A profile on Puri and all it has to offer.
This is a collaborative post from Cleartrip
Puri is a famous city of Odisha that is mainly known for housing the Jagannath Temple, which is a destination of numerous Hindu pilgrims. There are many other temples in and around Puri, which make this city to be a great spiritual centre. As this city lies on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, many people love to spend time on the beaches here. It is only 60 Km away from Bhubaneshwar, tourists from all over the world can reach Puri very easily.
Besides being a prime pilgrimage site, this city is also a popular destination for the honeymooners and nature-lovers. The architectural grandeur of these Puri temples also attracts many foreigners to this place. Moreover, Puri is an affordable tourist place for common people, which encourage them to choose it as their favourite destination for spending family vacations.
Best time to visit Puri
The best time to visit Puri is the period between October and February, as winter season has the most pleasant climate at this place. The influence of Bay of Bengal has made the weather of Puri mildly cold and comfortable in winter, compared to other neighbouring regions. But the summer has scorching heat and uncomfortable humidity during the months of March to May; while the monsoon has heavy rainfall and damaging thunderstorms during June to September. Hence, maximum tourists prefer to visit Puri during the winters only.
Culture & lifestyle in Puri
Since Puri is located within Odisha, the local people of this city follow Odia culture in their regular life. Hinduism is the prime religion followed here for ages, which is proved by the presence of several renowned temples dedicated to Hindu deities. Odia is the main language spoken by the majority of the people, which resembles Bengali and Assamese languages; though a few tribal languages are spoken by the tribal communities. People of Puri are interested in various art forms, like music, dance, and painting. Traditional murals, cloth painting and appliqué works are widely practised here, leading to the creations of various attractive handicrafts. Odissi is a traditional dance that is quite famous worldwide, though many other tribal dance forms are also popular. Like many other parts of Eastern India, men wear traditional dhoti and kurta; while women are usually seen in saris. Due to the presence of Jagannath Temple, different festivals related to Lord Jagannath are celebrated enthusiastically by the common people.
Puri Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds
Rice is the staple food of Odisha, for which it is widely available in all the hotels and restaurants of Puri, as the main dish. Usually, rice is served with Dal that is specially cooked with vegetables, local vegetarian cuisines, a typical Odia fry, and seafood dish made of crabs or prawns or other sea fishes. Various chicken and mutton dishes are also served in some restaurants. Most of the dishes are traditionally cooked with coconut milk, little amount of oil, Indian spices like cumin, fenugreek and black cumin seeds.
Phulpatna Restaurant in Toshali Sands Resort and Green Lane Garden Restaurant are the ideal places in Puri for tasting typical Odia dishes made of pomfrets, crabs, lobsters, prawns, oysters. Nandan on Grand Road is the best place for the vegetarians to try on Odia vegetable fries and other dishes. Lee Garden Chinese Restaurant and Wild Grass on VIP Road are the destinations for lovers of Chinese foods and Mughlai cuisines respectively. Pakhala or water-soaked rice, and Chhena Poda or sweet made of caramelized roasted cheese are two special Odia dishes available in many eateries.
However, no tourist misses having Mahaprasad of Jagannath Temple at Ananda Bazaar that is distributed among the pilgrims.
Tourist places in Puri
- Historical places in Puri – Daya River close to Dhauli Hills is a historical place where the famous Kalinga War was fought by Emperor Ashoka. It is proved by the presence of rock edicts that were erected by the emperor.
- Beaches in Puri – Puri Beach on the coast of Bay of Bengal is a great attraction for all tourists, from where they view wonderful scenes of sunrise and sunset. Wonderful sand sculptures on this beach also attract the tourists. Tourists also enjoy swimming and walking on this peaceful beach. Swargadwar Beach is another famous tourist destination of Puri, lined with plenty of stalls selling local foods and handicrafts. Astaranga Beach is particularly famous for the view of memorable sunset on the backdrop of a colourful sky. Baliharachandi Beach, Balighai Beach, and Baleshwar Beach are the less crowded places with an atmosphere of serenity and beautiful landscape.
- Best nature and wildlife tour in Puri – Nandankanan Zoological Park is quite close to Puri and hugely popular among the nature-lovers. There is also a Botanical Garden and an Aquarium within this same complex. Tourists enjoy White Tiger Safari, Lion Safari, Bear Safari, Herbivores Safari, and Butterfly Garden, which are the most unique features of this zoo. People enjoy watching various rare kinds of animals, birds, and reptiles in this zoo.
- Spiritual places (temples) in Puri – All religious-minded tourists come to Puri mainly for visiting Shri Jagannath Temple, dedicated to Lord Jagannath with his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Subhadra Devi. The magnificent architecture of this huge temple complex also attracts many tourists. Vimla Temple is a Shakti Peetha that is dedicated to Mother Goddess within the complex of Jagannath Temple. Markandeswara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is famous for its remarkable sculpture of Nataraja at the entrance and many shrines dedicated to different incarnations of Lord Shiva.
Narendra Pokhari or Tank is a sacred place associated with Chandan Yatra of Lord Jagannath. Mausima Temple on the Grand Road is related to Ratha Yatra of Lord Jagannath and it resembles a fortress with high walls and exclusive architecture. Sakshigopal Temple, Dancing Ganesh Temple, Lakshmi Temple and Lokenath Temple are few other religious places that are crowded by many pilgrims. Gundicha Temple is the alternative house of Lord Jagannath for seven days during Ratha Yatra period. Alarnatha Temple and Sonar Gouranga Temple are two pilgrimage sites related to Shri Chaitanya and dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
- Museums in Puri – Sudarshan Crafts Museum is a place where tourists can see the wonderful handicrafts created by local artisans. Apart from the traditional sculptures, new artists can get excellent opportunity to display their talents in special showroom of this museum. District Museum is another lesser known tourist attraction in Puri.
- Amusement parks in Puri – Tourists love to visit Blue Splash Water Park, which is a prime amusement park in Puri, containing seven exciting rides and slides in the water of various swimming pools. Pratyush Ocean World is another water park in Puri that resembles a small Essel World, with lush greenery, numbers of swimming pools and slides. There are rooms at a resort in this complex, which can be booked for personal and professional celebrations or meetings. Retreat Sungreen is a natural amusement park for adventurous tourists, where they can have a taste of trekking and camping in the wild. The huge mangrove forest of this place is the second largest of its kind, housing plenty of wild animals.
Things to buy (shopping places)
Tourists always desire to buy some local artefacts that will remind them of their memorable tours for many years. Puri is the home of various handicrafts that are made by the local people. There are plenty of shops lining Marine Drive Road, opposite Swargadwar Beach, where tourists can buy various shell studded fancy objects and wooden statues of Hindu deities. Grand Road is the prime marketplace of Puri, housing plenty of shopping malls, emporiums and stores, including Odisha State Emporium.
Tourists can buy typical Odia paintings on cloths or palm leaves called Pattachitra, stone carved idols, puppets, colourful masks, and traditional silk fabrics from this State Emporium. Tourists may also visit two villages quite close to Puri, named Raghurajpur and Pipili, which are both famous for being the hubs of various artistic handicrafts. So tourists can have the opportunity of buying various souvenirs directly from the creators, among which paper lampshades, embroidered handbags, wall hangings, wooden figurines, and toys are very popular.
Where to stay
Puri is a temple city of Odisha and experiences huge rush of tourists on special occasions like Ratha Yatra. Thus, there are plenty of hotels all over this city, to provide accommodation to these tourists during peak seasons. It is better for the tourists to check online and book their accommodations in the suitable hotels, prior arriving here.
There are different types of hotels in Puri, providing comfortable rooms that fit into all budgets of the common tourists. Many 3 Star and 2 Star hotels and resorts are located in Chakra Tirtha, Marine Drive, and Grand Road, where accommodation costs are really cheap. However, luxury hotels of higher price ranges are also available at Marine Drive and Grand Road, where the rooms are provided all modern amenities for the comfort of the guests. There are long lists of all these hotels available on the internet, with the room charges mentioned for each hotel. Puri Hotel booking online on Cleartrip would be a great way to go. So it is no more a headache for tourists to find comfortable accommodations for spending their vacations in Puri.