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Puri Tourism And Travel Guide
16° C / 60.8° F
October to March
2 to 3 Days
Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneshwar (60 kms)
Puri Railway Station
The spiritual city of Puri is located along the Bay of Bengal in the eastern state of Orissa. Dotted with temples and religious shrines, it is one of the Chaar Dhaams of Hinduism and is considered to be one of the most holy cities in this religion for attaining spiritual salvation.
Puri tourism's chief attraction is the Jagannath Temple, which beckons thousands of visitors in the form of devotees and tourists alike every year. However, the city also boasts the presence of numerous local attractions, especially a thriving beach culture that contributes significantly to tourism in the region. For anyone planning a trip to Orissa, visiting Puri usually features among some of the top cities to explore. Here is a brief travel guide to help you on your next trip to Puri.
How to Reach
The closest airport from Puri is the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneshwar, which is located 60 km away. It is well connected to other cities in Orissa through its domestic terminal, and has a variety of options with public and private transport available outside the airport to connect you to Puri directly.
Puri Railway Station connects to all major metropolitans in the country, with a number of superfast trains and express trains running regularly between these cities; some of the key trains are Howrah Express, Purushottam Express and the Jagannath Express.
Puri connects to all neighboring cities and states through state highways and national highways that make traveling via road a hassle free option. The Orissa State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) runs public buses to and from Puri, which are cheap and easily available from everywhere. There are also options of private buses and taxis available for those looking for more convenience.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Winters are the most ideal season to visit Puri, when the temperatures average between 10ᴼC-18ᴼC and the overall climate is pleasant and cool - perfect for enjoying all kinds of outdoor activities. The Beach Festival, one of Puri’s main attractions, also takes place in the month of November.
Summers in Puri are extremely hot and humid, with sweltering afternoons and temperatures that can rise to a maximum of 45ᴼC during peak summer months. All outdoor activities should preferably be limited to the evenings that are relatively more pleasant than the day time.
Puri during monsoons is marked by heavy downpour throughout the months of June to September, and even witnesses frequent thunderstorms. It is not a good time to be in Puri due to the unpredictable weather; however, the Chariot Festival or Rath Yatra that takes place in June and July does bring a lot of devotees to the city who visit to be a part of this religious celebration.
Things to Do
Explore the Temples:
The city of Puri is packed with temples and religious monuments that showcase magnificent architecture and the ancient heritage of the city. While the Jagannath Temple enjoys nationwide significance among the devotees and tourists, there are other brilliant shrines in Puri that are worth visiting as well. Some of most notable monuments are the Gundicha Temple, Markandeswara Temple, Lakshmi Temple, Loknath Temple and the Ganesh Temple.
Visit the Beaches:
Most of the resorts and hotels in Puri are located around the beaches of the city, making them some of the best places to stay in on a vacation. While Puri Beach is the most famous of them all, there are others like the Swargdwar Beach, Baliharachandi Beach, and the Baleshwar Beach. Local artists can often be found creating beautiful sand sculptures on these beaches. On occasions, camel rides are also available as an activity for tourists.
The Rath Yatra, or the Chariot Festival, is one of the most awaited events in the city. It commemorates the journey of Lord Krishna from Gokul to Mathura, and involves all the deities of the Jagannath Temple being carried across the city in massive chariots with the help of participating devotees. The Nava Kalebara festival is another popular festival in Puri that brings in big crowds. It involves a ritual wherein the three deities of the Jagannath Temple change their external form; the old idols are replaced with newly carved ones made out of special chandan or neem trees.
The Puri Beach Festival takes place in the month of November, and features local and international artists participating in the creation of impressive sand sculptures that decorate stretches of the beach shore.
Other significant festivals in Puri that mark important dates on the Hindu calendar are Chandan Yatra, Suna Besha, Snana Yatra, Anavasara etc.
What To Eat
The cuisine of Puri is typical Odia food, like the fermented rice dish Pakhala, sweets made out of Chhena (a type of cheese curd), and fish delicacies made in Bengali-style curries. The Jagannath Temple features one of the biggest kitchens in the world, where the prasaad or bhog is cooked in seven pots that have been mounted one top of another. The cooked prasaad is served and sold to the pilgrims and public in Ananda Bazaar, which is located outside the enclosure of the temple.
A wide range of restaurants also offer multiple international cuisines to suit all taste buds. Chung Wah is the most famous Chinese eatery in the city, Honey Bee Bakery and Pizzeria serves great Italian, and Wildgrass Restaurant should be visited to try some of the best seafood.