When we talk of Lord jagannath, the first thing that comes to our mind is Lord Jagannth Temple in Puri where millions of devotees visit every year to take darshan of the Lord, especially on occasion of Jagannth Rath Yatra.
Not only from India, but people from all around the world visit Puri for darshan of their beloved God.
If you are planning to visit Puri then i am sure you might be searching for Puri Tourism, Top 10 Places to Visit in Puri and Nearby, etc.
We at rathyatralive.com have provided below Top 10 Places to Visit in and around Puri.
First let me tell you something about Puri.
Puri is a city in the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is situated on the Bay of Bengal, 60 kilometres (37 mi) south of the state capital of Bhubaneswar.
Puri is also known as Sri Kshetra or 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.
Puri is also known as the temple town as it has many Hindu religious mathas or monasteries located in the city.
Puri Tourism : Top 10 Places to Visit in Puri (with Photos) –
1. Jaganath Temple :
Shree Jagannath Temple is the No. 1 spot in Puri. Millions of people visit Puri every year for darshan of Lord Jagannath, especially on the occasion of Rath Yatra.
Shree Jagannath Temple is an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple is considered to be one of the holiest Hindu Char Dham sites, other three being Rameswaram, Badrinath and Dwarka.
The temple complex covers an area of over 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2), and is surrounded by a high fortified wall. There are more than 120 temples and shrines in this huge temple complex.
To know more about the temple click here
2. Gundicha Temple :
After visitng Jagannath Temple, the next important religious destination to visit in Puri is the Gundicha Temple – the Garden House of Lord Jagannath.
Gundicha temple is located inside a beautiful garden, surrounded by compound walls on all sides. It is located at a distance of around 3 kilometres from the Jagannath Puri Temple (Shrimandira).
The unique feature of this temple is that the temple remains nearly vacant for most part of the year, but comes to action during the annual Rath Yatra celebration of Lord Jagannath.
The idols of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra remain at the Gundicha temple for seven complete days (9 days including start and end of Rath Yatra) during the annual Rath Yatra.
To know more about the temple click here
3. Puri Beach :
The next important tourist destination in Puri is the Puri beach. The beach is at a distance of 2 km from the Puri railway station.
The beach hosts sand art displays, including work by international award-winning local sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik.
Every year, Puri Beach Festival is organized by the Indian Ministry of Tourism, the city of Odisha, the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts, and the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center, Kolkata.
The morning and evening scenes on the Puri beach are treat to the eyes.
4. Chilika Lake and Dolphin Point :
Chilika Lake is an attractive tourist destination and you can easily spent half a day at this destination. It is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha, 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 wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent and a home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.
In the Chilka Lake, there is a Dolphin Point near Satapada where you can spot dolphins such as Irrawaddy Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Bottle Nose Dolphin and White Nosed Dolphins. River cruises from Rambha and Barkul to the site provide tourists an opportunity to witness group of dolphins jumping and chasing the voyage.
5. Kalijai Temple :
Kalijai Temple is located on an island in Chilika Lake. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kalijai – form of Goddess Kali. Most of the fisherman community worship Goddess Kalijai as their Ista Devi.
According to legends, Kalijai is representation of Goddess Kali and a newly married girl named “Jai” who was drowned there while visiting to her husband.
The island provides an excellent destination for pilgrims as well as tourists. Every year in January, a huge gala fair is held during the festival of Makar Sankranti.
The temple is located around 100 kms south west of Puri and around 18 kms away from Balugaon in south east direction, around two and half hour drive from Puri. From Balugaon you will need to take a boat ride to the temple.
Alternate route is a hour long drive from Puri to Satapada and then take a boat ride to the temple and watch the Dolphins at Dolphin Points while making your way to the temple.
6. Konark Sun Temple :
Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE sun temple at Konark built by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE.
An Architecture Marvel of Eastern India and a symbol of India’s heritage, Konark Sun Temple is an UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the eminent tourist attractions of South India.
Dedicated to the Hindu god Surya (Sun), the Konark temple is constructed as a gigantic 100-foot (30 m) high chariot with 24 wheels about three meters high and pulled by 7 horses, housing the Sun God within.
The Konark Dance Festival organised here every year is a great attraction for tourists. The Konark Museum of the Archeological Survey of India has a good collection of sculptures from the temple ruins.
The temple is located 35 kilometres northeast of Puri and it takes an hours drive to reach there. You can take the the picturesque Puri-Konark Marine Drive to reach there.
7. Raghurajpur Artist Village :
Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village on Odisha state, 10 kms from Puri. There are about a 100 houses in the village and almost everyone is an artisan.
Raghurajpur Artist Village is known for its master Pattachitra painters, an art form which dates back to 5 BC in the region and Gotipua dance troupes, the precursor to the Indian classical dance form of Odissi.
Apart from patachitra art works, these villagers also make traditional masks, stone idols, paper mache, sculptures, wooden toys.
Apart from learning about these craft and art forms, you can even buy idols, colorful boxes, and patachitra art works.
8. Puri Light House :
Puri Light House has been a tourist attraction of Puri. You can climb up the lighthouse to enjoy Birdseye view of Puri, but only during specific hours and for a fee.
From the top, one can see the entire coast line and also the Jagannath Puri Temple. The view is definitely worth the effort and one hence one must visit this lighthouse if you happen to be in Puri.
It is located at a disance of around 2km from Swargadwar beach.
9. Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary :
The Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary located between towns of Konark and Puri. The sanctuary has an area of 72 km² and includes sandy beaches, coastal dunes, groves of introduced Casuarina trees and cashew plantations.
Black-buck, spotted dear, stripped hyena, jungle cat Olive Ridley sea turtles are the main attractions in this wildlife sanctuary.
The Puri-Konark marine drive road traverses through the sanctuary area.
People who have visited this place describe it as a very calm and peaceful place surrounded with greenery all around.
10. Puri-Konark Marine Drive :
If you like driving and love to go on long drives then driving on Puri Konark Marine Drive would be a great experience for you.
Termed as world’s one of the best marine Drive, Puri-Konark Marine Drive has sea on one side and coastal forests on the other. This smooth road has almost zero traffic making it a perfect view for an awesome long drive.
The road passes through the Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary.
You can visit the stone carvers of Odisha on the route and also visit Beleshore and Ramachandi temple.
The beach adjacent to these temples are sparsely populated, clean and if you happen to be lucky, you can find olive ridley sea turtles, crabs, foxes and wild bores dwelling in the open.
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