February 02, 2023

Discovering the Gem of Odisha: A Guide to the Top Tourist Attractions in Puri

Located on the eastern coast of India, Puri is a city that is rich in history, culture, and spirituality. It is considered to be one of the four holy shrines that can be found in India and is frequently visited by devotees of the Hindu religion. However, the city is not only comprised of religious sites; rather, it also features a vast number of other attractions that are popular among visitors from different parts of the world. Puri is a place that offers a one-of-a-kind blend of history, culture, and the natural beauty of the world, with attractions ranging from magnificent temples to picturesque beaches. 

In this blog, we will take a look at the top tourist attractions in Puri, including historical monuments, religious sites, and natural wonders, that make this city a must-visit destination.

  1. Sri Jagannath Puri Temple

Sri Jagannath Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in Puri, Odisha, India. It is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is one of the four sacred shrines of India and is one of the largest temples in India. The temple is an important Hindu pilgrimage site that draws a lot of people from all over India. The temple's famous Rath Yatra festival is celebrated every year, in which Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra are taken out in a procession on beautifully decorated chariots.

Address: Grand Rd, At post, Puri, Odisha

Timings: 6 AM - 9 PM

  1. Konark Sun Temple

The Konark Sun Temple dates back to the 13th century and can be found in Konark, which is about 36 kilometers from Puri. This gorgeous temple is dedicated to the sun god Surya and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Odisha. The temple stands out because it has intricate carvings and sculptures that show scenes from Hindu mythology. 

The main attraction of this temple is its giant chariot shape on 12 wheels that is pulled by seven horses, symbolizing the sun's journey across the sky. This famous temple in Puri is now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Address: Konark, Odisha 

  1. Puri Beach

Puri Beach is another popular tourist destination in Puri, located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. This quiet beach is famous among locals and tourists for its long sandy shoreline and jaw-dropping view of Jagannath Temple. The beach is a popular location among honeymooners to witness the mesmerizing view of sunrise and sunset. Aside from taking a leisurely walk along the beach, visitors can also do fun things like sunbathe, swim, and ride horses. 

Location: Puri, Odisha

  1. Shree Lokanath Temple

Those who are seeking some tranquility should definitely visit the Lokanath Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There is a large and intricately carved entrance to the temple, several exquisitely carved stone sculptures, and a large sacred pond known as Lokanath Sarovar that is said to have curative powers. 

One of the most interesting things about the temple is the Shiva linga, which is always underwater. Legend has it that Goddess Ganga flows through the top of the linga and is only visible on the auspicious day of Pankodhar Ekadasi, before Shivaratri. Thousands of devotees come here to take the blessings of Lord Shiva on Pankodhar Ekadasi.

Address: Puri, Odisha 752001

Timings: 5:30 am – 8:30 pm

  1. Gundicha Temple

Gundicha Temple in Puri is dedicated to the deity Jagannath, who is considered a form of Lord Vishnu by followers of Hinduism. The temple is close to the main Jagannath Temple. During the annual Rath Yatra festival, thousands of pilgrims visit the temple, when the gods of Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra are brought to Gundicha Temple in a big parade.

Address: Basanta Rd, Balagandi, Puri

  1. Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and one of the largest lagoons in the world, covering an area of over 1,100 square kilometers. It is a popular tourist destination known for its diverse birdlife, which includes several migratory birds, as well as its scenic beauty. The lake also supports a rich fishing industry and is an important source of livelihood for the local communities. 

Famous for: Fishing, boating and sightseeing

  1. Pipili Village

How can you skip shopping on a vacation? When you are in Odisha it's almost a sin not to visit the Pipili Village. The village of Pipili is known for its unique and complicated applique work. People of Pipili village follow a traditional way to decorate fabric in which pieces of different colors are cut and layered to make patterns. Especially bright colors are used to give an intricate design to the items like wall hangings, lampshades, cushion covers, and bags. The village is a major center of the applique industry and attracts many tourists, who come to admire the intricate craftsmanship and purchase souvenirs. 

Distance from Puri: 40 kilometers

Famous for: Buying handcrafted souvenirs 

  1. Raghurajpur Village

Raghurajpur Artist Village is a must-see if you are a souvenir hunter and/or enjoy purchasing locally-made products. Raghurajpur is famous for its traditional handicrafts, is a must-visit place for any visitor. Artwork such as engraved palm leaves, papier mache sculptures, and carved wooden and stone objects are for sale. In addition to unique souvenirs, visitors can also watch traditional Gotiua dancers perform. As an added bonus, the Patas, the throne that Lord Jagannath sits upon, are only created in this region.

Location: Raghurajpur Rd, Raghurajpur, Jagannath Ballav, Odisha

  1. Narendra Pokhari

Narendra Pokhari is a historic pond located in the city of Cuttack in the Indian state of Odisha. The pond is named after King Narendra, who ruled the region in the 12th century and is said to have commissioned the construction of the pond. The pond is regarded as one of Cuttack's most important architectural and cultural heritage sites, as well as a major pilgrimage site for Hindu devotees. Numerous religious ceremonies, including the submerging of Durga idols, take place at the pond during the annual Hindu festival of Navaratri. 

Location: Mauza Dandimala Sahi, Puri

Distance from Puri: 2.5 km

  1. Markandeswar Temple

Located in a holy area of Puri, the 13th-century Markandeshwar Temple may be found close to the Bindu Sagar. In the temple's Chaitya window, right up front, is a statue of Natraj with ten arms. Intricately carved statues of Parvati, Muruga, and Ganesha stand in front of the shrine. This magnificent temple is home to fifty-two sacred shrines dedicated to the venerated Hindu god Shiva. A lot of people come to this shrine since it's known as one of the best sites in Puri to find inner calm.

Address: Mathur Rd, Sandhajaga, Puri, Odisha

Distance from Puri: 2.9 km

  1. Sudarshan Crafts Museum

The Sudarshan Crafts Museum is a museum located in Raghurajpur, Odisha, India. It is dedicated to showcasing the rich cultural heritage and traditional arts and crafts of Odisha. The museum features a wide variety of handcrafted items, including Pattachitra paintings, stone and wood carvings, applique work, and more. Visitors to the museum can learn about the traditional techniques used to create these items and purchase unique souvenirs. The museum is considered a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about the cultural heritage of Odisha and supporting local artisans.

Address: Station Rd, Puri, Odisha 752002

Distance from Puri: 1.5 km

  1. Balighai Beach

Balighai Beach is a beach located in the Puri district of the Indian state of Odisha. It is situated about 8 kilometers from Puri and is known for its serene and unspoiled natural beauty. The beach is surrounded by lush green forests and is a popular spot for picnics and relaxation. Visitors to the beach can enjoy a range of activities such as sunbathing, swimming, and fishing. The beach is also a popular spot for birdwatching, as many species of migratory birds can be seen here. Balighai Beach is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the beauty of the Odisha coast and escape the busy tourist areas.

  1. Sonar Gouranga Mandir

Sonar Gouranga Mandir is a Hindu temple located in West Bengal, India. The exact location and details of the temple are not known. It is possible that the temple is named after the medieval saint and social reformer Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, also known as Gouranga, who was a leading figure in the Bhakti movement in India. However, without more specific information, it is not possible to determine the significance of the temple.

Address: Badasirei, Puri, Odisha 

Distance from Puri: 3 km

Final thoughts: Puri is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit in India because it has a lot of history, culture, and religious significance. From the iconic Jagannath Temple to the pristine beaches of the Bay of Bengal, Puri has something for everyone. Apart from visiting popular landmarks, visitors can also enjoy local street food, shop for traditional handicrafts, and take part in the many festivals and events held in Puri throughout the year. Whether you're a spiritual seeker, beach lover, or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Puri has it all.