Puri is a city and a Municipality is the headquarters of Puri district in the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is also known as Sri Jagannatha Dhama after the 12th-century Jagannatha Temple located in the city. It is one of the original Char Dham pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The economy of Puri town is dependent on the religious importance of the Jagannatha Temple to the extent of nearly 80 per cent. The 24 festivals, including 13 major ones, held every year in the temple complex contribute to the economy; Ratha Yatra and its related festivals are the most important which are attended by millions of people every year. Sand art and applique art are some of the important crafts of the city. Puri is in the coastal delta of the Mahanadi River on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. The city has a moderate and tropical climate. Humidity is fairly high throughout the year.
History: Puri, the holy land of Lord Jagannatha, also known by the popular vernacular name Srikhetra, has many ancient names in the Hindu scriptures such as the Rigveda, Matsya Purana, Brahma Purana, Narada Purana, Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, Kapila Purana and Niladri Mahodaya. When the present temple was built by the Eastern Ganga king Anantavarman Chodaganga in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, it was called Purushottam Kshetra. However, the Moghuls, the Marathas and early British rulers called it Purushottama-chhatar or just Chhatar. During Maurya king, Ashoka’s reign in 240 BC, Kalinga (now Odisha) was a Buddhist centre and that a tribe was known as Lohabahu (barbarians from outside Odisha) converted to Buddhism and built a temple with an idol of Buddha which is now worshipped as Jagannatha. Construction of the Jagannatha Temple started in 1136 AD and completed towards the latter part of the 12th century. The history of Puri is on the same lines as that of the Jagannatha Temple, which was invaded 18 times during its history to plunder the treasures of the temple, rather than for religious reasons. The British conquered Orissa in 1803, and, recognising the importance of the Jagannatha Temple in the life of the people of the state, they initially appointed an official to look after the temple’s affairs and later declared the temple as part of a district. Odisha, including Puri and its temple, was part of British India from 1803 till India attained independence in August 1947. Even though princely states do not exist in India today, the heirs of the Gajapati Dynasty of Khurda still perform the ritual duties of the temple.
*(All the above information are from Wikipedia.)
Airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneshwar is the nearest airport located at a distance of 58 km from Puri.
Rail: Puri junction in the Eastern Railway has the super fast rail link to many major cities like Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and others.
Road: Puri is connected to the neighbouring major cities through state highway and national highway. State transport and many private transport services operate regular buses to puri.
Local: Rickshaws, Auto rickshaws, city buses and private taxis are available for transportation within the city. Tour operators provide vehicles for hire. Ola, Uber and other car rental services are also operative here.
Sri Jagannath Temple: The Shree Jagannath Temple of Puri is an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu, located on the eastern coast of India, at Puri in the state of Odisha. The temple is an important pilgrimage destination and one of the four great ‘Char Dham’ pilgrimage sites, found at India’s four cardinal points.
Puri Beach: Puri beach is the most popular beach in Odisha. The beach is the site of the annual Puri Beach Festival, which is co-sponsored by the Indian Ministry of Tourism, the city of Odisha, the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts, and the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center, Kolkata.
Chilika Lake: Chilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha state on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of over 1,100 km2. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India.
The other places of attraction in Puri are Gundicha Temple, Swargadwar Beach, Lighthouse, Sonar Gouranga Temple, Mausima Temple, Pipili and more.
Tour Planner: This tour planner is made on the basis of the location of the destinations. One can make changes as per their interest, convenience and accessibility and duration of the trip.
Day 1: For a religious visit, one can start off with the Jagannath temple in the morning followed beach time.
Day 2: Visit Chilika and take the boat ride either for a minimum of an hour for the dolphin ride or for 3 hours ride which covers four points.
Day 3: Visit the rest of the places in a relaxed pace or one club this along within their first or second-day trip.
Hotels: There are numerous hotels in Puri ranging from inexpensive lodges to budget hotels to luxury hotels. Online booking is always preferable for discounts on the tariff.