Puri being situated at the base of Bay of Bengal, is one of the most important pilgrimage centers not only for the people in the eastern part of the country, but also across cities and states. It is a part of the longest Char Dhams which are the four abodes of the Hindus which are believed to be the most sacred places in the country, and on this earth. Puri is part of the state of Odisha and Bhubaneswar, and lies within 60 kms from the district of Puri. Puri has various other names, and they being derived from the past, some of them are called Niladri, Nilgiri, Purusottam, etc. But Puri is often called as Jagannath Dham or Jagannath Puri because of the presence of Lord Jagannath in the Jagannath Temple, and it is believed that this is the place of residence of the LordJagannath along with his sister Subhadra and brother Balabbhadra.
Puri as a Pilgrimage
Puri is believed to be the holiest places for Hindus along with other three Dhams, and if you are in Puri for pilgrimage then places mentioned below are the best places for pilgrimage in Puri.
- Jagannath Temple: This temple is believed to be the most sacred place of the Hindus, and it was built in 12th century by the king of Ganga at that point of time, Chodagangadeva. The tower of the 214 feet spire of the temple can beseen from the countryside. It is believed that the temple has command over the living beings in Puri because of its visual dominance. Everyday more than 10,000 people have their meals in this temple as â€˜Bhogâ€™, and the number goes up to 25k during any occasion, especially on Ratha Yatra.
- Gundicha Mandir: On the north-eastern side of the Jagannath Temple, if you travel 3 km, you will find this temple on the Grad Road. During the Ratha Yatra Festival, the idol of Lord Jagannath is taken to this temple and it stays there for a week, it is a ritual followed from ancient times.
- Satyabadi: It is also known as Sakshigopal, as Lord Sakshigopal is worshiped in this temple. It is around 20 km from the city of Puri. If you visit this temple on the day of â€˜Anala Navamiâ€™, you can see the feet of Shri Radha..
Famous Nearby Areas or Locations
- Puri Sea and Beach: Puri is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal, and it is the beach and the sea which makes it the most popular tourist spot in eastern India.
- Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary: Spreading over an area of 1100 square km, it is one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha. The Chilika Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Asia which makes it more famous amongst the tourists.
- Atharnala Bridge: It is 85 meters long bridge and has historical importance, it was built in the 13th century by the Ganga Dynastyâ€™s kings.
- Konark Sun Temple (Konarak Mandir): It is situated 35kms away on the northern side of the Puri district in Bhubaneswar. It is now counted as a world heritage site being built in the 13th century. The temple is famous for its architectural richness especially for the fact that the temple is made by carving stones.