Puri (ପୁରୀ Purī), also known as Jagannath Puri (the Abode of Lord Jagannath) or Purushottama Puri, is a seaside pilgrimage town in the Indian state of Odisha. It is a major tourist destination with the famous temple of Lord Jagannath (means Lord of the World) and a very long beach offering beautiful and pleasant sights. There are many hotels; most overseas tourists stay near the beach.

Jagannath Temple, Puri
Puri Beach

Understand edit

Puri (poo-rih) literally means "city" in Sanskrit. It appeals to both pilgrims and vacationers as it blends religion with fun. Puri is one of the Char Dham (Four Abodes) sites that are considered sacred to the Hindus, and the Jagannath Temple is an example of the Kalinga architecture. The 9 km (5.6 mi) long sea beach is another major attraction of the city with its fantastic sea face view and golden sand; the water is a bit rough (which is good if you like to surf).

Talk edit

Like the rest of Odisha, most people in Puri speak Odia. Due to the presence of people from various parts of India, there would not be a language problem for people who speak any other major Indian languages. Hindi and Bengali are also widely understood.

Get in edit

By plane edit

The nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar, (60 km (37 mi)) from Puri. Then take a train or bus to reach your destination.

By train edit

Puri is well-connected by railways. Trains are available from Howrah, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar etc. It is also a major railhead on the East Coast Railway, bifurcated from Khurda Road. 1 Puri railway station  ECoR    is in the heart of the town and near to most hotels. While arriving by train, go to the Odisha State Tourist counter at the station for advice; they are usually very helpful and speak English. The MCO Booth is also quite helpful.

By bus edit

Puri is approximately 1½ hours or 60 km from Bhubaneswar and the journey costs about ₹130.

Get around edit

You can use cycle rickshaws, auto-rickshaws or electric rickshaws but agree on a price before you set off. Just to avoid a horrible experience in the beginning confirm twice on the price, as they frequently try to charge you more than you agreed on. There are places on C.T. Road where you can hire a Royal Enfield motorbike, good if you want to drive along the coast to Konark (Sun Temple). A cycle rickshaw is in the range of ₹520.

See and do edit

Camel ride along the Puri Beach
  • 1 Puri Beach. The 8-km long beach of Puri, and is ideal for surfing and cool for a dip. The beach is covered in golden sand. The waves can also be high and rough during the full moon. Camel and horse rides are available. Seating is available for 45 minutes at cost. Please do not litter the beach to keep its magnificent view intact. You have to be careful about swimming off the Chakra Tirtha Rd end of the beach because there is a canal that carries raw sewage into the ocean.    
  • 2 Puri–Konark Marine Drive. This road is in superb condition. It is peppered with deserted beaches and many rivers flow into the sea in places visible, if not accessible, from the road. Some beaches are said to have quicksand. Along the way, there is a temple Ramchandi, which is a popular picnic spot amongst the locals, as non-vegetarian food is allowed in the temple.
  • 3 Swargadwar. Literally, "the gateway to heaven", Swargadwar is the site of the cremation of almost all famous Odia people. There are good hotels and restaurants near the crematorium.

Temples edit

Gundicha Temple
Jagannath Temple during 2022 Ratha Yatra
  • 4 Gundicha Temple (ଗୁଣ୍ଡିଚା ମନ୍ଦିର Guṇḍicā Mandira). The destination of the Ratha Yatra from Jagannath Temple. It is occupied by Lord Jagannath and his siblings for seven days every year. It is in the centre of a beautiful garden, surrounded by compound walls on all sides. Tourists don't have to pay any fee to enter the temple, it's considered that Lord Jagannath ensures all of his devotees equally. Free.    
  • 5 Jagannath Temple (ଜଗନ୍ନାଥ ମନ୍ଦିର Jagannātha Mandira). One of the Char Dham temples, i.e. most sacred pilgrimage places of Hindus. Constructed in the 11th century is the starting point of the world-famous Ratha Yatra, held in July. Shoes, cameras, mobile phones and leather products are prohibited within the temple complex, you have to submit them at nearby shoe stands. The temple is open only for "orthodox" Hindus and they must dress conservatively. Beware of crowds around the main temple. Do lean against the Shani temple watch the summit of the temple and savour the temple food or bhog. The temple complex is huge and has some very interesting stories associated, priests or pāṇḍās are generally the ones who conduct the non-Odia people around and generally mention all these stories although they can demand exorbitant amounts; bring it down to something reasonable. It is possible to go into the sanctum sanctorum and touch the deities in the main temple for a fee..    
  • 6 Lokanatha Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, is said to be the place where Lord Shiva hid himself from Shani, under a pond. The Shivalinga here is partially submerged and the pond is teeming with fish. Priests here tend to be very strict so maintain etiquette. Shoes, cameras, mobile phones and bags are prohibited within the temple complex, you have to submit them at a nearby stand.    

Events edit

Ratha Yatra (literally "chariot journey") is the main festival in Puri and is celebrated in June-July every year. On the first day, Jagannath and his siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra are transported in chariots (rathas) from Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple. They remain in chariots on the first day and enter Gundicha Temple on the second day. These deities return to Jagannath Temple after seven days, known as "Bahuda Yatra". The area between Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple remains crowded during the Ratha Yatra, therefore be prepared during these times.

Buy edit

  • 1 Puri Beach Market. 5–10PM.

Eat edit

Chena podo or baked cottage cheese at Puri
  • Chung Wah (At Hotel Lee Garden), VIP Road (near Netaji Subhash Chowk). Good Chinese food.
  • 1 Dada Boudir Restaurant, Swargadwar (opposite Bharat Sevashram Sangha Library). Puri branch of Kolkata's popular Dada Boudir Restaurant. Authentic Bengali food.
  • 2 Ganguram Sweets, Swargadwar (in front of Handloom Gardens). There are several sweet shops under the name "Ganguram Sweets", among which the one in front of Handloom Gardens is the oldest. It has no branches.
  • Kakatua.
  • Krishna Resorts.
  • 3 Original Nrusingha Sweets. There are several sweet shops under the name "Nrusingha Sweets" or "Nursingha Sweets", among which the Original Nrusingha Sweets is the oldest. It has four branches.
  • Shyama.
  • Wild Grass, VIP Road (near Netaji Subhas Chowk). Theme restaurant serving local delicacies.

Sleep edit

  Note: To avoid the unsavoury, corrupt, and thoroughly untrustworthy booking services based in Kolkata, it is best to get a place to stay on arrival without advance reservation.

If you are booking a room on spot at Puri, please ask for a sea-facing room. A sea-facing non-AC room is much better than an AC non-sea-facing room.

Puri is a very popular holiday resort for people from all over India but they tend to stay in the hotels nearer to Swargadwar (rather than C.T. Road). These hotels are often affordable and offer quality services at very reasonable rates.

  • Asian Inn Beach Resort, New Marine Drive Road, Swargadwar. This 3-storey resort has modern facilities including elevators, with a good view of the Bay of Bengal. There's an air-conditioned restaurant and a conference room. There is also a doctor on call, laundry, locker and secretarial services.
  • Balananda Tirthasram & Restaurant, Sea Beach Rd (After meteorological office, opposite sea beach), +91 6752228727. Check-in: Morning, check-out: 24 hours. Family hotel with sea views from each balcony. You can see the sea from your room balcony. You have to order and collect your coupon each morning before 10 for lunch starting at 12:30PM. Same for dinner and breakfast. ₹325-425 per room, ₹24 per vegetarian meal (as of 2012).
  • Deep Resorts. Check-in: 7:30AM, check-out: 7AM. ₹750-1400.
  • Gochikar House, New Marine Drive Road, Swargodwar. Check-out: 7AM. Sea view rooms, travel desk. ₹500-12000.
  • Hans Coco Palms Resort, Baliapanda New Marine Drive Road, Swargdwar, +91 80 4809 1108, . Quiet location and a swimming pool. The hotel has a private beach, although there are only two canopies for guests. There are no lifeguards (nulia), but you can hire one if you wish. Breakfast (especially the Hans Coco Palms Special) is a good value and wholesome. Try the tomato shorba and 'thaali' for lunch/dinner.
  • Hotel Diamond Palace, New Marine Drive Road, Gourbad Sahi, +91 6752 230300, . ₹600-₹000.
  • Hotel Pushpasree, New Marine Drive Road, Gourbad Sahi, +91 6752 254157, . ₹600-800.
  • Hotel Sairam, CT Rd (Marine Drive Road near Sansangha Thakurbadi, 10 m from Golden Beach). Check-in: 8AM, check-out: 7:30AM. Rooms are neatly furnished and are sea facing. Warm and friendly staff. ₹500-1000.
  • Hotel Sea Queen Inn (Chakratirth Road), +91 6752 222846. Between the beach and the hotel is a small restaurant called Pink House. Lovely food and friendly people. Adjacent to the hotel is an Ayurvedic Center providing body massage and other ayurvedic therapies. AC rooms for ₹800 (non-AC rooms also available). Massages start from ₹350 for an hours' session, ₹750 for a 14-day session.
  • Hotel Vijoya International, Chakratritha Road, Sea Beach (on the sea shore in Chakra Tirtha), +91 9831242499, . A beautiful hotel on a clean private beach for which tent facilities are available. Pickup and drop facilities are available from the station and you will be welcomed with flowers and a welcome drink. Rooms are neatly furnished and are sea-facing. The restaurant is good and will customise your menu for any special requirement (for a kid, for example). Try the fish tikka.
  • Krishna Resorts, Chakratirth Road, +91 6752 220448, . TV and hot water facility. Eco-friendly pure vegetarian garden restaurant attached. ₹450 for non-a/c room, ₹650 for a/c room; 4-bed rooms and 3-bed rooms also available.
  • Krushna Mandir (Near Arabinda School, Swargadwar), +91-6752-654800, +91 90401-47447, +91 98610-10600, fax: +91-6752-231895, . 25 furnished rooms with kitchen facilities only for holiday homes, authorised Indian Rail travel agent on-site.
  • Hotel Roopam, New Marine Drive Rd, +91 6752 230650, +91 6752 231222. ₹600-1000.
  • Mayfair Puri, Chakra Tirtha Rd, +91 674 261 6060. Beach resort with spa services. This hotel has a private beach with couple of lifeguards roaming around. Elegantly furnished rooms with tasty cuisine served at the restaurants. ₹5,000-7,500.
  • Hotel Pushpa, Gopal Ballav Road, Sea Beach, +91 9556609676, +91 8599808415, . Rooms and other facilities, described as modern and luxurious. You can also book online from their website. ₹1100 for double non-AC, ₹1690 for double AC rooms.
  • Railway Hotel, Puri Railway Station, +91 6752 222-063. You have to show your ticket. ₹600.
  • Shree Vishnu Darshan Holiday Home, Marchikote Chowk, Grand Rd (Proceed from Railway station to Badadanda), +91 6752-252155. Luxury hotel. ₹1200 per night.
  • Toshali Sands Resort and Hotel, Toshali Ethnic Resort in Puri. Approved by the Department of Tourism, describes its own staff as warm and friendly. Spread across acres. The resort has Russian language interpreter. ₹3200 for a big deluxe cottage.
  • Victoria Club.
  • Hotel New sea Hawk, Marine drive road (close to Swargadwar beach), +91-6752231500, +91-8895295238, . Most of the rooms sea facing.
  • Hotel Pulin Puri, Marine drive road (near Swargadwar beach), +91-6752220700, +91-7653018543, . Most of the rooms facing the sea.
  • 1 Sterling Resort, toll-free: 1860 419 2727 (domestic). The resort is located away from the crowded places of Puri and has its own beach. There is a swimming pool, gym, spa, restaurant and conference hall. It also provides facilities for destination weddings. The resort organizes curated tours to the heritage village of Raghurajpur and also to Chilka Lake.
  • 2 Puri Hotel, +91 6752 222114, . You get a full sea view straight out of the balcony from most of the rooms. ₹880 for a big 4-bed room with balcony.

Stay safe edit

In cheap hotels or guest houses on Swargadwar or New Puri, try to take care of your own belongings. Do not try to go to the beach after 8PM. If you get seriously ill in Puri it is better to go on to Bhubaneswar to the Kalinga Hospital as the hospitals in Puri are very, very basic and not too clean. The hotel should be able to get a local doctor for you if you need one.

There are mouthwatering food stalls on the beach selling fish, mutton, chicken kebabs, chops and cutlets. Do not try these, unless you want to experience the medical system of Puri. Even weather-beaten, battle-hardened, super-immune Indian stomachs can not tolerate these tasty but unhygienic attacks on your digestive system. Eat out of hotels, is perfectly fine. But do not try the seashore roadside food stalls.

Stay safe from pāṇḍās in any temple. They will extract money from your pocket ruthlessly in the name of God. They are very influential and nothing can be done with the help of law. Avoid entering the innermost sanctum of any living temple (even if you are Hindu/Indian). They will ask you to offer puja or pay respect to innumerous Gods here and there of the same temple very politely/affectionately but will demand money in the name of each God separately. No use arguing with them. If you are a bit religious/curious then carry enough change so that you can donate ₹1, ₹2, ₹5, ₹10 to get rid of them without any commotion.

Stay away from monkeys. Don't lure them with food and other stuff.

Nearby edit

  • 1 Beleswar Temple. A secluded Shiva temple, obscured by a forest, with a beautiful and very calm beach nearby.    
  • 2 Raghurajpur. Famous for Patta Chitra (term for traditional, cloth-based scroll painting) as well as the location of several interesting temples.    
  • 3 Sakhigopal Temple.    

Go next edit

Puri, being a major tourist spot, is well connected with the rest of the country by train. In case of flight connectivity, one has to go to Bhubaneswar to get onto one. From the main bus stand in Puri, you can get buses to Bhubaneswar and Cuttack which are less than 60-70 km away. Bhubaneswar, which is a major hub, further increases connectivity.

  • The temple of Konark is nearby and definitely a must-visit.
  • Satapada on Chilika Lake is nearby and is a great place for sighting dolphins.
This city travel guide to Puri is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.