Puri, the land of scenic beauty
This article is to show how beautiful the city of Puri is. Not only Puri has tourist spots like its sea beach or Konarak sun temple in it, but also it has popular towns in the outskirts called Pipli. Although people know of Konarak or Jagannath temple, lesser people are aware of Pipli. I want to bring all the known and lesser spots in front of people along with pictures as necessary.
Introduction Puri is such a place where weather is nearly pleasant all round the year. People love to go to Puri if they have even 3-4 days off from work. Consider the holiday of Good Friday. This leads to an extended weekend of 3 days. So where to go in these three days? Most people select Puri. This is due to the following reasons:
- Puri is still much cheaper than many other tourist spots. The hotels available here range from cheap to expensive. But mostly the tariff is under middle class people's budget.
- The mode of communication is very easy. You have trains, airplanes and buses connecting different states and the state of Bhuvaneshwar. If you reach Bhuvaneshwar, it will take minimum 45 mins to maximum 1.5 hours reach Puri.
- There are so many places to visit in Puri. The sightseeing services are also available round the clock.
- The food available in Puri is very delicious. You will feel as if all the good chefs from all over India have gathered in the restaurants in Puri. Not only that almost all the hotels available in Puri have restaurants in them. So you do not have to worry about the food at all.
The sea beach of Puri
Those who do not want to do a lot of sightseeing and just want to take rest in Puri, just book a hotel over there for a fortnight or so. Then they go to the sea beach. In fact people who are sick for quite a while prefer Puri to get better. As I already mentioned that the scenic beauty and the food of Puri are awesome, some people come here to recuperate from any illness they are having.
Generally no one misses the sea beach of Puri. It is the general or the main attraction of Puri. If somebody comes on a packed schedule and does not have the time for sightseeing, then they definitely spend the most of their time on the sea beach. But definitely, there are other spots of attraction in Puri. Let me come to that.
Tourist spots in and around Puri
I will mention the three important tourist spots of Puri in this section. The tourist spots are as follows:
- Jagannath Temple-This is not only the most popular temple of Puri, but it is also an important pilgrimage of Hindus. This is where the wooden trinity of deities of Jagannath (Lord Krishna), Balabhadra (Lord Balaram) and Subhadra are kept. It is said that after around every two decades the reincarnation of lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra happen in the wooden statues. So, one cannot keep the older constructs after this amount of time. Those statues need to be cremated and replaced with new ones. This ritual of cremation of the earlier wooden statues of the deities and ritualistic establishment of the new ones is called NabaKalevara.In fact this year at the time of Rath Yatra ceremony, NabaKalevara ritual was performed. If you come to Puri at the time of Rath Yatra then you get to see a huge chariot pulled across by thousands of people. On this chariot reside our Jagannath and the other two deities. According to mythology they go to visit their maternal aunt's house on this Rath and come back after 9 days. The temple is pretty close to the sea beach. In fact you don't need any bus or tempo to reach there. Mere walking is enough to reach there.
- Konarak or Sun temple
Built in the 13th century this temple is a beautiful work of art. There might be differences of opinion as who built it, but no one can deny the grandeur of this temple. This temple is not within the city, but is over 30 kms away from the heart of the city. Built on river Chandrabhaga, this temple holds resemblance to the huge chariot of Sun god. The temple consists of 12 pairs of wheels which signify the wheels of sun god's chariot. 7 horses who signify the vahans of the chariot are also carved on the stones. There is a Nat Mandir right on the opposite of this sun temple. Although much of this temple has been destroyed, it still stands separate from rest of the architectures in India.
- Pipli-Pipli is a town 42 kms away from Puri. Although it is not considered much of a tourist spot, it is a very beautiful place. Pipli is mostly famous for its handicrafts, hand-made dolls, etc, rather than its sightseeing tours. In fact a lot of people go there to buy these handicrafts from Puri. Be it inmates of Puri or tourists from outside, they come to Pipli at least once in a lifetime to buy such amazing works of art for either themselves or their near and dear ones. The journey via road from Puri to Pipli is really beautiful. You can see the greenery and the pastures all the while, until you enter the proper town of Pipli.
Time to end the first session of the travel blog on Puri Since Puri is a vast area and there is so much to see in this city and in the outskirts of the city, I could not end the discussion on this travel destination in one article. My discussion will continue to a few more sessions which will be in continuation with this first session. I would love to visit comments on all my discussions regarding traveling Puri. I request all the members of ITB to read my article and comment on it. My next article will contain few more visiting spots of Puri.