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Puri, Orissa Travel Guide

Jagannath Puri is one among the ‘Char Dhams’ of India. Puri attains the importance among the other dhams as it was the seat of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is known as Mahavadanya Avtar i.e. most merciful incarnation of the lord. Jagannath Puri town lies on the Eastern coast of India in the State of Orissa. It is just about 60 km away from Bhubaneswar, the capital city of the State of Orissa. Puri is known as a prominent pilgrimage for the Hindus.

The city is known by the Jagannath temple built around eleventh century. The sun temple of Konark is very close to the city. Puri also boasts of having a long, pristine beach. Puri is known for its ‘Rath yatra’ (Chariot festival) during when the deities will be taken out for a procession. This will be held in July usually. Lacks of devotees will throng the temple area to pull the ropes of chariots of the lord. The Chariots of the lord will be pulled up to the Gundiecha Temple where the lord will stay for about a week and then return. The founder of the ‘Hare Krishna’ movement, Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had lived here for some time propagating his ideal philosophy of Achintya Bhed-a-Bhed tatva, which means that though the Human beings are similar in quality with the lord, they are different quantity wise (lord being ‘Vibhu’ the whole, we are just ‘Anu’ or atomic in size).

How to reach: Puri is at a distance of 60 km from Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar is well connected to other major cities by air/road and railways. Puri has its own railway station and it is connected to Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. One can hire a taxi cab from Bhubaneswar and can visit Konark (sun temple) and Puri in a package.

The most important place to visit in Puri is the Lord Jagannath temple. Lord Jagannath is the incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna. The idol of Lord Jaganath is very unique of its kind. During the Rath yatra idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra (Balram) and Subhadra will be brought out for a procession. Also see Gambihra where Lord Chatinya Mahaprabhu stayed and Gundicha temple the maternal home of lord Jagannath. The Jagannath temple was built in the 11th century reflecting the Kalinga architecture. The temple is a huge complex consisting of temples belonging to various other deities. Adi Shankara has set up one of his centers (Peetha) in Puri. Puri is on the Eastern Coast.

The beach at Puri is another place of interest. There is another beach on the way to Puri from Konark. It is known as Chandrabhaga beach. On the way to Puri from Bhubaneswar you will have to pass through a village called Pipli. Pipli is famous for handicrafts. You can visit Chilika Lake (salt water lake) that which is nearby Puri. You will get to see all kinds of migratory birds over there.

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