditional methods of fishing used by the local fishermen are some of the other aspects for which Puri has always attracted the attention of the people.
Sightseeing:
Jagannath Temple:
A visit to Puri, one of the holiest destinations in India, by default means a religious visit to the Jagannath temple, one of the four sacred dhams of the Hindu religion. The magnificent Jagannath temple is dedicated to the Lord of the Universe (Jag-universe/ Nath-lord). It was built in the 12th century and is considered as one of the tallest (65 m) temples in India. Built in the Kalinga style of architecture, the temple consists of Jagmohan (hall) and the Deul (main shrine) in its front. The Nata Mandir and the Bhoga Mandir were built later in the 14th and 15th century in the typical Orissa style. The provision of having meal made of the ingredients donated to the temple is a unique feature of the temple.
Gundicha Ghar:
The Gundicha Ghar or Gundicha temple is another important site to visit in Puri. Regarded as equally holy, this is considered as the place of Lord\’s aunt Gundicha. According to the local belief, Lord stays here for 9 days during the time of the famous Rath yatra or Chariot pulling festival of Puri. On the day of the Rath Yatra, Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are ceremoniously taken in gorgeously caparisoned wooden rath (chariot) from the Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple. At the garden house, their aunt greets them by feeding them padoapitha (specially baked rice cakes). This event also makes an important part of the famous Rath yatra festival of Puri.
Puri Beach:
Perhaps the only walkable beach on the eastern coast of India is the Puri white sand beach. Puri beach is characterised by its utter simplicity, the sweets and snacks hawkers, the wonderful and loving people, and the widespread white sand with the waters from Bay of Bengal continuously washing your feet while you walk. Though dirty at some places
because of the commercial set ups nearby, you can still have the much needed evening walks in the remaining clean stretch. A lazy walk by the sea with few sips of hot and made on the spot tea or tender coconut add up to that heavenly experience. Moreover, you can also request the local boatman for a boat ride into the sea.
Temple Of Child Krishna At Indradyumna Tank:
One of the many places to visit in Puri is the Indradyumna Tank which is famous for its religious importance and its relation to Lord Krishna. The temple has a Child Krishna temple nearby and a small shrine dedicated to King Indradyumna of Orissa. Located on the north western part of the Gundicha Ghar, this Indradyumna lake is one of the five sacred tanks of Puri.
Atharnala Bridge:
Atharnala bridge also makes another site to visit in Puri. It was built in the 13th century over the Mandupur stream. The bridge is situated at the entrance of the town and is considered to be an architectural marvel. This massive bridge of around 85x11 metres is still in use by the city dwellers here.
Excursions From Puri:
Chilika Lake:
The largest brackish water lake in Asia, the Chilika Lake is situated at a distance of 121 km from Bhubaneswar. The lake supports a great variety of aquatic birds which arrive from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea, remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and South East Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas,
to feed and breed in its fertile waters. The shimmering blue waters of the lake attract large number of tourists to this place year after year. The shoreline presents some exciting trekking routes and beach camping facilities. For those in search of leisure or adventure, Chilika makes for an ideal getaway from Bhubaneswar.
Konark:
The Sun Temple at Konark, 65 km away from Bhubaneswar, is a magnificent 13th-century temple. On the shore, Surya, the Sun God, speeding across the sky in a gorgeous chariot has been captured in stone. With its 12 pairs of giant, marvellously sculpted wheels and seven richly caparisoned horses straining their necks to pull the
massive weight, the Sun is often described as /”an allegory in stone/”—the highest point of achievement in the Kalinga school of architecture.
Raghurajpur:
Raghurajpur, a craftsmen’s village located at a distance of about 12 kilometres from Puri, is another must visit to be included in your excursion. It is the birthplace of the famous Orissa Patta chitra textiles or fabrics decorated with the art of Orissa. The village is a literally picturesque place with painters or chitrakars living in it. Raghurajpur
presents the typical picture of an east Indian village with the river Bhargavi flowing just by its side watering the green paddy fields, groves of coconut, palm, mango and jackfruit along with many betel leaf gardens in the backyards of the villagers. If you want to feel the pulse of the native Oriyas, you must not miss a visit to this cool and peaceful village.
Sakhi Gopal:
Located at a distance of 25 kilometres from Puri, Sakhi Gopal is another holy place to visit during your excursion from Puri. According to a legend, Lord Krishna came to this place as a witness or sakhi (the reason behind the place’s name Sakhi Gopal, gopal meaning Lord Krishna) to sort out a dispute of two Brahmans. Later Lord liked this place so much that he decided to stay here for a while. Sakhi Gopal has a life size image of the child Krishna to commemorate the legendary incident.

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