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Puri: Lord Jagannath’s Abode
Puri: Lord Jagannath’s Abode

Puri: Lord Jagannath’s Abode

Puri, the most famous tourist address of the State. This city is synonymous with Lord Jagannath & his siblings Lord Balabhadra & Goddess Subhadra. Puri is a coastal city and a municipality in the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is the district headquarters of Puri district and is situated on the Bay of Bengal, 60 kilometres south of the state capital of Bhubaneswar.

Brief History

  • During Mughal sovereignty (1592-1751), Odisha was split into three circars for the purpose of tax system: Jaleswar, Bhadrak, and Kataka, that were each subdivided into Mahals or Dandapatas, and the Mahals were further subdivided into Bishis. Puri was part of the Katakacircar.
  • Until 1816, Puri served as the capital of Odisha’s state and the Collector’s offices. A proposal to relocate the capital of Jajpur was made in 1806 but was not approved by the administration.
  • A portion of the Collector’s staff was transferred to Cuttack in August 1814, only to be returned to Puri in December.
  • Despite the Collector’s rejection of a petition from a group of Zamidars to relocate the Collectorate to Cuttack, which served as the administrative centre under the Mughal and Marathas, the petition was eventually approved, and the headquarters were permanently relocated from Puri to Cuttack in 1816.

State/District/Capital

Puri, Odisha’s southernmost district, is a prominent Hindu pilgrimage destination that attracts a large number of visitors and devotees all year. Puri is recognised as Odisha’s spiritual capital. Up-country Hindus name it Jagannath, and locals call it Purushottam Kshetra, the abode of the finest of creatures, Jagannath, the world’s lord, whose temple has drawn faithful visitors from all across India for ages. Puri is said to be an acronym of Jagannath Puri, which is the city of Jagannath.

How to reach Puri?

Puri is near Bhubaneswar, which has excellent air, road, and train connections. Puri is easily accessible by road and train from nearly every major Indian city. Puri may be reached in the following ways:

By Air

The closest airport is Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar, which is roughly 56 kilometres from the core of Puri city. The airport has flights to both Delhi and Mumbai. Travellers from other countries must connect at Delhi or Kolkata.

By Rail

Puri is a significant railway hub. Many Indian cities, including Bhubaneswar, New Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkata, have frequent direct train links.

By Road

Puri is quite well integrated with its neighbouring cities by well-built roadways. Buses are the most common mode of transportation to Puri, as the bus station is located near the Gundicha Temple. By bus, Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack are only 15 minutes apart.

When to visit Puri?

Puri is best visited between June and March. From June through September, the city enjoys its monsoon season. In the months of March to May, the city experiences its summer season. 

Official Language

Puri’s native tongue is Oriya.  Apart from Oriya, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and Telugu are spoken by a tiny fraction of Puri’s population. Puri also has a large English-speaking population that is well-versed in the language.

Weather

Monsoon Season

From June through September, the city enjoys its monsoon season. In general, the city receives medium rainfall at the beginning of the month and then substantial rainfall at the conclusion of the month.

Summer Season

In the months of March to May, the city experiences its summer season. During the summer, the city’s temperatures often range from 19 to 45 degrees Celsius.

Winter Season

The months of December through February are considered the city’s winter season when temperatures are normally mild. The temperature in the city fluctuates between 10 and 18 degrees Celsius.

Fairs & Festivals in Puri

Puri’s culture, customs, and fairs and festivals are also well-known. Rath Yatra, Chandan Yatra in Puri, Rath Yatra in Puri, and Snana Yatra in Puri are some of the prominent festivities that take place throughout the year. Rath Yatra is a prominent celebration held in the months of June and July. Thousands of devotees flock to this event to pull Lord Jagannath’s Rath, Balbhadra’s Rath, and Subhadra’s Rath.

Car Festival

It is conducted in June-July to commemorate Lord Krishna’s trip from Gokul to Mathura. The traditional return journey (Bahuda Yatra) is also commemorated on the 9th day, with the three goddesses being transported from the Garden House to the main temple in three chariots.

Chandan Yatra

Lord Jagannath’s Summer Festival takes place in April-May on Akshaya Tritiya (the third day of the bright half of Vaisakha) and lasts for twenty-one days. The ‘Bhaunri Yatra’ is conducted on the festival’s last day. Inside the Jagannath temple, many ceremonies are done.

Durga Puja/ Gosani Yatra

One of the most prominent Pujas in Puri is this one. ‘Gosani Yatra’ is another name for it. It is commemorated to mark the triumph of good over evil. During the festival, exquisite clay images of the Goddess are worshipped in many locations throughout the city with grand traditional decorations, which are thronged with visitors, and line up in front of Lord Jagannath temple’s Lions Gate on their way to the sea.

Jhulan Yatra

Lord Jagannath’s Swinging Festival is known as Jhulan Yatra. For a week before Sravana Purnima, which happens in August every year, this festival is meticulously followed in the temple of Lord Jagannath and other Mathas in Puri. The celebration comes to a close on the full moon day in the month of Sravana.

Ganesh Chaturthi

In the month of September, this festival takes place. Lord Ganesh is revered by the people of Puri. Puri hosts this event for a week. . The immersion rite on the last day of the week, when hundreds of photographs of the city line up in front of Lord Jagannath temple’s lions’ gate on their way to the sea, is a sight to behold, even for the angles.

Shivaratri

This is one of the most major festivals, which takes place in February or March each year. Devotees who practise fasting during the day give worship throughout the night. People burn diyas all night long in the city’s many Shiva temples. After the mahadiya is lit in honour of Lord Mahadev, the worshippers break their fast. This celebration is also known as ‘Jagar’ in Puri. Puri Lokanath Temple is the greatest place to observe it.

Transportation/Stay to prefer

You could get to Puri by any of the modes of transportation listed above, depending on your needs. In Puri, there are a variety of accommodations. You may pick where you want to reside based on your budget and desired facilities. The following are some of the hotels and resorts in Puri:

  • Golden Tree
  • Hotel Janaki Residency
  • Pride Ananya Resort
  • Mayfair Heritage
  • Toshali Sands
  • Hotel Sonar Bangla
  • Hotel Balaji International
  • Chanakya BNR Hotel
  • Hotel Gangotri

Places to visit in Puri

  • Jagannath Temple
  • Raghurajpur Artist Village
  • Puri Beach
  • Konark Beach
  • Chilika Lake
  • Daring Badi
  • Sakshigopal Temple Puri Light House
  • Vimala Temple
  • Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary

Cuisines to taste in Puri

Puri is located on the Bay of Bengal and has a beautiful climate throughout the year, therefore many eateries around Puri Beach claim to serve delectable dishes. Puri caters to a wide range of culinary preferences, including vegetarian, non-vegetarian, seafood lovers, local food tastings, and more. Puri’s most delectable dishes include:

Khicede

Khicede, a twist on Indian khichdi, is a popular Odia dish served at the Puri Temple as part of Lord Jagannath’s maha bhog. In Puri, coconut, sugar, and cinnamon are added to the cuisine to give it flavour. This dish is served with papad and curd to round out a person’s lunch.

Malpua

Malpuas of Puri, a sweet delicacy given as Lord Jagannath’s morning snack at the Puri Temple, are exceptionally well-known since they are prepared differently from the rest of India. 

Chungdi Malai

Chungdi Malai is a delectable prawn dish with a creamier texture thanks to the addition of coconut milk in the cooking process. This one-of-a-kind dish is then served over basmati rice, making for a filling and delicious one-person dinner.

Chenna Poda

Chenna Poda is a festive special since it is said to be Lord Jagannath’s favourite sweet dish. Cottage cheese and caramelised sugar are the only flavours present. It’s sold in practically every shop in Puri, and it’s famed for being served during the Temple’s Maha Bhog.

Things to do in Puri

If you want to spend your upcoming vacation reconnecting with nature, touring ancient temples, and shopping to your heart’s delight, Puri is the place to go. One must not miss: Antiquities from the past, Religious sanctuaries where people go to pray, Magnificent Temple Architecture, The splendour of the seascape, Centers of sacred pilgrimage – Jagannath Temple is a well-known Hindu temple. Puri is a jewel that attracts many every year, leaving them with no other alternative than to pay a visit to the region, whether you are a foodie or an inquisitive geographer, a roaming tourist or a nature admirer.

Souvenirs to buy in Puri

  • Chandua from Pipili: As home decor.
  • Jaganath carts made up of wood are considered as classic.
  • Handmade craft bags.
  • Sea shell crafted items, sankh bangles, little Lord miniatures, lockets.

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About Vishal Kumar

Aspire to inspire before I expire. Part-time blogger, full-time learner.

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