Puri is located 60 km from Bhubaneshwar on the coast of the Bay of Bengal and is one of the oldest cities in the eastern part of the country. It is considered as one of the four holy dhamas of India – Puri, Dwarka, Rameswaram and Badrinath. It is also agreed that a pilgrimage of the temples of India is not complete without making the journey to Puri. Puri is also called as Sri Purusottama Dham or Martya Vaikuntha.
Lord Jagannath Temple :-
The Temple of Lord Jagannath built during the 12th century A.D. by Chodaganga Deva dominates the landscape for kilometers around. Being the tallest temple (65 metres) in Orissa, it is one of the most magnificent pieces of monuments of India. In front of the main gate stands a 16 sided monolithic pillar (11 metres high), called Aruna Stambha which formally stood in front of the Sun Temple and was brought to Puri during the 18th century A.D. Some of the other important temples are Gundicha, Lokanath, Sunaragauranga, Daria Mahabir and Tota Gopinatt. There are also a number of holy tanks like Narendra, Markandeya, Sweta Ganga and Indradyumna. There are many Monasteries locally known as Mathas also of touristic interest.
Handicrafts of the Region : Soap Stone, Sea-shell, Pattachitras and Palm Leaf paintings, Horn work, Wood carvings, and Solapith work can be purchased from Puri.
Fairs and Festivals of the region : Puri offers a plethora of colourful fairs and festivals round the year. However the Ratha Yatra or Car Festival, Puri Beach Festival, Ganesh Puja, and Jhulana Jatra are among the more widely celebrated ones.
Brahmagiri is known for the living shrine of Alarnath. Streams of pilgrims visit Alarnath during Anabasara of Lord Jagannath. Nearby is the shrine of Baliharachandi on the solitary sand dunes.
Satyabadi or Sakshigopal is known for the shrine of Lord Sakshigopal. It is believed that the visit to Puri is incomplete without a visit to Sakshigopal. The temple is only 2 km away from the main road leading to Puri and is convenient to visit.
27 km to the south-west of Puri is the temple of Baliharachandi. Situated on a sandy hill near the sea and adjacent to the mouth of the river Bhargavi, Goddess Durga is worshipped here as Baliharachandi. The scenic beauty of this place is ideal for group picnic.
One of the most famous artists village in Orissa, the village of Raghurajpur boasts not only of the exquisite pattachitra’s and talapattachitra’s, but also of being the native place of Guru kelucharan Mohapatra, the famed Odissi dancer. Even today, under the tutelage of renowned Guru’s, young boys can be seen practicing the Gotipua dance here. A visit to Orissa would definitely be incomplete without a visit to this little village.
Satapara, a retreat in nature on Chilika Lake, has been thrown open to visitors. Its location near the confluence of the Lake with the Bay of Bengal, and proximity to Puri (52 km), makes it an ideal spot to enjoy Chilika. The thrilling sight of dolphins round the year and abundance of migratory and resident birds in winter make it a preferred place for a vacation with nature.