Things to Do in Puri

Puri Beach

The best beach with numerous food stalls that offer the best seafood in Puri.  Puri beach is known for its roaring waves and fine golden sands. It offers opportunities to the daring souls to challenge the sea waves. It is one of the places to see in Puri since you can't miss the views of the sunrise and sunset.

It is on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. To reach Puri beach, one can take the train, which is 2kms from the beach or travel by air from the nearby airport, which is 60kms away. It is the largest in the country and stretches up to seven kilometers. The beach hosts sand art displays by international award-winning local sand artists and camel and horse riders. There are no restrictions on visiting the beach except it's not visited at night.

Location: Puri, Odisha 752001, India.

Timing: 24-hrs.

Swargadwar Beach

The best time to visit the beach is from October to march. The beach boasts serenity and good experience in the city. Swargadwar means Door to Heaven and thus holds religious significance. It is believed in Hinduism that those who take a dip gain salvation to reach heaven after death.

Hence, devotees visit the nearby Mahanadi bathing spot to take a dip in the holy waters. The beach is near the Swargadwar market and Jagannath Temple. Nearby is Swargadwar cremation ground, for it is believed to be holy. One of the places to visit in Puri in two days for a picnic and learn its religious significance and enjoy the beach’s breeze.

Location: Puri, Odisha 752001.

Timings: 12:00 AM - 12:00 PM.

Lakshmi Temple

It was built by the Hoysala Empire king and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in dedication to Laxmi Narayana. The temple was built inside a seven-foot-tall stone wall enclosure with an entrance through a porch with a roof supported by circular lathe-turned pillars.

Lakshmi means the goddess of wealth, love, prosperity, and fortune. It is one of the earliest temples built in the Hoysala style, and it was made with soapstone material.  Lakshmi temple is one of the places to visit in Puri in two days and explore all the architectural styles used in designing it. The best time to visit the temple is early in the morning when there is a minimal rush.

Location: Near Jagannath Temple Behind Sri Jagannath Temple,on the left hand side, Puri 752001 India.

Khandagiri Caves

It is located in Khandagiri Digamber Jain temple and is one of the places to see in Puri. It is six kilometers west of the city and topped with a temple. It is believed to be over 2000 years and inhabited by Jain scholars. Khandagiri has other 15caves like; to the entrance curved as a tiger mouth is Bough Gumpha, to the tiny door is Sarpa Gumpha and Pavana Gumpha.

The furthermost entry is Chota Hathi Gumpha with elephant carvings and Jaya Vijava cave with a Bodhi tree curved in the central area. To the right path goes Anatha cave curled with figures of athletes, women, and geese carrying flowers. There is no charged fee to visit the place. Khandagiri offers exceptional views over Bhubaneswar from its pinnacle. The best time to visit is from 9 am or 10 am and take about 4hours to see Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves.

Location: Khandagiri, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751030.

Timings: 9
AM to 6 PM.

Gundicha Temple

The temple is located on Bada Danda, three kilometers from Jagannath temple. The temple is named after the queen of Indradyumna Gundicha. The temple serves as a temporary home of Lord Jagannath during Rath Yatra.

The temple also houses a seat called Ratnavali. It remains vacant most of the year, and it is occupied by images of Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra for seven days during the festival of Rath Yatra. The temple is built using light grey sandstone, and its architectural style is Kalinga.

It has two gates; the western entrance, which is the main gate through which deities enter during Rath Yatra and the eastern gate, which is used by gods for departure after the festival. The temple remains empty for the rest of the year. It is when foreigners are allowed inside after paying an entry fee.

Location: Gundicha temple, Puri, Odisha 752001.

Atharnala Bridge

It was constructed in the 13th century on the river Muthiya by Banu Deba of the Ganga Dynasty. It is an example of the ancient archaeological engineering style structure of that time in the state of Odisha. The Atharnala combines eighteen passages: athar means 18, and Nala means a journey on which the bridge has been made.

It is one of the tourist attractions in Puri. The bridge spreads over 85metres and 11 meters breadth. The structure is a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. The bridge gives a speculative view of the Lord Jagannath Temple, and most offer their prayers from here. It is a historic stone bridge over Madhupur at the entrance of Puri town. It is a welcoming sight for those coming to visit the Jagannath temple.

Location: Puri, Odisha 752001.

Timings: Open 24 hours.

Lokanath Temple

The temple is open from 5:30 am to 8:30 pm. It is an 11th-century temple in Puri close to Jagannath temple to the west. From the cultural point of view of Odisha, the temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Lingam of the temple is submerged under a natural ground fountain.

The water is usually cleared three days of the year before the festival of Shivaratri on the occasion of Pankoddhar Ekadashi. The water, which has a peculiar smell from the decomposed flowers, honey, sandal paste milk, coconut water, and betel leaves, is then offered to devotees as it possesses medicinal properties. Lokanath means a Lingam shaped bottle gourd.

Lord Ramachandra established the temple. The temple has four parts, like Vimana, which is the main temple, and Jagamohana, the entrance hall. Nata Mandapa, the dancing hall, and Bhoga Mandapa, the offering hall. The temple is built in sandstone and about 30feet from the ground level. The better part of the temple is covered with marbles making the architectural features invisible.

Location: Puri, Odisha 752001.

Vimala Temple

It is a temple dedicated to goddess Vimala. The temple is located in the southwest within the Jagannath temple in Puri. The temple is constructed of sandstone and laterite in typical Deua style of architecture. It was built back in the 9th century under the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple enshrines seven mother goddesses that include; Andri, Varahi, Brahmi, Kaumari, Maheswari, Vaishnavi, and Chamula.

The temple stood as a monument when Puri was a genuine Shakti Pitha. Prayers are conducted in the temple daily, and near it is a sacred pond. This is one of the places to visit in Puri that you won't want to miss out on. It is among the holiest temples dedicated to Hindu Goddess regarded as a Shakti Pitha. The temple is also considered to be the guardian of Jagannath and the temple complex. No food offered to Jagannath gets sanctified until it is also provided to Vimala.

Location: Puri, Odisha 752001.

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