This time I covered the golden triangle (Bhuvaneshwar – puri – Konark) of Orissa, and Puri is one of the sacred places for Hindu, home to Lord Jagannath, one of the CharDham. This small district has lot more to offer than the spirituality, such as visiting to marvellous creation or architecture of Konark temple which is around 35 km from Puri, enjoying one of the cleanest beach of India i.e, Puri beach or Konark beach, also enjoying a boat ride with Dolphin at Chilika lake and many more.
1. Jagannath temple
The main attraction of Puri is Lord Jagannath temple, a very sacred and holy place for Hindu deity. The main deities of the temple are Lord Jagannath(Lord Vishnu), Lord Balbhadra (Lord Shiva) and Sister Subhadra (Maa Durga). This place is one of the CharDham in Hindu Mythology and is always full of visitors who came from all parts of India to seek blessing from their beloved deity (Lord Jagannath). The temple construction started in a late 11th century and the architecture of the temple is also worth appreciating. There are several facts that are associated with the puri temple which you can check in my another post.
Photography:- Not allowed, even you cannot carry your phones.
Timing:- Temple opens from 5:00 a.m. to 12:oo p.m (but you need to check Dharshan timings)
Entry fee:– No entry fee
Tips for the traveler:- There is no proper cloakroom nearby temple so better not to carry a costly electronic item, stay away from pandas they will not give you anything for free, even Prasdham is charged. Pandas here have made the place as a commercial center (sad but true)
The village of the artist, who have magic in their hands and they drew that out to make marvelous Tassar paintings, Pattachitra and palm leave engraving. This is a heritage village around 12 km from Puri, one of the must-visit places from puri. Check more about the Raghurajpur here.
3. Puri beach
Puri beach is a sacred beach and is very clean, around 1.5 km from the temple, at a walking distance of 20 minutes from Jagannath temple, the beach offers the magnificent sunrise view. One can enjoy the sunrise on Puri beach and feel the peace, the beach is quite long. You can enjoy sand art also near the beach and visit the lighthouse of puri beach.
4. Lokhnath temple
Lokhnath temple is situated around 2.5 km from Lord Jagannath temple and is very famous among the Orissa people. It is believed that the temple was established by Lord Rama, the temple is small not much to offer from the architectural point of view but has a deep religious importance. The innermost chamber of the main temple preserve Shiva linga which is visible only once a year during Shivratri and on other days it is filled with water throughout the year by a natural fountain. According to the locals, people who suffer from incurable diseases come here for prayer. There is a pond in the temple where you can feed fishes and take holy bath. You can take an autorickshaw from puri temple to reach here or you can walk, it will around 30 minutes.
A half -day trip from puri, Konark temple is world famous preserved by UNESCO. The temple is known for its chariot like construction and for its wheel which works as a sundial, and the stone works done on the outer walls depicting social life of people in the ancient era. It is a must visit the place to admire the incredible construction of Indian artist. To check more about Konark visit here
Timing:- 6 a.m – 8 p.m.
Photography:- Allowed, no charge for still photography
Entry fee:- Rs 30 per person
Tips for a traveler:- Suggest to do guide, Attend a light show at 7:00 p.m.
6. Shri Gaur Vihar Ashram
The ashram lies at a very quiet place depicting several events and aspects of Hindu mythology, especially of Lord Krishna through various statues. It is a good place to spend 1-2 hours amongst the greenery and peace. No entry fees and restriction is there, you can take as many photographs as you want. This is not a must visit place in puri but you can add it to your itinerary if you have some spare time.
7. Chilika lake
Chilika lake is largest coastal lagoon in India, this brackish coastal lagoon not only offers you an awesome boat ride but also a chance to enjoy and watch the playful Dolphin. By the side of the lake, you must have crabs curry, it is finger licking and very fresh. It is also largest ground for migratory birds in winters. If you are planning to visit Chilika than it will be a one-day tour, especially if you are using public convince. You need to leave early morning and better to go in a group only or with several other visitors (you will easily get that when going via public convenience) so that you can get a cheaper boat ride. Buses are easily available at bus stand during morning time and you can set them for return also as that is the only option for return.
Best time to visit: – November to February
8. Gundicha temple
Lord Jagannath Mausi Maa temple also known as Garden House of Jagannath, the temple stands in the center of the beautiful garden and is around 3 km from Lord Jagannath temple. Usually, it remains vacant except during the car festival when lots of devotees come for Lord Jagannath Dharshan.
9. Shakshi Gopal temple
Another major attraction in puri, 20 km from Lord Jagannath temple. It is said that Lord Krishna come here to settle the dispute of two Brahmins. It is also considered by some people that visiting Shakshi Gopal temple after the visit of Lord Jagganath witnesses your visit to Lord Jagannath, thus after visiting this temple the darshan to Lord Jagannath is considered complete. It is easily reachable by bus.
10. Narendra sarovar
Though there are several sacred tanks in puri, Narendra Sarovar also known as Chandana Pushkarani is a must visit. It is just 2 kilometer from the famous Puri Jagannath temple. There is a small temple in the middle dedicated to Lord Jagannath, Balarama, and Subhadra. Boat festival is held here during Chandan Yatra and Lord Jagannath representative Madanamohana goes for a boat ride on Chapa(a decorated float). Also during this festival, the moving deity of Lord Jagannath (Madanamohana) is kept here for 21 days.
You can also check following post:-