The ancient Jagannath temple, dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Krishna), Subhadra and Balarama,at Puri is one of the four important spiritual centres for Hindus. For more information including history, temple timings refer the official web site of the temple
Apart from the famous Jagannath temple, there are innumerable temples, lakes, Mutts and other attractions at Puri. Famous of these are the Gundicha temple( 1.5 Kms from main temple) and Mausi Ma temple.
Puri Rath Yatra
According to the legend, Lord Jagannatha is said to have expressed his desire to visit his birthplace, Gundicha Ghar, every year and stay there for a week. In line with his wishes, the famous Rath Yatra is organized where the Lord moves from the temple to Gundicha Ghar
During Rath Yatra(June/July), Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra are placed on colossal chariots. Thousands of devotees pull the chariot. The Rath Yatra is of such immense proportion that a new word “Juggernaut” had to be coined to describe the phenomenon. Read more on Rath Yatra
While at Puri, one should not miss the 'Mahaprasad 'or the sacred food offered as 'bhog' to Lord Jagannath. The temple kitchen cooks mahaprasad to lord in a traditional manner using only earthen pots and fire woods. After offering the same to the Lord, it is sold as Mahaprasad to devotees at Anand Bazar. Even if you cannot visit Ananda Bazar in person, most hotels procure and provide Mahaprasad to their guests
Puri beach, especially the stretch near the fishing village, is filthy and not fit for a swim or even for a walk. Relatively cleaner stretch of beach is along the Marine Parade area. Most upmarket resorts have access to clean stretch of beach. In many cases, the resort owners have taken effort to keep the stretch close to their resorts clean. Those wanting to spend time swimming or surfing should check-in to these resorts.
Puri has become synonymous for sand art as India’s most famous sand monument artist, Sudarshan Patnaik, resides at Puri.
Between 4- 6 PM tourists can see some exquisite sand art in the stretch close to May flower resort. This is the time when students studying under Patnaik practice their trade. Tourists who are interested to study sand craft can contact Sudarsan Sand Art Institute
- Raghurajpur, 12Km from Puri , is famous for Pattachitra painting – an unique art practiced by the artisans of Raghurajpur. Raghurajpur is promoted as a heritage and cultural village and attracts fair amount of tourists.
- Pipili, a small village 40 Kms from Puri, famous for Applique work