Puri, the small city in the eastern part of India is proud to house the Lord of this universe Shri Jagannath. The place is one part of the Golden Triangle in Odisha, other two parts are Bhubaneswar and Konark. It's one of the Char Dhams (Four Pilgrimage Sites) of Hindu religion. These four places are deemed as highly sacred to visit in one's lifetime.
Not only from India, people from other distant countries come to this holy place to take blessings from Lord Jagannath and to enjoy in the resplendent Puri beach.
Puri is just 60 kms away from the capital city Bhubaneswar and there is excellent communication facility by road or by train.
So if you're in Odisha or planning to visit, and want to visit Puri for the first time, then like everyone you might get confused what are the things that you should do to enjoy the maximum.
Here are the top things you must do when you're in Puri.
Explore the Attractive places
i. The 65-meter-high and 700 years old monumental structure of the Lord Jagannath temple is the biggest attraction of Puri. If you want to witness the Rath Yatra or Car festival which is the grandest festival celebrated here then visit in the month of June or July.
ii. Apart from the Lord Jagannath temple, there are many other famous temples in Puri such as Lokanath temple, Sakshi Gopal temple, Gundicha temple, Alaranatha temple, Mausima temple etc. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims throng to these places and seek blessings from the deities and find peace.
iii. Embrace the natural beauty in Chilika, the largest brackish water lagoon of India as well as in Asia sprawled over an area of massive 1100 sqkm. Take a glimpse of the beautiful migratory and indigenous birds, watch the Irrawaddy Dolphins while cruising on the blue sparkling water. Also explore Goddess Kalijai temple which is in the spectacular Kalijai Island.
iv. Give a treat to your eye by visiting Konark Sun temple, the 13th century architectural marvel. This UNESCO world heritage site is a sight to behold.
Enjoy The Beautiful Beaches
i. Puri beach is undoubtedly one of the best and famous beaches in Odisha as well as India due to its religious importance. Spend some solitude moments in the evening to gain inner peace and bust out the stresses and melancholy within you. Take a dip in the twinkling water of the ocean or have a sunbath in the yellow sands.
ii. Ramchandi beach is another famous beach in odisha to lead a perfect beach holiday. Unwind yourself in this pleasant and serene place. Also watch the unparalleled view of the Sunrise and Sunset.
iii. Balighai beach is an unexplored but charming picturesque beach in Odisha. The virgin golden sands along with the casuarina trees make the place a perfect retreat for the couples and families. If you're traveling in winter time, get a chance to see the rare Olive Ridley turtles and migratory birds.
iv. Visit to the mesmerizing Beleswar beach to enjoy some cosy private moments. It's a favorite beach destination for those who want a less crowded and secluded place.
Relax In Sea View Hotels
i. After a long flight, train, or road journey everyone needs a comfortable place to take rest and get relaxed for some time before starting to explore attractive places nearby.
ii. This holy city is dotted with innumerable hotels and resorts. So, finding the right kind of hotel according to your demand is an overwhelming experience. So it's always a better choice to research about your selected hotels about the authenticity and pre-book them to avoid congestion on that day of arriving.
iii. Staying in the best sea-facing hotel in Puri will give you wonderful travel memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.
iv. Take a quick dip in the blue water of the hotel swimming pool, do workout in the modern gym center, and enjoy the sip of hot black coffee while viewing the scenic sea beach right from your hotel window.
Shop Handicrafts & Rare Souvenirs
i. Apart from its religious importance and beach experience, Puri is also a place that offers a lot of exciting shopping opportunities for the visitors or pilgrims to quench their shopping thirst. Traditional woven sarees are famous here. Take a silk, Bomkai, Paspali, or Ikat saree according to your favorite color. Also buy the shells and oyster items.
ii. Famous handicraft items include silver filigrees, horn work, coir products, metal ware, wooden statues, papier mache masks, solapith and many more. Utkalika, Sudarshan workshop, Pattachitra center, Priyadarshini, Sun crafts are the designated shops to buy these beautiful souvenirs.
iii. Raghurajpur art and crafts village in Puri is famous for its exquisite pattachitra paintings. Take home these rare handicrafts items such as palm leaf engravings, stone carvings and tusser paintings.
iv. Visit to Pipli which is famous for the appliques work. Shop one of these delicately designed utility products and decorative pieces like applique garden & beach umbrellas, canopies, blinds etc.
Give Your Taste buds a Perfect Treat
i. You're in Puri and returning home with an unsatisfied tummy not sounds good, perhaps you've not started your journey. As it's the abode of Lord Jagannath and Goddess Laxmi, there couldn't be any scarcity of delicious foods.
ii. Inside the Lord Jagannath temple, taste the Mahaprasad which is better known as the Chapan Bhog (56 food items). Different kinds of delectable 56 dishes are offered to the Lord of the Universe everyday. Enjoy the pure Satvik divine launch (Abhada) which is available at a very reasonable price in the Ananda Bazaar. Also try the famous “Tanka Torani” available in that same place.
iii. If you love sweets, then Puri is the place. Local made traditional sweets like Chhena Poda, Rabri, Chhena Jhili, Rasabali, Rasagolla, Kheera, MaalPuaa are widely available in numerous stalls at Bada Danda (Grand road). Savor them and also get the taste of Puri famous “Khaja” that is available right in front of the entrance of the temple.
iv. Sea foods are abundantly available in Puri. In the evening time if you're in the puri beach, then you can see there are number of stalls selling freshly fried seafood like varieties of fish, prawn, and crab dishes.
Activities & Festivals That Will lift Your Mood
i. There are also lot of fun activities you can do in this holy city. Take pleasure of boating on the large expanse of sparkling water of the Bay of the Bengal. The undying beauty of this charming place will lift your mood for sure.
ii. Also you can do fishing by interacting with the local fisherman if you want. If you love adventurous activities, go for surfing, water biking, snorkeling, rafting, wind surfing, jet-skiing, scuba diving and banana boat rides in the Ramchandi and Puri beach.
iii. Take part in the Beach, dance, and surf festivals that are arranged every year in between the month of November to February. Puri beach festival is celebrated in such a grand way on the Puri beach that you can't afford to miss it. Here get to see and enjoy the international level sand arts, rock concerts, cultural programs, classical and folk dance performances and fashion shows.
iv. Visit Konark to enjoy the Konark Dance & Music festival which is celebrated every year in the world famous Konark Sun temple. Feel the magic of the spellbound classical and traditional dance forms there. Also take part in the India surf festival which is the biggest surf festival in India. Do surfing, Stand Up Paddle, Yoga on water and other adventurous water sports and if you're beginner, get chance to learn from the dedicated workshops arranged by the international experts.
Vacations are made to enjoy the fullest and to relieve from the monotonous workload of life. But, the fact is that unless you know the details what are the things you should do in a particular place, no matter how much enchanting the place may be, it's sure that you'll skip a lot of beautiful things in your costly journey. Moreover, it'll be a bitter feeling if you get to know about them after reaching your home.
Follow the above tips I bet as long as you're in Puri, you'll not feel bored for a single moment until you yourself want to spend some boring times.