Places to visit in Puri, Weekend Getaways from Puri
Often called Jagannath Puri, it is amongst the best known coastal towns of eastern India. Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th century AD Hindu religious reformer and sage, provided the town sanctity by establishing one of the four Dhams, or the holiest of all places, here. It thus became the home of Lord Vishnu, here called Jagannath, literally Lord of the Earth.
Over the centuries many a fine temple have been added to the city marking its eminence amongst Hindu pilgrimages.Puri throngs with pilgrims from all parts of the country throughout the year, the peak season being during the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath. Then a sea of humanity, of all faiths and religions, descend on the town, some to worship and participate, others to see and marvel.
And though, the Jagannath Temple precincts maybe barred for Non-Hindu the excellent sea coast of Puri is open to all. Miles and miles of golden sands, blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. The silvery surf breaking on the beaches are another facet of the city’s attractions.
Puri is also, a souvenir hunters delight. Miniature stone sculptures, wood carvings, patta-paintings, mementoes and decorative items made of seashells and a host of other articles attract visitors to the city’s markets and sea shore.
Tourist Places to visit in Puri : –
Lord Jagannath Temple
The 65 metre high temple built in the typical Kalinga style of architecture dominates the town visually as well as spiritually. The temple was constructed sometime in the 12th century AD during the reign of Chodaganga Deva. Within the precincts are other shrines devoted to Vimla, Vishnu and Lakshmi, which also merit a visit. Ananda Bazar -the biggest food market in the world -is another attraction.
The broad road leading to the temple is crowded with Dharamsala built by various sects; shops and stalls clamour for attention; holy men and ascetic mingle with the stream of devotees.
Entry to the temple is restricted to Hindu only. It is among top in the list of tourist places to visit in Puri.
Or the garden house, is a much smaller sanctum where the deities form the main Jagannath Temple are brought for a sojourn of one week during the Rath Yatra festival. It is also known as the house of Lord Jagannat’s aunt.
The reservoir has a small shrine to King Indradyumna.
Puri’s beach attracts sunbather and swimmers, because of the calmness of the water. Monsoon months- July-September are the only time in the year that swimming is not safe.
Weekend Getaways (Tourist places to visit near Puri)
Sakshi Gopal Temple 25 km
A temple devoted to the Child Lord Krishna or Gopal has a beautiful life-size image of the god. The legend relates that when ‘Gopal’ came here regarding a dispute between two Brahimns, he fell in love with the place, hence the temple.
Nesting in the heart of coastal Orissa, the 1100 sq. km. lagoon is connected to the Bay of Bengal by a narrow mouth. Chilika is the largest inland lake in India. Dotted with numerous islands, which have been given very colourful names like Honeymoon Island, Breakfast Island, the lake is rich in aquatic fauna and migratory avian species. Hundreds of fishermen scour the waters of the lake for mackerel, prawn or crab.
Various centre around Chilika Lake are connected by bus service from Bhubneswar, Puri, Cuttack and Behrampur, Taxis are also available from these centres.
Orissa Tourism development Corporation provides water transport facilities for visiing different island or for cruise on the lake from Barkul and Rambha.
Country-boats, however, can be hired from many centres. It is among top in the list of tourist places to visit in Puri.
Tourist Information Service
Tourist Office, Rambha
Gopalpur is an ideal seashore resort for a quiet holiday amongst surf, sun and sand. Gopalpur was an important port in the medieval times, though now only traces of the old jetty survive.