Jagannath Puri or Purusottama Puri (approximately 1 and a half hours or 60 km from Bhubaneswar by bus (about ₹ 130), about 2 hours by train) is a pilgrimage town with the famous temple of Lord Jagannath (means Lord of the Universe) and is a major tourist destination with all its beautiful and pleasant sights. There are many hotels, most overseas tourists stay near to the beach. The Sun temple at Konark is also near by. If you go to Puri by road from Bhubaneswar you will go past Pipli with its beautiful applique handicrafts, worth a look. The Puri sea beach is a major attraction with its fantastic sea face view and golden sand, the water is a bit rough (which is good if you like to surf).
Puri is well connected by railways. Trains are from Kolkata (Howrah jn), New Delhi, Ahmedabad, etc. It is also a major railhead on the East Coast Railway, bifurcated from Khurda Road Jn. The Railway Station of Puri is in the heart of the town and near to all hotels. If you arrive by train go to the Odisha State Tourist counter at the station for advice; they are usually very helpful and speak English. The MCO Booth is also quite helpful.
You can use cycle or auto rickshaws but agree a price before you set off. Just to avoid a horrible experience in the beginning confirm twice on the price, as they frequently try to charge you more than you agreed on. There are places on C.T Road where you can hire an Enfield motorbike, good if you want to drive along the coast to Konark (Sun Temple). A cycle rickshaw is in the range of ₹520.
Locals speak Odia. Due to the presence of people from various parts of India, there would not be a language problem for people who speak any major Indian language. Hindi is also widely used. Some locals even speak Bengali.
- 1 Bedi Hanuman. Temple.
- 2 Chakra Tirtha. Temple.
- Swarga Dwar or The Gateway to Heaven. Site of cremation of almost all famous Oriya people.
- Golden Beach of Puri.
- Mausima Temple (Mausima Mandir).
- Shankaracharya's Gobardhan Pitha. A Hindu Math.
- Shree Gundicha. Temple Destination of Rath Yatra.
- 3 Shree Jagannath Puri. Temple. One of the four dhams i.e. four most sacred pilgrimage places of Hindus. Constructed in 11th century and is the starting point of the world famous Rath Yatra held in July. Entry is limited to Hindus. Do lean against the Shani temple and watch the summit of the temple and do savour the temple food or bhog. The temple complex is huge and has some very interesting stories associated, priests or pandas are generally the ones who conduct the non Oriya people around and generally mention all these stories although they can demand exorbitant amounts; bring it down to something reasonable. It is possible to go into the sanctum sanctorum and touch the deities in the main temple for a fee.
- Shree Lokanath. Temple Dedicated to Lord Shiva, is said to be the place where Lord Shiva hid himself from Shani, under a pond. The Shiva Linga here is partially submerged and the pond is teeming with fish. Priests here tend to be very strict so do maintain etiquette.
- Sunara Gaurang Temple.
Famous Places Near Puri
- Alarnath. Temple.
- Balihar Chandi Temple. Is secluded with a beautiful and very calm beach nearby view from the temple of which is obscured by a forest.
- 4 Chandrabhaga. Sea Beach.
- 5 Chilika Lake.
- 6 Pipili. Famous for Applique Work
- Puri Konark Marine Drive. This road was recently renovated and hence is in superb condition. Is peppered with deserted beaches and many rivers fall into the sea in places visible, if not accessible, from the road. Some beaches are said to have quicksands. Along the way there is a temple Ramchandi which is a popular picnic spot amongst the locals as non-veg is allowed in the temple.
- 7 Raghurajpur. Famous for Patta Chitra (term for traditional, cloth-based scroll painting) as well as the location for several interesting temples.
- 8 Satapada. Dolphin Sanctuary
- 9 Sun Temple of Konark.
Enjoy the splendour of the Golden Beach of Puri. It is ideal for surfing and cool for a dip. The beach is covered in golden sand. The waves can also be high and rough during purnima (full moon). Also, "Please Do not litter the beach" to keep its magnificent view intact. You have to be careful about swimming off the Chakra Tirtha Rd end of the beach because there is a canal that carries raw sewerage into the ocean.
- Chung Wah (At Hotel Lee Garden), VIP Road (Near Netaji Subhash Chowk). Good Chinese food.
- Kakatua -- Near the Iskcon temple in Swargadwara there is a good sweet shop/restaurant with a cockatoo outside and the resto is named after it...
- Krishna Resorts -- pure vegetarian restaurant with Gujarati and marwari thali on Chakratirth road.
- . Rama chenapoda infront of jagannath temple after 8PM. Different types of rabidi and malpua in Chandanpur, a few kilometres from Puri. Bhang sharbat of Puri is also famous
- Shyama -- pure vegetarian restaurant opposite the Jagannath temple on the Grand Road above the shops on the corner. There are many restaurants in Swargadwara, New Puri and C.T. Road.
- Wild Grass, VIP Road (Near Netaji Subhas Chowk). Theme restaurant serving local delicacies.
Puri is a very popular holiday resort for people from all over India but they tend to stay in the hotels nearer to Swargadwar (rather than C.T Road). These hotels are often affordable and offer quality services at very reasonable rates.
- Asian Inn Beach Resort, New Marine Drive Road, Swargadwar, Puri, Odisha. Asian Inn Beach Resort is located on the New Marine Drive Road, in the sacred Swargadwar locality of Puri. The hotelÃ‚Â’s advantageous location makes it a favourite with the tourists. The Railway station is just 3 km away, Bus stand at 4 km while the nearest airport at Bhubaneshwar is just 65 kilometers. The Three storied resort provides rooms with all modern facilities with a good view of the thundering Bay of Bengal. Elevators make the journey effortless to the upper floors. ThereÃ‚Â’s an air-conditioned Restaurant as well as a conference room. Other facilities include Doctor on call, Laundry, Locker and secretarial services.
- Balananda Tirthasram & Restaurant (Balananda Tirthasram), Sea Beach Rd (After metorological ofice), ☎ . Check-in: Morning, check-out: 24 hours. Very beautiful family hotel. Very moderate rate beautiful picturesque sight of sea. Rent are from 325-425 in 2012. You can see the sea from your room balcony. Very beautiful and friendly vegetarian restaurant. ₹24 only per meal. It is a family restaurant. Just opposite sea beach. You have to take the order and collect coupon at morning before 10 for lunch start at 12:30PM. Same for dinner and breakfast. Phone no. 06752228727 / 06752694108 24.
- Deep Resorts. Check-in: 7:30AM, check-out: 7AM. ₹750/- to ₹1400/-.
- Gochikar House, New Marine Drive Road, Swargodwar. Check-out: 7AM. Sea View Rooms, Travel Desk ₹500/- to ₹12000.
- Hans Coco Palms Resort. Quiet location and a swimming pool. The hotel has a private beach, although there are only two canopies for guests. There are no lifeguards (nulia), but you can hire one if you wish. Breakfast (especially the Hans Coco Palms Special) is a good value for money and very wholesome. Try the tomato shorba and 'thaali' for lunch/dinner.
- Hotel Diamond Palace, New Marine Drive Road, Gourbad Sahi, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. ₹600-₹1000.
- Hotel Pushpasree, New Marine Drive Road, Gourbad Sahi, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. ₹600-₹800.
- Hotel Sairam, Hotel Sairam , CT Rd. Check-in: 8AM, check-out: 7:30AM. Hotel Sairam is located on marine drive road near Sansangha Thakurbadi,near puri railwaystation and just 10 meter away form golden beach of puri.Rooms are neatly furnished and are sea facing. Warm and friendly staff. The Jagannath temple is just 10 mins far from Hotel ₹500/- ₹1000/-.
- Hotel Sea Queen Inn, ☎ . Chakratirth road. Between the beach and the hotel is a small restaurant called Pink House. Lovely food and friendly people. Adjacent to the hotel is an Ayurvedic Center providing Body Massage and other ayurvedic therapies. The good thing is that hotel, restaurant and Ayurvedic Center are inexpensive. Sea Queen has non-AC rooms for ₹00/- and AC rooms for ₹800/-. Massages start from ₹350/- for an hours' session but a 14-day session costs just ₹750/-.
- [dead link]Hotel Vijoya International. A charming, beautiful hotel situated right on the sea shore in Chakra Tirtha. The private beach is clean and tent facilities are available. Pickup and drop facilities are available from the station and you will be welcomed with flowers and welcome drink. Rooms are neatly furnished and are sea facing. The restaurant provides exquisite cuisine and will customise your menu for any special requirement (for a kid, for example). Try the fish tikka.
- Krishna Resorts, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Chakratirth road, . Near the sea beach having furnished A/c and non A/c rooms from 450/- for non a/c 650/- for a/c rooms, 4 bed rooms and 3 bed rooms also available, colour tv and hot water facility. Eco Friendly Pure Vegetarian Garden Restaurant attached. Two minutes walk from Railway Station and Ten Minutes to Jagannath Temple
- Krushna Mandir (Near Arabinda School, Swargadwar), ☎ , , , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 25 furnished Rooms with kitchen facilities only for Holiday Home, Authorised Indian Rail travel agent on-site.
- [dead link]Hotel Roopam, New Marine Drive Rd, ☎ , . ₹600-₹1000.
- [dead link]Mayfair Puri. The most beautiful beach resort with SPA services. Room tariff ₹5,000-₹7,500. This hotel has its private beach with couple of lifeguards roaming around. Elegantly furnished rooms with exotic cuisine served at the restaurants makes this resort apart.
- Puri Hotel, Sea Beach, ☎ , , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Excellent location. You get a full sea view straight out of balcony from most of the rooms. They have a website with a facility of online booking. If you don't pre-book, please ask for a sea-facing room. ₹880 for a big 4-bed room with balcony.
- Hotel Pushpa, Gopal Ballav Road, Sea Beach, ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Near Puri Sea Beach. Modern & Luxury Rooms and other facilities at best price. You can also book online from their website. ₹1100 for Double Non AC, ₹1690 for Double AC Rooms.
- Railway Hotel, Puri Railway Station, ☎ . You have to show your ticket. ₹600.
- Shree Vishnu Darshan Holiday Home, Marchikote Chowk, Grand Rd (Proceed from Railway station to Badadanda), ☎ . Luxury deluxe hotel very near to Shri Jagannath Temple. ₹1200/- per night.
- Toshali Sands Resort and Hotel (Travel and Stay in Puri), Toshali Ethnic Resort in Puri. Toshali Sands is the only luxurious five star facilities resort in Odisha, close to beach. Approved by Department of Tourism with its unique ethnic charm that offers everything that you could ask of a Resort Hotel with excellent luxuries.Warm and friendly staff.Spread in acres.Resort has Russian language interpretor. ₹3200 for a big Deluxe Cottage.
- Victoria Club, Puri. Popular hotel.
- Hotel New sea Hawk, Marine drive road (close to Swargadwar beach), ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com. most of the rooms sea facing.
- Hotel Pulin Puri, Marine drive road (near Swargadwar beach), ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. most of the rooms facing the sea.
In cheap hotels or Guest Houses on Swargadwar or New Puri, try to take care of your own belongings. DO NOT try to go to the beach after 8PM. If you get seriously ill in Puri it is better to go on to Bhubaneswar to the Kalinga Hospital as the hospitals in Puri are very, very basic and not too clean. The hotel should be able to get a local doctor for you if you need one.
There are mouthwatering foodstalls on the beach selling fish, mutton, chicken kebabs, chops and cutlets. DO NOT try these, unless you want to experience the medical system of Puri. Even weather-beaten, battle-hardened, super-immune Indian stomachs can not tolerate these tasty but unhygienic attacks on your digestive system. Eat out of hotels, perfectly fine. But do NOT try the seashore roadside food stalls.
Stay safe from pandas of any temple. They will extract money from your pocket ruthlessly in the name of God. They are very influential and nothing can be done with the help of law. Avoid entering innermost sanctum of any living temple(even if you are Hindu/Indian). They will ask you to offer puja or pay respect to innumerous Gods here and there of same temple very politely/affectionately but will demand money in name of each God separately. No use arguing with them. If you are a bit religious/curious then carry enough change so that you can donate ₹1, ₹2, ₹5, ₹10 to get rid of them without any commotion.
Stay away from monkeys.Don't lure them with food and other stuff.
Puri being a major tourist spot is well connected with rest of the country by train. In case of flight connectivity one has to go to Bhubaneswar to get onto one. From the main bus stand in Puri you can get buses to Bhubaneswar and Cuttack which are less than 60-70 km far. Bhubaneswar which is a major hub further increases connectivity. The temple of Konark is nearby and definitely a must visit. Satapada on Chilika Lake is nearby and is a great place for sighting dolphins.