Puri

Puri ( also known as Jagannath Puri or Purusottama Puri ) is a renowned city and headquarters of Puri District in the Indian state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) (Latitude: 19° 48' 0 N, Longitude: 85° 50' 60 E), also known as The Abode of Lord Jagannath.

The Shree Jagannath Temple of Puri

Understand

Jagannath Puri or Purusottama Puri (approximately 1 and a half hours or 60 km from Bhubaneswar by bus (about ₹25 to ₹150), about 2 hours by train) is a pilgrimage town with the famous temple of Lord Jagannath (means Lord of the Universe) and is a major tourist destination with all its beautiful and pleasant sights. There are many hotels, most overseas tourists stay near to Chakratirtha Road (C.T. Road) - try Hotel Lotus - for the best of star hotels like hotel holiday resort, mayfair beach resort or you can ask rickshaws for 'Sea Beach Road or Swargadwara'. Some good hotels are Hotel Puri and Hotel New Sea Hawk (in Swargadwar) The Sun temple at Konark is also near by. If you go to Puri by road from Bhubaneswar you will go past Pipli with its beautiful applique handicrafts, worth a look. The Puri sea beach is a major attraction with its fantastic sea face view and golden sand, the water is a bit rough (which is good if you like to surf).

Get in

By train

Puri is well connected by railways. Trains are from Kolkata (Howrah jn), New Delhi, Ahmedabad, etc. It is also a major railhead on the East Coast Railway, bifurcated from Khurda Road Jn. The Railway Station of Puri is in the heart of the town and near to all hotels. If you arrive by train go to the Odishan State Tourist counter at the station for advice; they are usually very helpful and speak English. The MCO Booth is also quite helpful.

Get around

You can use cycle or auto rickshaws but agree a price before you set off. Just to avoid a horrible experience in the beginning confirm twice on the price, as they frequently try to charge you more than you agreed on. There are places on C.T Road where you can hire an Enfield motorbike, good if you want to drive along the coast to Konark (Sun Temple). A cycle rickshaw is in the range of ₹520.

Talk

Locals speak Oriya. Due to the presence of people from various parts of India, there would not be a language problem for people who speak any major Indian language. Hindi is also widely used. Some locals even speak Bengali.

See

Shree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math

Famous Places Near Puri

Do

The Golden Beach of Puri during sunset

Enjoy the splendour of the Golden Beach of Puri. It is ideal for surfing and cool for a dip. The beach is covered in golden sand. The waves can also be high and rough during purnima (full moon). Also, "Please Do not litter the beach" to keep its magnificent view intact. You have to be careful about swimming off the Chakra Tirtha Rd end of the beach because there is a canal that carries raw sewerage into the ocean.

Eat

Chena podo or baked cottage cheese at Puri

Sleep

Puri is a very popular holiday resort for people from all over India but they tend to stay in the hotels nearer to Swargadwar (rather than C.T Road). These hotels are often inexpensive and offer quality services at very reasonable rates.

Stay safe

In cheap hotels or Guest Houses on Swargadwar or New Puri, try to take care of your own belongings. DO NOT try to go to the beach after 8PM. If you get seriously ill in Puri it is better to go on to Bhubaneswar to the Kalinga Hospital as the hospitals in Puri are very, very basic and not too clean. The hotel should be able to get a local doctor for you if you need one.

There are mouthwatering foodstalls on the beach selling fish, mutton, chicken kebabs, chops and cutlets. DO NOT try these, unless you want to experience the medical system of Puri. Even weather-beaten, battle-hardened, super-immune Indian stomachs can not tolerate these tasty but unhygienic attacks on your digestive system. Eat out of hotels, perfectly fine. But do NOT try the seashore roadside food stalls.

Stay safe from pandas of any temple. They will extract money from your pocket ruthlessly in the name of God. They are very influential and nothing can be done with the help of law. Avoid entering innermost sanctum of any living temple(even if you are Hindu/Indian). They will ask you to offer puja or pay respect to innumerous Gods here and there of same temple very politely/affectionately but will demand money in name of each God separately. No use arguing with them. If you are a bit religious/curious then carry enough change so that you can donate ₹1, ₹2, ₹5, ₹10 to get rid of them without any commotion.

Stay away from monkeys.Don't lure them with food and other stuff.

Go next

Puri being a major tourist spot is well connected with rest of the country by train. In case of flight connectivity one has to go to Bhubaneswar to get onto one. From the main bus stand in Puri you can get buses to Bhubaneswar and Cuttack which are less than 60-70 km far. Bhubaneswar which is a major hub further increases connectivity. The temple of Konark is nearby and definitely a must visit. Satapada on Chilika Lake is nearby and is a great place for sighting dolphins.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, January 27, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.