Beaches in Puri
Puri beach, 60 km from Bhubaneswar, 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. Stretching on
the shores of the Bay of Bengal, this beach is crowded with vendors,
acrobats, food stalls and merry-go-rounds round the year. The major
attraction is obviously the sea. As compared to the western ghats,
Puri enjoys a relatively higher amplitude of bustling waves eager to
rush and blot out the city. It is true that you cannot resist a
leisure walk on the shore on the first day of your visit.
¤ Major Beach Attractions
Romantic Sunrise and Sunsets
One of the major attractions of Puri beach is its sunrise and
sunsets. Tourists gather in mass across the shore to view the
magnificent play of colours in the sky. The blending of colours on the
lap of sky is said to be best seen, here at Puri.
If you are lucky, you can even spot a professional artist indulged in
making the best sculpture of his lifetime. Although not historically
proved, an interesting story regarding the origin of sand sculptures,
in the Oriya myth goes as... "Poet Balaram Das, renowned for his
famous work Dandi Ramayana, was a great devotee of Lord Jagannath.
Once during the Chariot Festival, he was insulted and was not allowed
to climb the chariot. Tormented, he went to the beach and carved the
statues of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra with the
golden sand. Thanks to his devotion, the original deities from the
chariot vanished and appeared at that place where Balaram Das was
worshipping." Although the legend does not have a strong
historical backup, but it is evident that sand art isn't a new
episode, but dates back to 13th century B.C., at the time of Balaram
Das and people of Puri are well acquainted with sand sculpture since
Numerous people try their hands in this activity while sitting on the
shore, enjoying "Jhaalmoori", burgers and ice candies. One
can also find dancing monkeys, fortune tellers and mobile vendors
selling fragrance sticks, toys and items made up of sea shells.
The shore stretches itself to a long distance and hence is ideal for
swimming and surfing. You can even hire boats of fishermen and go for
a long walk in the sea, enjoying every moment of your roam. The local
fishermen, with their catamarans and conical cane hats, are very good
¤ Nearby attractions
The splendid Jagannath temple is at a stone's throw from the beach.
Magnificent in it's architectural opus, the temple also holds some
place in the hearts of the Hindus, by being on of the four major
pilgrimage destinations in the country.
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 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 merged into Brahma from this shore.
Numerous hotels stand abreast to the sea providing a splendid view of
the waves 24x7. Besides, Puri is crowded with villas, hotels and
lodges to suit every pocket and interests.
¤ How to Reach
The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik Airport, Bhubaneswar, 60 km from
Puri. Puri is well connected to New Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and
Mumbai via railways. For intracity transportation, you can rely upon
auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws, which are economical enough and
gives you a lot of time to explore the city.