20 Places to visit in Puri | Puri Tourist Places | Puri Places to Visit | Puri Sightseeing | Puri Tourism | Part-01
History of Puri
Puri city, situated on the coastline of Odisha state in India, is one of the most prominent religious places in India. This ancient city of India is one of the most prominent shrines of Lord Krishna. The city of Puri is also known by many ancient names due to its religious significance – Neelachal, Nilgiri, Shankhkshetra, Niladri, Sreekshetra, Purushottam and Jagannath Dham.
Apart from all these names, presently the local people and devotees of Puri know Puri more as Jagannathpuri. In Hinduism, much importance is given to attaining salvation. People who follow Hinduism consider it very important to visit the four major pilgrimage sites of India to attain salvation.
Badrinath, Kedarnath, Rameswaram and Jagannathpuri located in India, these four pilgrimage sites are known as Chardham. It is believed that if a person completes the journey to these four pilgrimage sites, he attains salvation. Being a part of Chardham Yatra, the religious significance of the visit to Jagannathpuri also increases.
A belief associated with the city of Puri is greatly believed among the devotees. It is believed that if a person stays in Puri for 3 days and 3 nights, then that person gets salvation. Historians believe that before the construction of Shri Jagannath Temple in Puri, this place was ruled by Bhil Jatis.
The idol of Shri Jagannath Ji God was also first received by the Bhil king Vishwas on the shores of the sea. Puri is famous among devotees because of the temple of Lord Shri Jagannath. Equally rich as the city is, the beaches near Puri are considered to be one of the cleanest beaches in India.
Apart from beaches, abundant wildlife is also found in many areas around Puri.
Shri Jagannath Temple located in Puri is the most prominent religious pilgrimage site of India dedicated to Lord Shri Krishna. The Shri Jagannath temple built in the tenth century was built by the rulers of the Ganga dynasty. Apart from its religious significance, Shri Jagannath Temple is also very famous among tourists and devotees due to its architecture.
Very fine carving has been done in the construction of the temple, and very beautiful artefacts of many deities associated with Hinduism have been made in the temple premises. In addition to Lord Shri Jagannath, the Deities of his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra have also been established in the Shri Jagannath temple.
This three deity installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is made of a special type of wood. Every 12 years the Deity of Lord Jagannath made of wood is changed. There are four major gates for entry into the Shri Jagannath Temple, which are known as Singhdwar, Ashwadwar, Hathidwar and Vyaghradwar.
There are also four chambers in the main temple, these four chambers are known as Bhoga-mandir, Nata-Mandir, Jagmohan and Garbhagriha. The kitchen made in Shri Jagannath temple is considered one of the largest kitchens in the world, it is said that the food made in the kitchen of the temple never falls short for the devotees.
The temple complex also houses an ancient Lakshmi temple dedicated to Mata Lakshmi. Click here for complete information about Shri Jagannath Temple.
Jagannath Temple Timings
Any time of the day.
Jagannath Temple Entry Fee
The world-famous Rath Yatra of Lord Shri Jagannath is carried out every year during June and July. According to the Hindu calendar, the Rath Yatra is held on the day of “Asad Shukla Paksha Dwitiya”, which falls in June and July.
During the Rath Yatra, Lord Shri Jagannath along with his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra visit their aunt’s house for nine days, and after completing nine days, return to their main temple. In this religious program, which lasts for nine days, different types of religious functions are conducted daily for Lord Jagannath at his aunt’s house.
Millions of devotees and tourists from all over India and different countries come to Puri to visit Lord Jagannath during the Rath Yatra to participate in the Rath Yatra. The Rath Yatra organized annually in Jagannath Puri is considered one of the largest religious events in the world.
During the chariot journey, the deities of Lord Shri Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are placed on separate huge chariots made of wood. The huge wooden chariots are then pulled with strong rope support by the pilgrims who come to participate in the chariot journey. The Rath Yatra is a total of 5 kilometres in length. Click here for more information on Rath Yatra.
Gundicha Temple Puri – Shri Jagannath Temple
In addition to the Shri Jagannath temple in Puri, the oldest temple Gundicha Temple is considered. The chariot journey of Lord Shri Jagannath in Puri begins at the Jagannath Temple and ends at the Gundicha Temple. The religious significance of the Gundicha temple located in Puri is further enhanced due to the Rath Yatra.
The Gundicha Temple at Puri was built by Maharani Gundicha, the wife of Maharaja Indradyumna, the founder of the Shri Jagannath Temple. According to the legend associated with the construction of the Gundicha temple, Maharani Gundicha, the wife of Maharaja Indradyumna, had great faith in Lord Krishna.
It is said that pleased with the devotion of Queen Gundicha, Lord Krishna blessed Queen Gundicha that once in a year, he would come to the Queen’s house. It is believed that since that time, the journey of Lord Shri Jagannath started in Puri. Gundicha Temple is also considered to be the home of Lord Shri Jagannath’s aunt.
After the Rath Yatra, when Lord Shri Jagannath arrives at his aunt’s house at Gundicha Temple, Lord Shri Jagannath and his brother and sister are welcomed with a special type of dish ‘Podapiti’ made of rice. The Gundicha Temple has located just a short distance from the Shri Jagannath Temple. During the Rath Yatra, Lord Shri Jagannath along with his brother and sister go to the Gundicha temple for seven days.
The Gundicha temple complex has a very beautiful garden, hence the Gundicha temple is also called the garden home of Lord Shri Jagannath. Like Jagannath Temple, Gundicha Temple is also built-in Kalinga architecture. Very fine workmanship has been demonstrated on the stones during the construction of the temple.
Light brownstones have been used for temple construction. A view of the safety of the temple is built around the temple 20 feet high and 5 feet wide. The chambers built in the temple complex are known as Jagmohan, Natamandap, Vimana and Bhogamandap. There are two gates for entering the Gundicha Temple. The gate located in the west direction is the main entrance of the temple and the gate in the east direction is called the Nachna Gate.
During the Rath Yatra, Lord Shri Jagannath enters the Gundicha temple from the western gate and comes out of the temple from the east gate. The Rath Yatra organized every year in Puri is also known as Navdin Yatra, Ghosayatra and Gundicha Yatra.
It is considered very auspicious to see Lord Shri Jagannath during the Rath Yatra. The philosophy of Lord Shri Jagannath during the Rath Yatra is known as Adapa Darshan.
The Gundicha Temple is under the supervision of the Jagannath Temple Administration.
Gundicha Temple Timings
Devotees can visit the Gundicha temple from 06:00 am to 03:00 pm and from 04:00 pm to 10:00 pm the temple remains open for devotees to visit.
Gundicha Temple Entry Fee
The entry fee for the devotees in the temple has been fixed at Rs 05 per person.
Narendra tank Puri | Narendra Pokhari Puri
In Puri, just 1 kilometre from Shri Jagannath Temple, there is an ancient tank called Narendra Tank or Narendra Pokhari. This ancient pond is built in the Mauja Dandimala Sahi area of Puri. Narendra Pokhari Pond is also known as Narendra Tank.
It is believed that Narendra Pokhari is the largest tank in Odisha. The Narendra Pokhari pond was built in the 15th century by the then king of Puri, Narendra Dev. Narendra tank is a pond spread over a large area, in the middle of which a temple has also been constructed.
The temple located in the central part of the pond is called Chandan Mandap, this temple is connected by a bridge to the southern bank of the pond. In the vicinity of the Narendra tank, there are many small and big temples. On the banks of the pond, 16 ghats have been constructed for devotees to bathe in the holy pond.
The water level of Narendra Pokhari is currently 10 feet below ground level. The main ghat of the pond is called Chandan Pushkarini. Every year the famous Chandan Yatra of Lord Shri Jagannath is celebrated with great pomp on the Narendra pond. At the time of the Chandan Yatra festival, the idols of the deities installed in all the big and small temples located around the pond are bathed in the holy water of the pond with a sandalwood lap. Chandan Yatra in Narendra Pokhari is organized during the month of “Baishakh” according to the Hindu calendar.
Narendra Tank Puri Timings
Devotees can visit Narendra Pokhari from 06:00 am to 09:00 pm.
Narendra Tank Puri Entry Fee
Puri, situated on the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean, is one of the largest religious places in India. Apart from being a religious place, the beaches of Puri are considered to be one of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in India. Puri Beach, located just 2.5 kilometres from the Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri, is very famous for white clay and clear water like glass.
Devotees who visit Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri come to Puri Beach to offer Jalanjali to Lord Shri Jagannath. During some special days of the year like Rath Yatra or any major festival related to Hinduism, a large crowd of devotees can be seen at Puri Beach. On Puri beach, you are seen as foreign tourists and Indian tourists enjoying the white soil of Puri beach.
Pearls and other types of goods found in the sea at the beach can be easily purchased by local vendors. If you have good luck, you can also get an opportunity to see the magnificent works of sand art made by world-famous sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik.
Puri Beach Festival is organized in Puri every year in November, in this five-day festival, in addition to the locals, tourists from the country and abroad also take part in it. Tourists get very beautiful views of sunrise and sunset from Puri Beach.
Puri Beach Timings
The best time for tourists to visit Puri Beach is from 06:00 AM to 07:00 PM.
Puri Beach Entry Fee
Sudarshan Craft Museum Puri
The Sudarshan Craft Museum in Puri was founded by Shri Sudarshan Sahu in 1977. The main reason for the construction of this craft museum is to preserve the ancient and local folk art of Odisha and Puri. Sudarshan Craft Museum is the most suitable place for art lovers to observe and understand the local folk art and handicraft of Odisha.
The collection of stone, wood, handicraft items, fibreglass objects and carved paintings are on display for art lovers and tourists visiting the Sudarshan Craft Museum. Most of the items built in the Sudarshan Craft Museum are made by Sudarshan Sahu. In addition to the artefacts associated with Odisha, a Japanese-style temple, library and workshop can also be seen in the museum.
If tourists and art lovers want to buy something from the museum, then the museum can buy metal sculptures and finely carved stones at a reasonable price. The Sudarshan Craft Museum also provides an appropriate platform for emerging new artists to showcase their art in the art field.
Sudarshan Craft Museum is open for the rest of the week, except Saturdays and Sundays.
Sudarshan Craft Museum Puri Timings
The museum is open for tourists from 08:00 AM to 12:00 PM and from 02:00 PM to 08:00 PM.
Sudarshan Craft Museum Puri Entry Fee
In the Sudarshan Craft Museum, an entry fee of Rs 05 is charged from Indian tourists and Rs 50 for foreign tourists.
Loknath Temple Puri
The Loknath Temple at Puri is the oldest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Loknath Temple is considered to be one of the most prominent Shiva temples in Odisha. According to the legend associated with the Shiva lingam installed inside the Loknath temple built in the 11th century, Lord Rama himself established this Shivalinga.
It is said that Lord Rama came to this place while searching for Sitamata. Upon reaching this place, Lord Rama wishes to see Lord Shiva, then he sits at this place to worship Lord Shiva. At the same time, when the people of nearby Sabarapalli village come to know about Lord Rama, they bring gourd (pumpkin) as a replica of Shivling.
After that Lord Rama worships Lord Shiva by installing that gourd as Shivalinga. From that time onwards, the place where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva was called Lukanath and later Luknath’s name was changed to Loknath.
The Shiva lingam installed in the Loknath temple is always submerged, hence it is believed that Mother Ganga flows like a stream from above the lingam of Lord Shiva. Shiva lingam in Loknath temple can be seen only during the Pingodhar Ekadashi which comes before Shivratri. Shivalinga is taken out of the water for some time that day.
Thousands of devotees visit the temple on the day of Pingodhar Ekadashi to visit the Lord Shiva Linga in thousands. It is believed that one can get rid of all kinds of health problems by visiting the Shivalinga. Like the Gundicha temple, the Loknath temple is also divided into four parts – known as Natamandap, Vimana, Bhogmandap and Jagmohan.
The main temple is made of stones and rises about 30 feet above the ground. Statues of different gods and goddesses of Hinduism are built on the walls of the temple. A small temple is built in the inner part of the temple, in which the idols of Suryanarayana Lord and Chandranarayana God are kept.
Apart from Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi Ji, bronze statues have also been installed inside the Satyanarayana temple located in the temple complex. A huge fair is held at Loknath Temple on Shravan Monday which is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the residents and devotees.
It is believed that the Shivalinga installed in the Loknath temple is the custodian of the treasures and gold jewellery of the Sri Jagannath temple, hence the “UTSAV” idol of Loknath has been installed in the Jagannath temple complex.
Loknath Temple Puri Timings
Devotees and tourists can visit Loknath temple from 05:00 AM to 08:00 PM.
Loknath Temple Puri Entry Fee
Balghai Beach Puri
Balghai Beach is completely different from the city of Puri and is much less crowded than Puri Beach. Like Puri Beach, Balghai Beach is also an ancient beach of Puri. The road leading from Puri to Konark is called Konark Marine Drive. On the other side of Marine Drive, where the river Nui falls into the Bay of Bengal, the same place is located nearby Balghai Beach.
The distance of Balghai Beach from Puri city is only 8 kilometres. Balghai Beach is also one of the cleanest beaches in India. Like Puri Beach, the soil in this beach is also white. The beach is surrounded by Eucalyptus, Alaska and Casuarina trees, due to which the beauty of the beach increases even more.
Watching the sunrise and sunset from Balghai Beach offers a different experience. The seawater gives the redness of the sun a very pleasant experience. Balghai Beach is the most suitable place to see the Olive Ridley Turtle.
In December and January, Olive Riedel migrates to the shore of Balghai Beach to breed species. Being botanically rich, migratory birds can also be seen on the banks of Balghai Beach during the winter season. Water skiing, boat rides and parasailing are also available for the entertainment of tourists on Balghai Beach.
One can also visit the Ballyhirana Deer Sanctuary located near Balghai Beach. Indian blackbuck and endangered Balihirana deer can be seen in the sanctuary. A sea turtle research centre is built just a short distance from the centre. Different types of turtles can be seen in the research centre.
Balghai Beach Puri Timings
Tourists can visit Balghai Beach from 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM.
Balghai Beach Puri Entry Fee in Hindi
Alarnath Temple Puri
The Alarnath temple near Puri is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Alarnath Temple is one of the most prominent ancient temples of Lord Vishnu located in Odisha, built-in Brahmagiri, 22 km from Puri. Alarnath Temple is not very famous according to any religious tourist place.
But all the devotees who believe in Lord Vishnu come to visit the Alarnath temple throughout the year. It is believed that the Alarnath temple was built two hundred years before the Jagannath temple in Puri. According to the legend associated with the construction of the temple, it is said that when Lord Brahma came to this place, he worshipped Lord Vishnu on the top of a mountain.
According to historians, the then rulers of the Alwar district of Rajasthan built the Alarnath temple at this place. For this reason, this temple is known as Alarnath Temple or Alavarnath Temple. The Alarnath temple and the context associated with the Jagannath Yatra of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu of Orissa are very famous here.
Once when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was on his Puri stay, he used to go to the Jagannath temple to pay obeisance to Lord Jagannath every day. On those days, the Deity of Lord Jagannath and his brother, sister are kept in a secret room of the temple during the 15-day Annavara period.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was unable to see Lord Jagannath due to the establishment of the Deity of the Lord in the secret room. On finding out, someone suggested to him that if he worshipped the Lord installed in the Alarnath temple located in Brahmagiri instead of visiting Lord Jagannath during the Annavara period, he would get the blessings of Lord Jagannath.
That is why even today, during the Annwara period, all the devotees who are unable to see Lord Jagannath go to visit the Alarnath temple during this time. Thousands of devotees gather at the Alarnath temple during the Annavara period to receive the blessings of the Lord.
In the Alarnath temple, the Deity of Lord Vishnu is holding the chakra, conch, mace and Padma in his four hands. The statue of his vehicle Garuda has also been installed at the feet of Lord Vishnu. Apart from Lord Vishnu, idols of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Satyabhama and Rukmini have also been installed in the temple premises.
Chandan Yatra is organized for 21 days every year in the lake built behind the Alarnath Nath temple.
Alarnath Temple Puri Timings
Devotees can visit the Alarnath temple from 06:00 am to 09:00 pm.
Alarnath Temple Puri Entry Fee
Markandeshwar Temple Puri
The ancient Markandeshwar temple located in Puri is famous as a major pilgrimage site for the followers of Hinduism. This temple is located near the Markandeshwar Pond in Puri. Markandeshwar Temple is considered one of the Panch Tirthas of Puri. Markandeshwar Temple is considered to be one of the sacred Bawan pilgrimage sites of Lord Shiva in India.
According to historical evidence, the Markandeshwar temple was built by the rulers of the Ganga dynasty during the 12th century. According to the mythology associated with the temple, once Lord Shiva protected the life of sage Markandeya. Then after that Rishi Markandeya built the temple of Lord Shiva at this place.
Markandeshwar Temple is associated with religious ceremonies such as Balabhadra Janma, Sheetal Sasti, Chandan Yatra and Kalialaya to be held at Jagannath Temple. The Markandeya Talab located near the Markandeswarar Temple is used for religious rituals and bathing.
Markendeshwar Temple Puri Timings
Devotees can visit the Markandeshwar temple from 06:00 AM to 07:00 PM.
Markendeshwar Temple Puri Entry Fee
Puri Famous Food
Puri is one of the four major pilgrimage sites of Hinduism and is also a major city in the Indian state of Odisha. Being a religious place, as well as Puri is situated on the Bay of Bengal coast in the Indian Ocean, a wide variety of local dishes and seafood (non-vegetarian) are available for devotees and tourists to eat at Puri.
A lot of small and big restaurants are available on Puri beach for the devotees and tourists to eat. Apart from the beach, a lot of eateries are also built around the Jagannath temple in Puri. In addition to local food in Odisha, the types of food found in different regions of India are available in Puri.
Tourists and devotees visiting Puri must eat the bhog (Mahaprasad) of Lord Jagannath. Apart from Bhog, you should eat Malpua, Chhena-Por, Khichdi, Ukhra, Dalma, Abadha, Santula, Chongdi Malai, Peetha, Rasabali and Macha-Chancheda.
Puri Local Market
There are plenty of options available for tourists and devotees to buy local handicrafts, metal, bamboo and beaded items in the local markets of Puri. Being a religious tourist place, pictures and idols of Shri Jagannath Bhagwan and Krishna Bhagwan are mainly sold in the local market of Puri.
Puri is most commonly sold by making pictures and sculptures of Lord Jagannath along with his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra. The painting on small leaves in Puri is also very famous. Painting done on small leaves is called Pattachitra.
Images of Lord Jagannath and Krishna are mainly made on these small leaves. Traditionally and hand made saris are also famous in Puri. Bomkai, exquisite Paspali and ikat-style saris are especially liked by tourists. The Odisha Handicraft Emporium in Puri is one of the most suitable places for saris made of ikat style and gold embroidery.
Anand Bazar, located in the main premises of Jagannath Temple, is the most suitable place to buy handicrafts, religious items, conch and beads made of different types of beads. On Puri Beach, residents sell items related to home decoration.
From the beach, tourists can buy lampshades, bedsheets, handbags, cushions, mirrors, canopies and wall hangings. Make a bargain when buying goods from shops located in the middle.
Hotels in Puri
Being a famous religious tourist place, Puri has many small and big hotels and private hospices. People of different sects and castes associated with Hinduism in Puri have also got many Dharamshalas built, devotees can stay in these Dharamshalas at very low fees.
Very good food facility is available in the Dharamshalas built-in Puri. Almost all hotels in Puri are available on the online hotel booking website. Online hotel booking website offers different types of discount offers throughout the year. By applying these offers, you can also stay at hotels in Puri at a very low price.