Puri: The Land of Culture is located in the state of Odisha, India, embraces the east coast of the Bay of Bengal, 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the state capital of Bhubaneswar. The city is home to the Jagannatha Temple, one of the four Hindu Dhams, worshiped and adored by all Hindus. Also, 24 festivals, including 13 major ones, are held annually in the temple premises. The ancient Markandeswar Shiva Temple and the Konark Sun Temple are among the oldest monuments in India. Puri is blessed with its many beaches, such as Konark, Baleshwar, Swargadwar, Baliharachandi, etc.
Puri was chosen as one of the heritage cities of the Indian Government’s Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme. Puri, also known as the holy land of Lord Jagannatha, is known by several names and is locally known as “Sri Kshetra”. According to some myths and legends, the temple of Jagannatha has been in existence since the beginning of mankind. Lord Jagannatha, visualized as Lord Krishna, is synonymous with their city for the people of Puri. They believe that Lord Jagannatha looks after the welfare of the state. The history of Puri is along the same lines as that of the Jagannatha Temple, which was attacked 18 times in its history from the 4th century AD to the beginning of the 19th century to loot the treasures of the temple, rather than for religious reasons.
Puri(The Land of Culture) is located at an average elevation of 0 meters at 19.8 ° N 85.85° E. The district of Puri is situated on the coastal delta of the Mahanadi River, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, and covers an area of 3,051 sq. km. The two lagoons, namely Sar and Samang, are located in the eastern and northern parts of the country.
Culture of Puri
The culture of Puri is immersed in the Jagannatha culture, which is an assortment of several Indian cultures. The Puri culture is reflected in the many festivals that take place here. Snana Yatra, Ratha Yatra, and Chandan Yatra are some of the main festivals.
Places to Visit
- Puri Beach
Puri beach, also known as the “Ballighai beach” at the mouth of the Nunai River, is 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) from the city. It’s got golden-yellow sand. Sunrise and sunset are picturesque attractions here. It is easy to find some food joints and souvenir stalls along the beach. Puri Beach is well known for the November’s annual Puri Beach festival. It is a festival that lasts five days and presents vivid cultural events. So it’s going to be a good idea to align your visit with the festival season.
- Jagannatha Temple
The Jagannatha Temple was built by Anantavarman Chodaganga, the ruler of Kalinga in 1078-1148 CE. This temple is famous all over the country for the Rath Yatra organized in July. Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter the temple. Visitors not allowed to enter can see the temple from the nearby Raghunandan Library’s roof and pay their respects to Lord Jagannatha’s image at the temple’s main entrance. The temple is open from 5:00 a.m. until midnight. Devotees can go around and behind the idols, unlike in many other temples. You must visit this beautiful place Puri: The land of culture.
- Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread over an area of 72 km square, this wildlife sanctuary is situated between Puri and Konark along the Bay of Bengal and offers a unique experience. The sanctuary supports more than three hundred species of plants and animals, including black-buck, spotted deer, hyena, jungle cat, tortoises, etc. It is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.
- Konark Beach
Konark Beach is among the cleanest beaches in this country situated on the eastern coast of India. Near the beach are two famous temples, the Konark Sun Temple and Ramchandi Temple. There are a lot of small attractions on this beach. At a distance of 3 km, the Nirvana Point allows visitors to soak in the sun.
- Nalabana Bird Sanctuary
In 1973, Nalabana was named as a bird sanctuary. Nalabana in the Odia language represents an island covered with weeds. This island has a vast area of 15.53 km sq. A large number of birds migrate here every year including sandpipers, pelicans, Flamingos, Ducks, pintails, teals, geese and coots, etc. During the Monsoon season, the island almost disappears due to the rise in water level.
- Sudarshan Crafts Museum
The Sudarshan Crafts Museum was founded by Shri Sudarshan Sahoo, a famous artist, and sculptor in 1977. The museum consists of many artistic works such as wood carvings, work on stone, etc. There are also several of his paintings along with the handicraft pieces, a Buddhist temple built in Japanese style design, a workshop and a library inside the museum premises. This museum is a must-see, especially for art enthusiasts.
Along with these, there are many other places to visit in Puri like Siruli Mahavir Temple, Baliharachandi Temple, Chandrabhaga Beach, Raghurajpur Artist Village, Chilika Lake, etc
How to reach Puri
- By Flight
Puri does not have an airport, but the nearest airport is Bhubaneswar Airport located 53 km away. Afterward, one can travel via bus or car.
- By Train
Puri is a terminus on the East Coast Railway and has direct express and superfast trains to New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Tirupati, etc.
BY SAYALI WANGANE