Why We Fell in Love With The Culture Of Puri

India is a melting pot of cultures and if you feel a sense of longing to experience this rich culture, there can’t be a better place than Puri. Read on to know why.

A full-blown tourist destination, Puri is extremely popular amongst travel enthusiasts from all around the world for both tourism and religious purposes.

Wonder what attracts so many people every year?

The religious sanctity of this place combined with its architectural grandeur and seaside escapades makes Puri a hot destination for tourists. Its religious sanctity is drawn from the famous Jagannath temple while its seaside beauty is marked by the silver and golden beaches at Puri.

Not only that, the historic antiquities at Puri are a magnificent sight to witness. Puri houses a rich depository of attractions from the 3rd century BC and it’s a place where you can deeply engage with the culture and experience it first-hand. Excited yet?

The Holy City of Lord Jagannath

The Jagannath Temple
Image Source: holidify.com

Soaring up at 200 feet in dominance, the holy temple of Lord Jagannath spirals up towards the sky as if guarding the city. The temple is surrounded with lush green coconut palms creating a serene ambiance for spirituality.

This particular temple in Puri is one of the many major Kalinga styled Hindu temples that is well known for its detailed architecture.

Children are made to roll down these steps from top to bottom in order to attain spiritual happiness. Once you enter the temple and look on the left side there is a large kitchen that prepares food in huge amounts.

Fun Fact: This kitchen is called “The Biggest Hotel of The World”

Book a stay at the stunning Sterling Puri Resort and reach the holy Jagannath temple in just about 5 km.

The Famous Odissi Dance

An Odissi Dancer

Odissi dance is an ancient Indian classical dance form. There are two traditional styles of Odissi.

  1. The first style is performed and perfected by women. It is a form of spiritual temple dance.
  2.  The second style is performed by men who are dressed like women. This particular style of Odissi involves acrobatic and athletic moves. Mostly performed on special occasions and for entertainment.

FUN FACT:  Odissi was the only Indian dance form that was perfected by Michael Jackson and also performed by him in his 1991 hit single, Black or white.

Sand Art

Sand Art in the making

During the month of November, Puri hosts the Annual Puri Beach Festival which is conducted for 5 days by the Ministry of Tourism. It brings tourists and visitors from all over the country and the world.

During this time, sand artists come together and put their best sand art modules on display. To really enjoy this one of a kind festival, you should visit the beach during the evenings.

And yes, Sterling Puri also offers this Sand art experience right at the resort!

FUN FACT:  International Award-Winning local sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik puts forth his work every year during this festival.

Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake
Image Source: orissadiary

Marked by pretty islands that include the Honeymoon Island and Breakfast Island, Chilka Lake is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a sandy ridge. The open-air and the bountiful nature at Chilika lake are an attraction for eco-tourism.

Chilka Lake is a real paradise for bird-lovers since it attracts a large number of aquatic birds preferably in winters.

Chilika boating and the dolphin watch are the main attractions of this lake. Apart from that, this area is famous for local non-veg food, fishing, lighthouse, and Dinosaur Island.

Fun Fact: It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian subcontinent. Chilika Lake is home to many threatened species of plants and animals.

Beaches

Puri Beach

Puri Beach
Image Source: orissapost

Clean sands, roaring waves, stunning sunrise and sunsets is what defines the Puri Beach. Apart from being a stunning visual sight, Puri holds a religious significance as devotees take a dip in the water after visiting Jagannath temple. Several food joints and souvenir stalls are studded along the Puri beach. You can easily reach the pristine Puri beach by walk from the Sterling Puri Resort.

Travel Tip – Visit Puri beach in the month of November to experience a five-day long annual Puri beach festival showcasing vibrant cultural events.

Balighai Beach

Balighai beach
Image Source: ixigo

Flowing carefree away from the hustle-bustle of the Puri city, Balighai Beach features clean sand, calm ambiance and picturesque sunrise and sunsets. From parasailing and water skiing to bird watching, there are plenty of activities you can do at the Balighai beach.

Konark beach

Konark Beach
Image Source: trawell

One of the cleanest beaches in Puri, the Konark beach stands for spirituality amongst the Hindus. It lies in the vicinity of Konark temple and you can also reach the Nirvana point in about 3 km from the beach. Being there, you can enjoy the stunning view of the endless sea, a group of fishermen on their daily chores and of course the magnificent sunrise and sunset.

Village of the artists

How cool is the idea of a close-knit community filled with skilled artists?

The ones who create art. Dreamy, right?

Art in the making
Image Source: sacredyatra

Puri houses one such village known as the Raghurajpur Artist Village where every resident is skilled in creating some kind of art. From pottery, wood carvings to leaf engravings, there’s a ton of talent stuffed within this seemingly small village. Be there to witness the brilliance of natural stone colours translate into brilliant story from mythology right in front of your eyes.

Guilt-free shopping

Shop Shop Shop
Image Source: outlookindia

No trip is complete without indulging in some guilt-free shopping spree. Puri has plenty of exquisite things in store for you so you can carry the speciality of this city back home.

You will find gorgeous handicraft items, brass materials, applique work fabric, stone carvings, shell products, wood carvings, handloom saris, patta chitra, bangles, palm leaf articles and other local handicraft and handloom items.

Pro tip – Bring out the bargaining freak in you and collect a hoard of items from Puri markets.

Puri is the cultural hub for all things authentic to Indian culture. So, if you have a wedding coming up or just want to treat yourself to a splendid vacation, book your stay at the Sterling Puri Resort and experience a beautiful fusion of cultural beauty and modern amenities.

Local Festivals

Snana Yatra

Snana Yatra

The Snana Yatra is a bathing festival which is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Jyeshtha. It is an important festival for the devotees of Lord Jagannath.

On the eve of Snana Yatra which translates to Bathing Festival, the idols of the deities are brought forth out in a grand procession from the sanctum sanctorum to the bathing platform. The deities are showered with 108 pots of water that is purified ritually and got from the northern well of the temple.

Ratha Yatra

The Juggernaut

Better known as the festival of chariots, the Chariots of Shri Jagannath is celebrated every year and is a massive occasion for the people of Puri. 

Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra with the celestial wheel are removed from the temple in a ceremonial and taken in a procession to their chariots.

The huge brightly and vividly decorated chariots are drawn by multitudes on the bada danda, the grand avenue to the Gundicha Temple, which is 2 miles away to the North.

Fun Fact: The chariots are newly constructed every year using materials like wood and trees like Phassi and Dhausa. People bring out their innovativeness and paint their imaginations on their chariots. This indeed makes chariots every year unique and captivating.

Weather

The weather in Puri depends solely on the condition of the sea. As it lies on the banks of Bay of Bengal, the winters are fused with the tropicness of Orissa. The summers are hot and humid, just like the other coastal destinations in India.

Best Time to Visit Puri

Monsoons are the best time of the year for you to be in Puri. The rainfall begins in the month of October and pours till the month of April. Hence, October to April would be the best time to visit Puri.

How to Get to Puri

There are 3 ways to get to Puri:

By rail: Puri is a terminus on the east coast railway with a direct express. Super-fast train links major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Okha, etc. 

By Air: Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport at 60 km away.

By Road: Here’s where the journey gets exciting and fun. One could either take a bus or even drive to reach Puri.

  1. Bus: There is a bus that stops near the Gundicha Temple. It provides links to Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. This unique service is available every 15 minutes.
  2. Minibus: There are minibusses to Konark that leaves every 20 to 30 minutes. There are minibusses even from Jatiababa Chhak.

By car: If you folks want to have a journey of a lifetime and drive to Puri, then your best bet would be to drive to Kolkata and then catch the road that leads to Puri. The total distance from Kolkata to Puri is about 510 km. The entire stretch of this road is beautiful and well maintained. We would recommend you to drive and maintain your speed between 80 to 100 km/h.

Where to stay?

For the best Puri experience, book your stay at Sterling Puri now!

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