Puri is a city located in the state of Odisha, India. It is known for its beautiful beaches, ancient temples and vibrant culture.

Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa
Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa

Namaste!

Jai Jagannath!

Wondering why I started my blog with this hailing today, so come let’s find out the answer. As we hear the name, Lord Jagannath, in a flash we are connected to the mysterious land of Puri. Why mysterious, we will know further in this blog. Welcome to Puri Travelog where you will be exposed to the exotic tourist spots of Odisha and the adventures of the Jagannath Rath Yatra.

We will also try to reveal the mystery behind Puri’s pious connection with Lord Jagannath.

Introduction

Hinduism is the religion full of devotion and spiritually uplifting beauty. Moreover, India is the land of mystic temples and splendid natural beauty within. Puri is the most revered and visited place of India in terms of pilgrimage.

Significance of Puri

As we all know, Puri nestled most revered and famous temple of Shri Jagannath ji. Apart from this, Puri holds great significance in lives of Hindu followers. As per text, it is considered one of the pious puri in seven puris of Hindu mythology.

Top places to visit in Puri

Lets peep into the mind blowing journey to Puri, Odisha through different places and temples :

Jagannath Temple

The Jagannath Temple is one of the most famous and sacred Hindu temples in India. It is dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Vishnu) and is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and rich history.

Highlights of Jagannath temple

a) As per history, the present temple was rebuilt by Anantavarman Chodaganga, the first king of the Eastern Ganga dynasty.

b) Lord Jagannath resides with his elder borher Lord Balarama and sister Subhadra in the garbh griha of temple.

c) Amazing fact is one can not see the sound od sea inside the temple.

d) The pataka (flag) of Jagannath temple always flutters in opposite direction of wind. It is no fly zone above the temple. There is 1800 years old tradition, a priest climbs atop the Shikhara of the Jagannath Temple every day in order to change the flag. Moreover, it is said that if this ritual is skipped even for a day then the temple will remain closed for 18 long years.

e) The temple is as tall as a 45 story building. For changing the flag, there is no protective gears are used and it is performed with bare hands.

f) Rath Yatra is a very famous festival here which is celebrated with huge zeal every year. It is usually celebrated in the month of Ashadha (late June or early July8) according to the Hindu calendar. Every year millions of people visit this Rath Yatra to witness the majesty of this royal celebration. This lays the foundation for the mysterious connection of Puri with Lord Jagannath and many related stories popular till date.  

g) The idols in the temple are made up of wood. These idols are replaced every 8, 12 or 19 years. The process of making wooden idols is done secretly and even the woods are also selected from selected neem trees at selected place all done secretly by priests.

h) Although, there is no shadow of the temple at anay time of the day. You can witness this architectural marvel with your own eyes.

i) Infact, Mahaprasadam is cooked at temple premises in 7 earthen pots. The food at the top cooked first and the food at the bottom vessel gets cooked last. Amazing fact is this food is cooked for all the devotees everyday. It never gets wasted and never get short.

j) Indeed, Jagannath temple is full of mysteries and astonishing facts. However, ther is a wheel of fortune over the top of the temple. One can see it from any side or any direction, he will find it facing towards himself only.

Timings

Morning : 6 AM to 12 PM

Evening : 12 PM to 9 PM

Puri Beach

Puri Beach
Puri Beach

Puri Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Puri. It is a beautiful and serene beach that offers a relaxing atmosphere for visitors. Moreover, beach is also known for its water sports activities like surfing, swimming and boating.

However, it is believed to be auspicious and famous for the holy dip by devotees coming for Lord Jagannath’s darshan

The beach also flaunts sand art by internationally renowned artist Sudarshan Patnaik. 

Timings

24 hours open

Konark Sun Temple, Puri

Konark Temple, Puri
Konark Temple, Puri

The Konark Sun Temple is another famous temple in Odisha, located about 35 km from Puri.

Highlights of Konark Sun Temple

a) Further, it is a 13th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site and also a known pilgrimage site for many.

b) Its exquisite architecture and intricate carvings are the major attractions of this temple which is dedicated to the Hindu god Sun or Surya.

c) Furthermore, the temple is designed in the form of a 100-foot-high chariot by King Narasimhadeva in 1250 AD. He ordered 1200 workers to work hard for 12 years rigourously to complete the task.

d) Moreover, Konark temple is made of Khondalite rocks and stands on a raised platform.

e) Apparently, the entrance of the temple is guarded by two huge lions, and the temple’s spire, which once stood at 227 feet (69 meters), has collapsed over time. The two huge lions at the entrance, each killing a war elephant and beneath the elephant is a man. The lions represent pride, elephants represent wealth and both of them consumes man.

f) Do you know it was built to showcase Lord Sun running on his seven horses with 24 wheels all around the temple? Yes, the temple is constructed to show the cariot of Lord Sun as main structure. These seven horses represents seven days of week and 12 pairs of wheels (each 10 feet diameter) represents 12 months a year and 24 hours a day.

g) Konark temple was initially built on the beach side of sea but gradually the sea has receded and the temple is a little away from the beach.

h) Astonishing fact is that everyday, the Sun’s rays would reach the Deul (main temple tower) from the coast and reflects from the diamond placed at the center of the idol.

i) There is light and sound show in the evening.

j) Additionally, there is a world renowned Konark Dance Festival holds everything was not so easy.

k) Eventually, the first rays of the Sun fall on the temple’s main entrance, and it’s interesting to know that the iconic wheel also works as a sundial. Astronomers that time qere way ahead of us without such techno savvy equipments.

Timings

Darshana : 6 AM – 8 PM

Gundicha Temple, Puri

The Gundicha Temple is another famous temple in Puri and is located about 3 km from the Jagannath Temple. The temple is only open for devotees during the annual Rath Yatra festival. Rest of the days, temple is vacant.

Additionally, during the festival, the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra are taken from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple on three massive chariots.

Moreover, it is believed to be the place where Lord Jagannath spends his annual seven-day vacation during the Rath Yatra festival.

Gudhicha was a queen and a great devotee of Lord Jagannath ji. However, there is another story, Gudicha is Mausi (aunty) of Lord Jagannath ji.

Puri Beach Market

The Puri Beach Market is a must-visit for those looking for a unique shopping experience. I went to this market to shop and collect many items for my family members at affordable price here. It is a bustling market that offers a wide range of local handicrafts, souvenirs and traditional textiles. It can be another place worth your time during Puri travel. 

Pipili, Puri

Furthermore, Pipili is a small town located about 20 km from Puri and is known for its beautiful applique work. The town is home to a number of skilled artisans who create intricate designs on textiles, which are sold in markets throughout the region.

However, Chandua is the main handicraft work which involves major portion of population of city. Chaandua is atria word means a patch or applique. Here, the applique work was started to decorate the umbrellas, chariots and and other decorative items in Rath Yatra. But, now the economy of the place depends majorly on applique handicraft. From.purses, umbrellas to ladies garment, there is ample variety of items.

Besides this, Pipili is also known for its annual fair, the Pipili Mela, which is held every year.

For many, it is shoppers paradise specialy for those who have eye for lovely traditional work. Pipili is also home to several ancient temples and monuments. 

Sakhigopal Temple, Puri

As name suggests, this temple nestled the idol of bhagwan Gopinath ji who was sakshi (witness) to the truth of Gopala.

Gopala was a local villager and went to pilgrimage to Braj and Kashi with the old headman (head brahmin) of the village. He served and helped the headman in his illness when no one turned upto him. On this headman promised to marry his daughter to Gopala. Later, headman denied the fact of services of Gopala. On this Gopala prayed to Lord Krishna to be with him.

Hence, Lord Krishna became witness to his words and called Sakhigopal ji. Indeed, it is believed that Lord Krishna should not stay single in the temple. So, a bronze statue of Radha ji was installed later.

Apparently, some believe that the idol was installed by King Vajra(great grandson of Lord Krishna) at the temple premises. He had installed idols of Shri Krishna at Radha Vallabh (Vrindavan) and Govind dev ji temple at Jaipur.

Additionally, this place is 20 kms away from Puri.

Timings

Darshana timings : 6 AM to 9 PM

How to reach Puri

To experience the paradise of pilgrimage lush greenery, splendid beaches and ascetic shopping experience, one must visit Puri through given means of transportation :

By Air: Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar is the nearest (56 kms away) airport connected to Puri. It is well connected to Metros of the country. from here, one can avail taxi facility.

By Train: Puri Junction Is the main railway station connected to all the cities. It is a a station where majorly long route trains from metro cities come. One can easily reach Puri via train from Bhubaneswar.

By Road: Certainly, road connectivity to Puri is quite affordable and reachable. Here, one can travel via buses from Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. One can avail the pre and post paid cabs from local tour operators working in online and offline modes.

Conclusion

Overall, Puri is a beautiful destination that offers a unique blend of spirituality, culture, and natural beauty. It is a must-visit place for anyone travelling to eastern India. So, now if you are ready to travel,then Puri hotel booking is advisable. You can look for the Puri hotel booking price list online for better and more convenient options. I hope this travelog is helpful for you to plan your Puri tour and you return with an amazing experience.   

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