Puri also known as a Temple City of India has much in its stores to offer its visitors. Orissa tourism makes special provisions to organise the thrilling 'Puri Dance Festival' and world famous Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival). Plan your trip during the festival season when the entire city enlightens with thousand of flames and locals are completely drenched with spiritual feelings.

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Puri Travel Attractions

Places To See in Puri

Jagannath Temple
Long before one reaches Puri, the 214 feet (65 meters) spire of the temple can be seen towering over the countryside. This visual dominance is symbolic of the influence which the temple commands over almost every aspect of life in Puri. Just before the gate stands an opulent 16 sided monolithic pillar measuring 11 meters in height, Arunastambh; architectural zenith with exquisite carvings which was brought here from Konark in the 18th century. The temple sanctorum holds three richly decorated effigies of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. There are 36 traditional communities, divided into 97 classes, who render a specific hereditary service to the deities. 20,000 servants wait on him whereas 400 cooks prepare a whopping 100 dishes for over 10,000 devotees. The temple is said to have the largest kitchen in the world.

The Swargadwar
Jagannath Temple On the seashore to the south of the temple, Swargadwar (Gateway to Heaven) is a sacred spot where a dip in the sea is believed to give eternal salvation. According to ancient scriptures, the Brahmadaru, from which the three main deities of the Jagannath temple are carved out, floated to the beach at Swargadwar. Moreover this place still resonates to the footsteps of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, harbinger of Vaishnav sect, who spent so much time here with his intimate associates.

The Puri Beach
The Puri Beach is one of the most sought after beaches in India and is an indispensable part of the city. The abode of Lord Jagannath attracts millions of tourists round the year who come here to take a holy bath, which they believe is a golden path to Moksha or Eternal salvation. Thanks to the golden sands and castles built on them by enthusiast tourists, the beach displays a gala of exquisite sceneries with the blending of colours during dusk and dawn at the backdrop.

Spiritual Hubs or Maths
Puri has been an important spiritual center for centuries. Adi Shankaracharya (788-820 AD), the great Hindu saint and philosopher, established the oldest "math" in the city. Today, with more than 150 maths, some a 1000 years old, this cardinal pilgrimage center of the Hindus offer an eclectic spiritual menu to every visitor in search of instant gratification. Look out for a list of maths complete with their addresses, at the temple office. A 5 minute walk from Tota Gopinath temple will bring you to Chatak Parbat Gaudiya Math. This temple is in the area where Sri Chaitanya mistook the sand dunes to Govardhan Hill.

Gundicha Mandir
At the other end of Grand Road is the birthplace of Lord Jagannath, the Gundicha Mandir. This is where the Brahmadaru or Sacred Log was carved into three deities- Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. Also known as Masi Ma's (aunt's) house, this architecturally prosaic temple is cleaned on the day before the Rath Yatra. During the Car festival, the deities remain in Gundicha temple for seven days, where the Lord is offered a delicacy known as Podapitha (fire baked cake).

Atharnala Bridge
Built in the 13th century, this 88 mt long bridge is situated at the entrance to the city. Stretched over 18 spans and built of laterite and sandstone, this site is also very popular among devotees where they extend their respect, with folded hands to the bridge and the temple.

Tota Gopinath Mandir
Located by the beach in the Swargadwar area, this temple is a 5 min walk from the Chatak Parbat Purushottam Gaudiya Math. On the far left altar is Lord Balaram with His two wives, Revati and Varuni. On the middle altar is Tota Gopinath, in sitting posture, accompanied by black deities of Radha and Lalita. On the right altar are the deities of Radha-Madana Mohan and Gaura Gadadhar. Gaudiya Vaishnavas believe that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ended his incarnation by entering into the knees of the Gopinath deity. A morning visit to the shrine, around seven, can provide you with a glimpse of the crack in His knee.

Sudarshan Crafts Museum
Situated on the station road, the Sudarshan Crafts Museum, is named after proficient craftsman, Padmashree Sudarshan Sahu. The museum is a training-cum-production center, where you can watch apostles carve traditional stone and wooden statues, besides paintings. A magnificent Buddhist temple built in 1985 stands nearby.

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