The Spiritual City, Puri is a beautiful coastal city located in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. It is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the country and is renowned for its beautiful beaches, ancient temples, vibrant culture, and rich history. Puri is situated on the Bay of Bengal, and it’s a long stretch of sandy beaches and clear blue waters every year. Apart from its breathtaking beaches and sacred temples, Puri is also home to several other attractions that make it a popular tourist spot. The Konark Sun Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a magnificent temple dedicated to the sun god and is located just a short drive away from Puri. Known for the Jagannath Temple, one of the most revered Hindu temples in India, every year during its annual Rath Yatra festival, the city draws crowds from all over the world. Almost 80% of the city’s economy depends upon the Jagannath Temple. The Indian government's Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme has selected Puri as one of the heritage cities for development and augmentation, highlighting the city's cultural and historical significance.
The spiritual City of Odisha, Puri is renowned for its rich cultural heritage. The city has a strong connection with the Jagannath Temple, one of the four most sacred shrines in Hinduism, and the annual Rath Yatra festival held here is a major event that attracts millions of devotees and tourists from all over the world. The culture of Puri is deeply rooted in spirituality and traditional arts such as Pattachitra painting, stone carving, and applique work. The city is also known for its unique cuisine, which is a blend of traditional Odia flavors and influences from the neighboring states. The people of Puri are warm and hospitable, and their cultural traditions and practices are an important part of the city's identity and charm.
- Jagannath Temple – The Jagannath Temple is one of the most cherished Hindu temples in India. Devoted to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the temple is known for its annual Rath Yatra festival, where the deities are taken on a grand procession in chariots. Visitors can also witness the daily rituals and ceremonies that take place inside the temple.
- Puri Beach – Puri Beach is a long stretch of sandy beach located near the Jagannath Temple. A popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing, Puri Beach is lined with shops and restaurants and offers a beautiful view of the Bay of Bengal.
- Konark Sun Temple – The Konark Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site located just a short drive away from Puri. Situated in the small village of Konark, the Konark Sun Temple is one of the oldest temples in India, built during the 13th century CE by the Ganga dynasty king Narasimha Deva. The temple is dedicated to the sun god, and is known for its intricate stone carvings and impressive architecture.
- Chilika Lake – The Chilika Lake is Asia's largest brackish water lake and is a popular spot for birdwatching and boat rides. Spread over an area of 1100 km2, the lake is home to several species of migratory birds, including flamingos and pelicans.
Things to Do
- Visit Jagannath Temple – One of the most famous Hindu temples in India, Jagannath Temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings, and it is also a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus.
- Relax at Puri Beach – Puri Beach is a beautiful stretch of golden sand that offers a variety of activities for visitors. You can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and surfing, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the shore. The beach is also known for its fresh seafood and street food.
- Take a Boat Ride at Chilika Lake – Chilika Lake is a famous lagoon that is home to a variety of migratory birds and aquatic life. Visitors can take a boat ride to explore the lake and its surroundings and enjoy a stunning view of the sunset.
- Explore Konark Sun Temple – Konark Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is famous for its impressive architecture and intricate carvings. The temple is dedicated to the Sun God and is a must-visit for history and architecture enthusiasts.
- Shop at Puri's Local Markets – Puri has a variety of local markets where visitors can shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, and local textiles. The markets offer a glimpse into the daily life of the locals and are a great place to buy traditional items at reasonable prices.
- Puri Main Market – Puri Main Market is a bustling local market where visitors can find a variety of items, including clothing, handicrafts, and souvenirs. The market is known for its colorful atmosphere and is a great place to soak up the local culture.
- Swargadwar Market – Swargadwar Market is a popular marketplace located near Puri Beach. Here one can find items such as handicrafts, souvenirs, and jewelry. The market is also known for its fresh seafood and street food.
- Gopinathpur Market – Gopinathpur Market is located on the outskirts of Puri and is famous for its beautiful handloom sarees and textiles. The market has a variety of sarees, dress materials, and home decor items at reasonable prices.
- Pipli Village Market – Pipli Village is a small village located on the way to Puri from Bhubaneswar. The village is famous for its beautiful applique work, and visitors can find a variety of handcrafted items such as wall hangings, umbrellas, and bags at the local market. The village also has a few workshops where visitors can see the artisans at work.
- Rath Yatra – Rath Yatra, also known as the Festival of Chariots, is one of the most important festivals celebrated in Puri. The festival is held in the month of June or July and involves the procession of three chariots carrying Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra, and sister Subhadra through the streets of Puri. The festival attracts millions of devotees who come to witness the grand procession.
- Snana Yatra – Snana Yatra is a bathing ceremony that is held a few days before Rath Yatra. The deities of Jagannath Temple are bathed with 108 pitchers of water, and the ceremony is believed to cleanse the deities of all sins and impurities.
- Chandan Yatra – Chandan Yatra is a festival that is celebrated in the month of May or June. The festival marks the beginning of the construction of the chariots for Rath Yatra. The deities of Jagannath Temple are taken in a procession to the Narendra Tank, where they are bathed with sandalwood paste.
- Car Festival – The Car Festival, also known as the Bahuda Yatra, is held a few days after Rath Yatra. The deities of the Jagannath Temple are taken in a procession in their chariots to the Gundicha Temple, where they stay for nine days before returning to the Jagannath Temple.
- Basanta Panchami – Basanta Panchami is a festival that is celebrated in the month of January or February. The festival marks the beginning of spring, and the deities of Jagannath Temple are dressed in yellow clothes to celebrate the occasion. The festival is also associated with the worship of Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom.
- Khaja – Khaja is a sweet delicacy that is popular in Puri. It is made by deep-frying layers of dough, which are then soaked in sugar syrup. The sweet is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and is often served during festivals and special occasions.
- Dalma – Dalma is a traditional Odia dish that is made with lentils and vegetables. The dish is often served with rice and is a staple in the diet of the people of Odisha. The vegetables used in the dish vary depending on the season but typically include pumpkin, eggplant, and potato.
- Machha Besara – Machha Besara is a popular fish curry that is made with mustard paste, cumin seeds, and other spices. The dish has a unique flavor and is often served with steamed rice.
- Chenna Poda – Chenna Poda is a popular dessert that is made with cottage cheese and sugar. The dessert is baked in an earthen pot over a charcoal fire, giving it a smoky flavor. It is a must-try dessert when visiting Puri.
- Puri Mahaprasad – Puri Mahaprasad is a unique offering from the Jagannath Temple in Puri. The offering consists of 56 dishes, which are prepared in the temple kitchen and offered to Lord Jagannath before being served to the devotees. The meal is considered to be sacred and is a must-try when visiting Puri.
- Mayfair Heritage – Mayfair Heritage is a luxurious beachfront property in Puri that offers stunning views of the Bay of Bengal. The rooms are well-appointed and come with amenities like a minibar, flat-screen TV, and balcony.
- The Chariot Resort & Spa – The Chariot Resort & Spa is a beautiful Resort located near Puri Beach. The rooms are spacious and come with amenities like a minibar, flat-screen TV, and balcony.
- Puri Beach Resort – Puri Beach Resort is a beach-facing property located near Puri Beach. The rooms are comfortable and come with amenities like a balcony and flat-screen TV.
- Hotel Holiday Resort – Hotel Holiday Resort is a grand resort located near the Jagannath Temple in Puri. The rooms are well-appointed and come with amenities like a minibar, flat-screen TV, and balcony.
- Toshali Sands Resort – Toshali Sands Resort is a beachfront property located near Puri Beach. The rooms are comfortable and come with amenities like a flat-screen TV and balcony.
- Blue Lily Beach Resort – The Blue Lily Beach Resort is a popular beachside bar in Puri that serves a variety of cocktails, mocktails, and snacks. The bar has a laid-back ambiance and offers stunning views of the sea.
- F Bar – F Bar is a popular nightclub located in the heart of Puri. The club has a lively ambiance and plays a mix of Bollywood and international music. The club is known for its drinks and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
- Mahuaa Bar – Mahuaa Bar is a bar located in the Hotel Holiday Resort in Puri. The bar serves a variety of cocktails and mocktails and has a cozy ambiance. The bar is a popular spot for tourists looking to unwind after a day of sightseeing.
- F3 Pub – F3 Pub is a popular pub located near the Swargadwar area of Puri. The pub serves a variety of drinks and snacks and has a casual ambiance. The pub is known for its live music performances and is a popular spot for locals.
- Shacks on the Beach – Shacks on the Beach are a group of beachside shacks located near Puri Beach. The shacks serve a variety of drinks and snacks and have a laid-back ambiance. The shacks are a popular spot for tourists looking to enjoy a drink and watch the sunset over the sea.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Puri is during the winter season between the months of October to February. During this time, the weather is pleasant with cool breezes and comfortable temperatures, making it ideal for exploring the city and its attractions.
How to Reach
- By Air – The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik International Airport situated at a distance of 58 km from Puri.
- By Train – Nearest Railway station is situated at a distance of 1.2 km from Puri.
- By Bus – The Nearest Bus Stand is located at a distance of 100 m from Puri.