Puri is renowned as one of the most visited and popular pilgrimage sites in India for Hindus. Its grandeur is reflected by the fact that Puri, or Jagannath Puri as it is also known, is believed to be the final resting place of Lord Vishnu – which highlights its undying cultural and religious significance.
A city in the heart of the south east state of Odisha (formerly known as Orissa), it is where art and architecture come together. Puri houses a wealth of historical antiquities, temples and places of worship, and architectural marvels. While the place is most regarded for its spiritual significance, its moderate and pleasant climate, delightful beaches and historical importance has attracted several tourists and vacationers over the years from all over the country. Orissa Tourism notes that the city houses one of the largest briny water lakes in the country, the Chilika Lake, which serves as a sanctuary for migratory birds.
The narrow streets with colourful houses and abodes on either side are the lifelines of the city. The constant buzzing of the locale brims with liveliness, as people go on about their daily errands unperturbed by the agonies of everyday life. The invariant bustling makes one realise that they are part of something bigger than themselves. The cool beaches provide a respite to those desiring unwinding and breaking free from their everyday routines.
Places to visit
One of the standout attractions of Puri is the Jagannath Temple. Standing tall, this 65 meter towering architectural beauty doesn’t fail to amaze and inspire tourists. The temple, erected in the compound on the Nilgiri Hill, was constructed to mark the shifting of Chodaganga’s capital from the south to central Orissa. Ever since it was built, the temple has been known to not be prejudiced to any one Hindu sect. One of the roads leading to the temple ends at Gundicha Mandir, regarded as Lord Jagannath’s summer temple.
The beaches of Orissa offer an exquisite view of the natural beauty the state holds. If you’re someone who fancies spending a lazy day on the beach, sitting on the pristine white sand, watching waves coming in from the massive Bay of Bengal as they reach the coast and recede, and feeling reinvigorated with the cool and pleasant breeze stirring the very soul in you, Puri Beach is where you should head. Approximately 65 kilometers from the capital Bhubaneshwar, the beach offers a mesmerising view of the sunrise and sunset. At the eastern side, which is relatively cleaner, one can indulge in a bit of swimming and sunbathing.
Chilika Lake is Asia’s largest saltwater lagoon, and hosts an extensive variety of flora and fauna around its waters, WikiTravel notes. Spread out over 1100 square kilometers, Chilika Lake covers Khurda, Ganjam and Puri districts of Orissa. It is a significant sanctuary for migratory birds that fly from as far as Serbia, Iran, Afghanistan and the Himalayas during the month of October. It is a popular tourist destination for vacationers who fancy bird watching or those who want to get a bite of the peace and quaintness this place has to offer.
When to visit
Tourists should visit Puri during the winter season, which generally lasts from November until February, as the average maximum temperature is somewhere around 28 degrees Celsius and the minimum 16 degrees Celsius. While the sunshine falls in all its glory, the cold winds from North-North east allow the place to remain favourably cool. Summers are comparatively hotter and are avoided by travellers, as temperatures rise to a maximum of 36 degrees Celsius. However, being on the coast, the evenings are cooler and are more pleasant.
Where to stay
Vacationing in Puri warrants ideal accommodations and resorts in Puri for you and your loved ones. Sterling Holidays’ Golden Sands, Puri, situated in the area where the Bhargavi River meets the sea, allows travellers to lose themselves in the spiritual quaintness the place has to offer. Located next to the Brahmakumaris Temple, it is a beautiful holiday spot for vacationers.
The resort offers a range of amenities and activities, including a library, discotheque and travel desk. Vacationers can take a delightful boat ride to a private beach, or indulge in some indoor games in the activity room or sports like cricket, table tennis and volleyball in the club house. Members can choose from a range of rooms, including 2 Bedroom Apartment, 1 Bedroom Apartment, and Studio.
How to reach
Visitors can reach Puri by air, rail or bus. The nearest airport is located in Bhubeneshwar, around 60 kilometers away. The railway station is one kilometre north of the town, and has direct access from all major towns and cities in India. After getting at the station, tourists can take a cycle rickshaw or an auto rickshaw to get to their accommodations. The bus stop, located near the Gundicha Temple, provides bus services from Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack.