Puri, Not only a Holy Place but also famous for its temples,seabeach and sarounding architech and famous Tourist Place.
Even before one enters Puri, this 65-metre high temple makes its presence felt. The 12th century temple built by Chodaganga, to commemorate the shifting of his capital from South to Central Orissa, stands in a compound on the Nilgiri Hill, and is surrounded by a 20 foot high wall, within which lie several smaller shrines. A traditional porch, shrine, hall of offerings and a pillared hall of dance, form the rest of this temple. The remarkable thing about this temple, since its early beginnings, is that there has been no discrimination, ever, between castes. To one end of the road, that leads to the temple is Gundicha Mandir, Lord Jagannath's summer temple, within a walled garden at the far end of Grand Road, where the deity is enshrined for a week, on a simple throne. Like the Lingaraja in Bhubaneswar, Puri's Jagannath is not open for non - Hindus, who must contend themselves, from viewing it from a vantage point, outside its precincts.
The golden beach of Puri is one of the best in
the country for Sun, Surf and Sand. The beach area has been a popular seaside resort for decades, and some of the old hotels capture the charm of bygone days. For this shining beach, Puri has got its dual importance of a relaxed seaside resort and of an important pilgrimage centre. A stroll along the beach or a much desired bath here in the sea is very much refreshing.
The beach goes festive on occasions like
"Kartik Purnima" i.e. the full moon day of the lunar
month of Kartik when Hindus gather here in the early
morning to take a holy deep and pray sea God. The five
days long Beach Festival in the months of February i
now very popular in the Festival calender
Beach clothes are appropriate for this sea side resort.
Konark the Sun Temple
Situated 36 kilometers from Puri and 64km from Bhubaneswar , Konark Temple also known as the Black Pagoda from its dark colour seen from a distance. The Sun temple, also known as 'Konark Temple' and 'Black Pagoda' is considered as an Orissan temple architectural, engineering wonder and one of the finest monuments of religious architecture in the world. The entire temple complex in Konark is conceived by its architect, Sibei Samantaray, in the shape of a chariot with seven horses (three on the north and four on the south) and 24 spoke gigantic wheels on each side of the temple to pull the Sun God, Surya, across the heavens.
At about 3 kms from the Sun Temple at Konark is the Chandrabhaga beach. The strong currents do not make it either safe or easy for swimming. But the picturesque view of the sunrise and sunset at this place is enchanting.
According to a myth, the Sun God is believed to have sought a beautiful sea-maiden named Chandrabhaga. After chasing her up to this point, she is said to have disappeared into the sea. A river by the same name Chandrabhaga is supposed to have existed just 3 kms away from the temple where (as another legend goes), Shamba, the son of Lord Krishna prayed to the Sun God for 12 years to be cured of leprosy.
In memory of Shamba’s successful penance, the Chandrabhaga Mela (festival) is held every year. During the full-moon phase in the month of Magha, the festival
NESTING in the heart of Coastal District Puri, Asia's largest & biggest inland Brackish water lake, Chilika, streching across the length of the three districts of Puri, Khurdha& Ganjam ,itjoins up with the Bay of Bengal through a narrow mouth ,forming an enormous lagoon of brackish water .Spread over an area of 1,100 sq. km it was declared a sanctuary in 1987. Dotted with many emerald green islands with colorful names such as honeymoon islands and Breakfast island ,Chilika is home to a rich variety of aquatic fauna .It is also a sanctuary and winter resort for migratory birds like a bird watcher's paradise. Sun rise and Sun set are memorable experiences here. Winter is the loveliest time at Chilika ,with thousands of migratory birds flying in from as far as Siberia to make their winter sojourn in strange waters . The water come alive with their raucous cries and colorful plumage as the birds battle to find space to make their new homes . While the lake's Nalabana island has been declared a sanctuary for its varied flora and fauna , Kalijai island is home to Goddess Kalijai and the venue for annual Makar Mela .
Boating and fishing facilities are available in this lake containing a large variety of fish.The lake provides a livelihood to thousands of fishermen . Chital and Black buck roam freely on the scrubby shores while Dolphins gambol playfully in the foam of the churning waters at Chilika mouth near Satapara .For crushing and visiting the islands , one can make use of the motor launches of the OTDC at Barakul and Rambha , and the revenue department at Balugaon. Private boats are also available here. OTDC organises water sports in Chilika at the Water sports complex , located at Barakul . Hundreds of boats sail out daily on the lake's blue expanse in search of mackerel , Prawn Crabs, the sight providing an insight into the pageant of rural India at its colorful best. Encircled by Hills all along its arched shape, Chilika Lake's colorful changes with passing clouds overhead and the shifting sun. The water ripples languidly , occasionally rippling with a gentle breeze across from the Bay of Bengal .
20 K.M. from Puri in Puri-Konark road lies th famous Lord Shiva Temple . It is near the sea beach, a beautiful picnic spot.
It is 10 K.M. from Puri in marine drive in Puri-Konark Road. Beautiful isoleted beach , attractive for tourist.
Satapara , a retreat in nature on Chilika lake,is poened up to the tourists . For its location near the confluence of the lake with the ocean and proximity to puri(48km), it is an ideal spot to enjoy Chilika . The thrilling sight of dolphins round the year and abundance of migratory and resident birds in winter make it a preffered place for a vacation with nature.
At about 20 kms from Puri, on sand dunes near the confluence of the expanded sea and calm River Bhargavi is situated the temple of Baliharchandi. The place derives its name from ‘Baliharchandi’-the revered goddess who is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga.
This place is most often the first choice for a picnic or pleasure trip. The solitude that the place enjoys along with the visual enchantments is a haven for lovers of nature. The wild flora and fauna around this place are often the subject of study for young students with a scientific bent of mind. Take care not to wander away into the unknown without the help of local people as quicksand pervades the area.
If religious sanctity alongwith scenic beauty is what you are looking for,
20 K.M. from Puri towards Satapada is the Bramhagiri bazar. It is famous for Lord Alarnath the god of Vishnu. Legent says Lord Jagannath stays in Alarnath during the ANASARA (suffering from fever) period before car festival every year.
Sakhigopal is 20 km from puri is famous for Radha Krushna temple . It is also famous for Satyabadi bana vidyalaya and bakulabana.
The artists' village of Raghurajpur , 16 km from Puri , is famous for its Pattachitras created by traditional chitrakaras , who have for centuries , also churned out palm-leaf etchings with exquisite detail . Quite a few of the craftsmen are winners of national awards.
Applique in Orissa is an old temple art , which has been refined to perfection. A fine example of the craft is the enormous applique canopies above the reigning deity of Puri , Lord Jagannath . Applique art is the process of cutting coloured cloth into shapes of animals , birds, flowers, leaves and other decorative motifs and stitching them on to a piece of cloth that can ultimately be used as a lamp shade , a hand bag or even a garden umbrella . The village of Pipli , 40 kms. from Puri , is the site of beautiful applique work, created by artists, quite a few of whom have won national awards for their crafts.