A major dham in Odisha, Puri is known as the Abode of Lord Jagannath and is counted as the most respected pilgrim destinations in India. Located around 60 KM away from the capital city, Bhubaneswar, this place is visited by a large number of Hindu pilgrims every day. Called by several numbers of names, such as ‘Martya Vaikuntha’, ‘Jagannat Puri’ and ‘Sri Purusottama Dham’, this pious city form “the Golden Triangle of East India”, along with Konark and Bhubaneswar. Puri is the venue of one of the most important religious procession in the country, ‘Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra’ that appears during the months of June or July. Besides its religious importance, Puri also boats of picturesque natural beauty and splendor. In fact, some of the most beautiful beaches of India are in Puri only. So, whether you are planning a pilgrimage or a leisure trip, read on to the following write-up and know more about the city.
Jagannath temple is indisputably the most visited destinations in Puri. In fact, it is the single-most temple that attracts a large number of pilgrims to the city not only from India, but all around the world. Dating back to the 12th century, this huge temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna). According to legends, this temple was founded by Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev and adorns tall spires, elegantly carved walls and brilliant murals based on the Lord himself.
Note: It should be noted that only Hindu devotees are allowed inside the temple. Other visitors can see the temple from outside.
Being situated along the Bay of Bengal, Puri is a home to a large number of beaches. Still, the beach known by the name of Puri is the most popular for tourists. Moreover, taking a dip in its waters is believed to have great religious significance. In addition to that, the sun-kissed beaches and picturesque locales results in never-ending visits of tourists and pilgrims.
After Jagannath Temple, Gundicha temple is the most famous temple in Puri. This temple is devoted to the maternal aunt of Lord Jagannath. But, it’s named after King Indradyumna, who was also called as Gundicha, as he laid the temple’s foundation. It is the same temple, where the idols of Goddess Subhadra, Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra are brought from the Jagannath temple during the annual Rath Yatra.
Located just 2 KM from the Jagannath temple, Swargadwar Beach is a must visit. According to the legends, it used to be the bathing place of Sri Chaitanyadev, who was a popular Vaishnava prophet. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy waters of this beach helps devotees attain heaven post death. Moreover, the beautiful greenery adds up to this beach’s beauty.
One of the largest lakes not only in India, but the whole of Asia, Chilika Lake is located near to Puri. Most of the visitors (weather devotee or traveler) of Puri make an excursion tour of this beautiful lake. Sprawling over an area of around 1100 square kilometers, Chilika Lake also serves as a bird sanctuary during winters.