Altitude:559.31 meters above sea level
Best Time to Visit:November to March
Also Known As:Nilachal,Nilagiri, Niladri
Languages Spoken:Oriya,Bengali,Hindi and English
Overview of Puri
Puri is one of the four celebrated religious centres of India. It was also known as Jagannath Puri after the Jagannath Temple was built in 11th century. Puri is one of the oldest cities in the eastern part of the country. It is situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal and is a popular beach resort, positioned in a unique place so that both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the beach. The word "Puri" in Sanskrit means 'town' or 'city'. But the name is believed to be derived from Jagannath Puri.It is the only place in India, where Radha also referred to as Durga, Sathi, Parvathi, Shakthi abodes with krishna, also known as Jagannath.
Major Attractions in PuriTemples in Puri
The temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri, is one of the major Hindu pilgrimage destinations of India. The temple is decorated with four gates. On each side of the temple has a 16 sided monolithic pillar of 11mts Height known as 'Arunastambh'. The temple also has the largest kitchen in the world serving around 10,000 devotees every day.At the end of Grand Road, about 3 km northeast of Jagannath temple, is the Gundicha Mandir. At the time of Rath Yatra festival, Lord Jagannath goes to Gundicha temple and stays there for a week.The city is dotted with numerous other shrines like Narasimha temple and Tota Gopinath temple.Beaches in Puri
The Puri beach is one of the most famous beaches in India. The abode of Lord Jagannath attracts millions of tourists round the year who come here to take a holy bath, which they believe is a golden path to Moksha or Eternal salvation.
Fairs and Festivals
Number of colourful fairs and festivals will be done here such as Chandan Yatra, Snana Yatra (Bath Festival), Anavasara Festival and Nava-Kalevara festival.
The chandana Yatra is celebrated in April, the god or Goddess are taken for boat ride in the Narendra Sarovara after they are bathed in Sandalwood scented water.
During the Snana Yatra the God or Goddess are brought to the Snana-Mandapa in a procession calles Pahandi. And in mid-day around 108 pots of water are poured on them.
During the Anavasara festival, it is said that Lord Jagannath suffers from fever and some medicines are offered in the form of soups and fruit juices.
Nava-Kalevara is when Lord Jagannath , gets a new body.Rath Yatra-(Chatriot festival)
This festival is held in the month of June-July. It involves the procession of three colossal chariots bearing the images of Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra through the Grand Road, a distance of about 3 km. Jagannath's chariot is a 35 feet square rising to a height of 45 feet and is supported on 16 wheels. The cart is covered with brightly coloured yellow and red fabric with a wheel on top of it. More than 4000 people drag the chariot to Gundicha Mandir, where the images are kept for a week before they are returned during the Bahuda Yatra (Return Cart Festival).
How to Reach Puri
Air: The Nearest Airport is 60 km away at Bhubaneswar. There are numerous flights connecting Bhubaneswar to New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai.
Road: Puri is well connected by railways to Berhampore (Orissa), Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Cochin, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Chennai, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Varanasi etc.
Rail: The Puri is well connected by roads from the nearby areas.