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A city and a municipality in Odisha, Puri is also the district headquarters of the Puri district. Situated on the sea shore of the Bay of Bengal, it can be geographically located at 19°47'55"N latitude and 85°49'5" longitude. It is popularly known as Jagannath Puri due to the presence of the centuries old Jagannath Temple, one of the Char Dhams of the Hindus. The place holds a great significance for the Hindus as it is believed that a pilgrimage to the Hindu temples in the country is not complete without a visit to Puri.
Puri is known by different names that have are several references in the Puranas. In Sanskrit, the word "Puri" means town or city. It is also believed that Puri is a short name for Jagannath Puri. In some mythological records, the word 'Jagannath' is also used in place of Puri.
The city of Puri is a part of the trilogy of cities that form the Golden Triangle of the Eastern region. The other two cities are Konark and Bhubaneswar. The white sands and the sun kissed beaches found here are a delight to watch. The city attracts a large number of tourists who enjoy every moment spent here. The city is also famous for housing a number of Mathas. . The Govardhan Matha, is one of the four cardinal institutions set up by Adi Shankracharya. Puri is also known for its ratha yatra or the festival of chariots, an annual celebration in which the deities are placed out in a chariot procession.
The city of Puri owes its existence to the temple of Jagannath. The structure of the temple is built in the Kalinga style of architecture and consists of Pancharatha (two Konakas, two anurathas and one ratha). The entire city revolves around this temple and is considered holy in the Puranas. The ashrams and mathas in the city patronise different schools of learning and studies.
There are pancha tirthas in Puri, which as per Hindu beliefs, are sacred bathing spots in the city. A pilgrimage to Puri is considered to be complete only after taking bath in these waterbodies. The pancha tirthas are:
- Rohini Kunda
- Indradyumana Tanka
- Markandeya Tank
- The Sea (also known as Mahodadhi)
- Swetaganga Tank
Gundicha Temple is another important place in the city. Also known as the Garden House of Jagannath, it is situated in the centre of a garden with walls surrounding it from all sides. More...
Millions of devotees attend the festivals celebrated in the city, the most important being the chariot festival or the rath yatra. The festival is celebrated during the month of June-July when the idols of the deities are brought on the main street known as Bada Danda. These deities are carried on huge chariots in a procession so as to allow the public to take darsana of the gods. Similarly, there are other festivals like chandan yatra, anavasara or anasara, nava kalevara, snana yatra and sahi yatra which are celebrated in the city.
How to reach
Bhubaneswar airport is the nearest while Visakhapatnam airport is the second nearest airport to the city. The Puri Railway Station is the main station which connects it to the other cities. Besides the bus services available from other cities of Odisha, there are direct bus services from Visakhapatnam and Kolkata.
Last Updated on : May 26, 2015