Puri is located in Southern Orissa and is usually visited by those seeking spiritual gratification. This area has a wealth of natural beauty and has a moderate climate, making it a comfortable place to visit. There are plenty of hotels in Puri to choose from so you won’t struggle on that front, though it is wise to book early in the busy season and not just turn up. Hindu pilgrims make the journey here as Puri is considered one of the holiest pilgrimage places in India.
As a result of this religious significance, it is the most frequented pilgrimage destination in Orissa. However, there are many other aspects of the city that are overshadowed. For this reason, many local and foreign holiday makers also make the trip to this area as it is a popular holiday destination. So pack your bags, get your holiday insurance and make the trip to Puri!
Lord Jagannath Temple and surrounds
Built in the 12th century, the temple is a fine good example of Oriya architecture. It is a towering 65 meters, making it the tallest monument in the area. Although entry is limited to Hindus, tourists can savour the sight from afar and savour the temple food. While in Puri, you can also visit some of the other temples in the area which are also exquisitely built.
Other attractions in the area include: the Narendra, Markandeya, Sweta Ganga and Indradyumna tanks. These are believed to contain water that is holy. Many people come here to take a dip in these waters that are credited with curative powers. An excursions out to the Konarvk Sun Temple is a must do activity. Here, you can take a look a various architecture, art and sculptures in Orissa.
The breathtaking beaches of Puri are magnificent. The Golden Beach, names thus because if its golden sand, is great for surfing and swimming. Tourists flock to these beaches to experience this beauty and interact with the local fisherman and fishing villages. The Lakes in the area are known for their beautiful, scenic environment. The surrounding islands with their birdlife are a good way to spend an afternoon and are often included in tours.
Cultural festivals are a great way to learn about the cultural or religious practices of a community. In Puri, there is a festival of chariot over the entire summer period. This colourful festival is elaborate and unique and will have you seeing Lord Jagannaths 35 square feet chariot on display. Other festivals such as the Hundu New Year are equally colour and fascinating for visitors to the area,
If you are travelling to this area of India, you should consider going with a tour operator or guide. There are many unscrupulous changers at these monuments and there are also many rules that you need to adhere to. So, for the sake of harmony try your best to be respectful of the spaces you enter.
While the city is largely geared towards these religious observations, it also has many other activities that visitors can participate in. Its popularity continues to grow and many visitors find their trip her fascinating and educational. The landscape can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life and ages.
This is a guest post from Daffyd at Top Backpacking Destinations