Puri is one of the most revered places in India, and is considered as one of the major pilgrimage sites for the Hindus across the globe. Situated along the Bay of Bengal in Odisha, it is a common saying that every season is the “it” season in Puri. And, true it is! No matter what season it is, you’ll always find the tourist centers of Puri beaming and buzzing with crowds. Do you think everyone in Puri is a pilgrim? Well, here are some of the reasons why people throng to Puri in huge numbers all through the year—
6. For the Love of Art and Culture
Puri might not be the capital of Odisha, but nevertheless, it has been the preserver of Indian art and culture at its best. At only 35 kilometers’ distance you’ll find the legendary Konark Temple (or, the Sun Temple) that shouts out loud India’s great legacy of art and culture. The wall carvings done there are of great importance to the admirers and researchers of art and history since ages. And, if you’re in time, then you might as well get a chance to visualize the spectacular Konark Beach Festival!
5. For the Love of Food and More!
No, in Puri you won’t find Odishi cuisine—we’re sorry for that—but it is a place where you shall find some great Bengali sea food preparations that you’re sure to love! From Pomfret curries and Daab Chingri to Golda Chingri’r Malai Curry (Giant lobsters cooked in coconut milk), you’ll get everything here. Besides, never forget to sip in coconut water while savoring the warmth of the sea! And yes, if you’re an early riser, you must never miss out an opportunity of tasting the yummy samosas and hot rasgullas that people ferry around along the beach in the mornings! They are simply out of the world delicious!
4. For the Love of Gawjas!
Ah well, this is one thing for which I have travelled to Puri for more than 30 times now! It is crispy dessert made of flour, sugar and deep fried in gawa ghee. In fact, while returning from Puri, the pilgrims make it a point of buying kilos and kilos of gawjas for their near and dear ones. To the Bengalis, these act as mementoes from Puri! At Swargadwar and near the temple, you’ll find hoards and hoards of shops selling these and they give you free samples to taste as well! Slurrp!
3. For the Urge to See Chilka
If you want to travel to Chilka, a brackish water lagoon dotted with tiny islands, dolphins amidst a picturesque backdrop, you do need to drop in at Puri. Yes, you do have other options of traveling there, but the road trips from Puri are safe, fun and less hectic. All the tourist companies that run from this town operate daily tours to and from Chilka at budget rates.
2. Udaygiri-Khandagiri-Lingaraj Temple-Nandankanan
Since Puri is one of the major tourist attractions in Odisha, all the tourist offices run daily sight-seeing tours to these places mentioned above. These places do not fall in the Puri district and are much nearer to Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack, but from Puri they are easily accessible. So, one of the major reasons to go to Puri is to spend time amidst the historical and culturally supreme caves of Uday Giri and Khanda Giri, one of the 12 jyotirlingams of India, Lingaraj Temple and one of the best and largest zoos in India, Nandankanan!
1. Take a Dip in the Sea
From 8am to 3pm, there won’t be a single minute when you’ll find a non-crowded Puri beach! One of the main features of Puri is the huge beach where you will find yourself spending hours taking a sea bath—not sun bath, mind you! Yes, the sea is turbulent there and the giant waves are never timid, but that’s the flavor of Puri—and perhaps the major reasons for such tourist outburst throughout the year!