Puri is one of the four dhams or holiest Hindu piligrimage places in India. The others are in Dwarika in Gujrat 9in the west, Badrinath in uttaranchal (north) and Rameswaram in Tamilnadu (South). Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath needs no introduction. According to tradition Puri was once a thickly wooded hill inhabited by the Sabaras (Pre-Aryan and Pre-Dravidian tribes of the Austric linguistic family). The sunny beach at Puri is one of the finest in the world. Watching the sunrise in a symphony of colours is a wonderful experience. It is one of the most popular sea-side resorts where visitors from any part of the globe can comfortably relax.
The Temple of Lord Jagannath built during the 12th century A.D. by Chodaganga Deva dominates the landscape for kilometers around. This mighty temple, one of Indias most important, is dedicated to Jagannath, Lord of the universe, an in carnation of Vishnu. Being the tallest temple (65 metres) in Odisha (Orissa), it is one of the most magnificent pieces of monuments of India. In front of the main gate stands a 16 sided monolithic pillar (11 metres high), called Aruna Stambha which formally stood in front of the Sun Temple and was brought to Puri during the 18th century A.D.
The temple employs about 6000 men to perform complicated rituals involved in caring t\for the gods. An estimated 20,000 people divided into 36 orders and 97 classes – are dependent on Jagannath for their livelihood.
Non Hindus are not allowed to enter into the temple but they can observe the oouter temple from the roof of the Raghunandan Library (Open 9am –1pm & 4pm – 7pm daily) opposite to the temple. Ask permission from the librarian to climb to the top with some donation.
Some of the other important temples are Gundicha, Lokanath, Sunaragauranga, Daria Mahabir and Tota Gopinatt. There are also a number of holy tanks like Narendra, Markandeya, Sweta Ganga and Indradyumna. There are many Monasteries locally known as Mathas also of tourist interest. Apart from that there is other places of interest such as Raghurajpur painting village (12KM from Puri) , Pipli appliqué village (40KM from Puri on the way to Bhubaneswar).
By air to Bhubaneswar (Puri is 62 km from Bhubaneswar), road and rail.
Stay arrangements can be done with the local hotels (more than 200 hotels) from budget category to 4 star category with tarrif ranging from Rs. 500/- to Rs. 5000/-