Brief
One of the four Dhams, Puri is considered by Hindus, to be the abode of the Lord of the world, Jagannatha. Hence, it got the name Jagannatha Puri. Though life here revolves around the Jagannatha Temple, Puri is blessed with golden sand beaches, for which, it has been famous, all over the world. The sunrays falling on seawater, gives an illusion of a rainbow on water, whose surface attracts people, who love to swim in the sea and laze around, on its golden sands. By the crashing waves of the Bay of Bengal, the beaches of Puri, show divergent colors- calmness gives peace of mind, while the crashing breakers, reminds one, of the turbulent life, within this calmness.


History
Puri is one of the four holy dhams, dedicated  to Lord Vishnu, who is also known  as  Jagannath. Established by the Hindu sage Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century AD, Puri is dominated by two forces, God and man. If the sea, is the ever motion force, the Lord Jagannath temple is a static, but no less dominant force. In recent years, Puri has undergone a developmental change, but the modernisation of the Puri sea-face, is a little out of character, with the image always associated with Puri.

Culture
By the crashing waves of the Bay of Bengal, this city has dedicated itself to Lord Vishnu, here called Jagannath. One of the four holy dhams, a large part of population of Puri is one way or the other, connected with the religious reasons. At Puri, the main highlight of the people is the chariot festival or the Rath Yatra and usually life revolves around the sea and the Jagannath Temple. The Beach Festival in Puri, held usually in January, is a culmination of dance forms (primarily Odissi and Mayurbhanj Chhau) and classical music.

Climate & Geogaphical Location
Being close to the sea, the summers are warm, but the winters are cool and pleasant. One of the four Dhams, Puri is situated on the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal and is just 60 kms from Bhubaneshwar.

How to Reach
Road, rail and air connect Puri. By air, Puri is not linked with the flight services directly. The nearest airport is at Bhubaneshwar, linking it to Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Vishakhapatnam. From the airport ,a car can be hired ,or  a mini bus services are available. By Rail,  Puri is an important terminus of the S E Railway and is well connected with train services to many important places in the country.  It is well connected by good motorable roads to Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam and places in neighbouring states. Bus service facilities from Bhubaneshwar to Puri are also available.

Tourist Places
Jagannath Temple

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, here called Jagannath, it is one of the four holy dhams of the Hindus. Legend has it, that an old man agreed to carve the lords image on a sacred piece of wood, on condition, not to be disturbed till complete. Disturbed in the middle of his task, he disappeared leaving behind the incomplete images, in which form they are worshipped till date. The Jagannath temple is ornately carved with tall shikharas. Supported by 16 pillars, the inner chamber is embellished with scenes from the life of Krishna. The temple complex is huge and a lion gate, guards the entrance which opens on to a wide road, connecting the temple to the Gundicha Mandir, a mile away. It is to this Mandir, that the chariot is brought from Puri during the annual Rath Yatra.

Balighai

A little off the Puri Konark Marine Drive, Balighai is an excellent picnic spot, on the casuariana-fringed beach. The reserve forest nearby, houses the turtle research centre. Also worth a visit is Chaitan (artisans village), known for its stone craft.

Others

 

BRAHMAGIRI - On the way to Satpada, Brahmagiri has a shrine of Lord Alarnath, which is worshipped as Jagannatha during Anvasar. Lord Chaitanya, is also said to have visited this place during his travels. MARKANDESVARA TANK - The curving bylane, adjacent to the Jagannath Temple, leads to a bathing area, with steep sides, surrounded by clusters of temples. A sacred tank, Markandesvara tank, is a must visit. It is the site,, where Vishnu took the form of a neem tree, near a buried temple.  MUSEUM - The museum though not extensively stocked, has replicas of the sacred chariots and festival trivia, is worth a visit. The Sudarshana workshop near the Shinto Shrine, is a stone carvers yard, belonging to one of the few remaining traditional artisans. RAGHRAJPUR - Raghurajpur is a unique village of artists, with almost every family involved in some form and manner of artistic endeavor. The artists of Raghurajpur create Patachitras, Ganjifa (playing cards), sculptures in stone and wood, papier mache masks etc. SAKSHIGOPAL - From Puri, on the way to Bhubaneswar, Sakshigopal is famous for its imposing temple, with a life size idol of Lord Krishna. A visit to Puri, is considered incomplete, if one does not visit the Sakshigopal Temple.


 
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