PURI :- Situated on the eastern coastline of the country, Puri is most well known as an important Hindu pilgrimage center. The Jagannath Temple, one of the four most important Hindu pilgrimage sites or the chardham is located here. Also, Puri’s wonderfully wide white-sand beaches, fishing farms and superb resorts make it an inviting tourist destination. The surf on the beaches here is one of the best on the entire eastern coastline of India, and dawn is a breathtaking sight. Visiting the Lord Jagannath temple, walking on the beach and experiencing the beauty of the sunrise and sunset are probably some of the best things to do in Puri. One could also visit the nearby small villages to look at the folk art and handicrafts, which are bright, colourful and exquisitely crafted items. The traditional methods of fishing used by the local fishermen are of interest, as is visiting nearby historic sites to garner a sense of the city’s history and the lifestyle of the locals.
Puri has a typical tropical climate and is best visited during the winters between October to April after the monsoon clears all the dust and dirt around. Light woolens may be required, for nights by the sea can be slightly chilly.
Puri has a number of religious and cultural tourist destinations, as well as interesting excursion sites nearby.
JAGANNATH TEMPLE :- The magnificent Jagannath temple is regarded as one of the Chardhams (four pilgrimage sites) of Hindu religion, which are situated on all the four corners of the country. This temple is regarded as the Dham of eastern India. Dedicated to the Lord of the Universe (Jag-universe/ Nath-lord), it was built during the 12th century. One of the tallest (65 m) temples of India, this temple dominates the skyline and the townscape of Puri. It is a living example of the Kalinga style of architecture.
GUNDICHA MANDIR :- The Gundicha Ghar or Gundicha temple is an important part of the famous Rath Yatra festival of Puri. It has some interesting legends related to it. According to one the Gundicha Ghar is the house of Lord Krishna’s loving aunt. On the day of the Rath Yatra, Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken in gorgeously caparisoned wooden rath (chariots) from the main gate of the Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple. At the garden house, their aunt greets them by feeding them padoapitha (specially baked rice cakes). This place is regarded as equally holy as Lord stays here for nine days during the festival.
ATHARNALA BRIDGE :- The magnificent Atharnala Bridge that was constructed during the 13th century is a living example of the engineering marvel of the ancient times. The size of the bridge is around 85x11 m, and even after so many centuries it is still in use. Situated at the entrance of the town, pilgrims offer prayers here as well.
BEACHES IN PURI :- Puri’s white sand beaches are well known all over the country. They are perhaps the only walkable beaches on the eastern coastline that are carpeted with clean white sand. It is also worthwhile to request the local fishermen for a boat ride into the sea.