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Pilgrimage in India »» Hindu Pilgrim Centers»

Puri, Orissa, India

Information on Hindu Pilgrimage site Puri- India, providing on-line reservation /booking for Visit to Puri on discounted rates, air/rail ticketing, car/ taxi / coach hire for Puri Tour package , package tour to Puri and Hotel Booking in Puri.

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Location of Puri: Orissa, India.
Best time to Visit: Throughout the year
Significance: Colorful sunrise and sunset on the same beach on its golden sands, Chandra Bhaga, Chilka Lake, Visit Konark(The Sun Temple), Lord Shri Jagannath Temple.

Puri the abode of Sri Jagannath or the Lord of the Universe is famous all over the world. One of the four holiest places (Dhams) of India, Puri has been a great centre of pilgrimage for centuries Once on thickly wooded hills and inhabited by the Sabaras, pre Aryan and pre-Dravidian tribes of the Austric linguistic family, Puri located right on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, is today one of the finest sea resorts as well. Its salubrious environs and sunny beach attract tourists from near and distant places. Watching the sunrise here is an elevating and unforgettable experience.The place can be visited any time throughout the year. Puri is always thronged with pilgrims and tourists but it is nothing compared to the motley and seething humanity which sojourn here during Rath Yatra or the Car Festival.

Puri is a land of temples, examples of a religious architechture. A synthesis of the inherent aesthetic sense of the Puri's people and the values of the religious sects and cults.Exquisite temples superb monuments , inviting beaches, natural landscape.

Puri DeitiesPuri, the best ancient and modern India, whose people share a strong sence of holiness, a sence of belonging with their beautiful land and their enduring links with the past.

Temples and sanctuaries , golden beaches and glorious lakes that is visually fascinating , crafts that are colourful and vibrant and the numerous festivals that can take a "Juggernaut-like " momentum...........Puri has them all and much more.

The Past

The District has been named after its head quartes town, Puri.According to Cunningham the ancient name of this town was Charitra mentioned by the Chinese piligrim Hiuen Tsang as Che-li-ta-lo. But the restoration of the word Che-li-ta-lo as Charitra and its identification with the town of Puri are open to doubt. The importance of the town as a seat of Vaisnavism increased when
Chodaganga Deva constructed the temple of Purusottama Jagannath and installed the images of the deities. Thereafter , it became famous as the abode of Purusottama and was popularly called purusottama Kshetra.

Prominent Pilgrimage Attractions of Puri

Chilika Lake

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 . 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 .

Chandra Bhaga

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.

Konark (The Sun Temple)

This world famous Sun temple of Konark also spelled as 'Konarak' Konark should not be judged merely as an isolated, individual monument of glory units own rights, like the Taj Mahal, but should be studied also as the grandest art-epic of an entire people, the Oriya, the small Indian sub-race on the east coast of India, who tried or 'Konaraka' is situated on a lonely sea shore of the Bay of Bengal and is 20 kilometers north-east of the holy city of Puri. Standing on the desolate sand-dunes this famous temple is remote, grime and desolate. Its silence brokes only by the soft lapping of the distant waves and the occasional roar of the breakers..

The temple was built by King Narasimha Deva I (AD 1238-64) of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, rulling over Kalinga sometimes in the middle of the 13th century.

Lord Shri Jagannath Temple.

The main temple of Sri Jaggannath standing on a raised platform and soaring to a height of 65 metres, dominates the landscapes for miles around, built in the 12th century A.D by Chodaganga Deva. With all its sculptural richness and plasticity of Orissan style of temple architecture; it is one of the most magnificent monuments of India.

The shrine is surrounded by a 20 feet high enclosure measuring 652 feet by 630 feet.Then there is another enclosure around the temple . In front of the main gate is a majestic 16 sided monolithic pillar measuring 11 meters in height .Originally it stood in front of the famous Sun Temple at Konark and was brought here in the 18th century .The main gate is guarded by two lions and so it is known as the Simha Dwara or the Lion Gate.

There is no caste distinction and all are welcome before the Lord Jaggannath but non-hindus are not allowed inside the shrine. They can have a fair view of the inside of the temple from the nearby roof of the Raghunandan library, opposite the main gate of the shrine.

The temple kitchen is said to be the biggest in the world feeding thousands of devotees daily with, its holy food called the Mahaprasad. The temple in itself is an extraordinary world consisting of thousands of different categories of priests, their assistants attendants and pilgrim guides. This huge army of over 6000 priests etc., and 14000 other employees waiting on Lord Jaggannath is headed by the Raja of Puri. He alone has the privilege of sweeping before the, Chariots and to carry Lord Jaggannath's umbrella. In the Garbhagriha or sanctum sanctorum there are a strange archaic type of wooden images of Sri Jaggannath, his sister Subhadra and brother Balbhadra. Sister Subhadra is in between the two brothers and smaller in size. There are amny votive shrines and other temples such as Gundicha, Loknath, Sunar, Gauranga, Daria Mahabir, Tota Gopinath and Patiarni.

How to Reach Puri

• Air: Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport - 60 km .

• Rail: Puri has good rail connections with Delhi , Calcutta, Tirupati, Okha and Ahmedabad.

Road: 60 km by State Highway from Bhubaneswar. One can also approach by road via Konark and then through the Marine Drive covering about 100 km.

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