Saturday, December 1, 2012

Puri Krishna Dham | Puri Jagannath Temple | Puri Sea Beaches | Puri Places of Attractions | Puri Rath Yatra - Lord Jagannath

Puri is a city of God and the district headquarters of Puri district, situated on the Bay of Bengal. The city famous for its best swimming beaches and is approximately 65 kilometres south of the state capital Bhubaneswar in the Indian State of Orissa. It is also known as Jagannath Puri after the 11th century Jagannath Temple located in the city. Puri is a one of the holy city of the Hindus faith as a part of the Char Dham pilgrimages. According to Hindu teachings, a pilgrimage of the temples of India is not considered complete unless the journey to Puri made.
Puri is endowed with one of the best beaches for swimming in India with its fine white sands, roar of breakers rolling in from the Bay of Bengal and countless devotees flocking the place for a purification dip. It is one of the popular beach resorts among the tourist. The beach is continued to be a sacred venue for an endless number of pilgrims coming to pay homage to Lord Jagannath.
In the month of November, annually there is organized beach festival which has become a favorite haunt both for Indian and foreign beach lovers. The beach is geographically positioned in such a way that both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the beach. A comparatively clean and quite place for sunbathing and a relaxed swim can be found at the eastern end. On the Chakratirtha side, the long stretch of golden sand is more tranquil and pleasant place to stroll. However, the swimmers to take enough precaution while swimming as the currents can be treacherous in Puri.
The beaches of Puri are also renowned for the sand sculptures created particularly by the internationally famed Sudarshan Patnaik. The subjects are generally inspired by sculptures covering the temple walls, characters and episodes from the mythology and also the contemporary events. An entire beach stretch can be completely yours given the immense number of beaches in Odisha (Orissa) and a comparatively lower number of fun lovers, the city being a popular pilgrimage point for Indians.
Places of attraction in Puri:
Jagannath Temple: The Jagannath Temple in Puri is a famous Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath and located in the coastal town of Puri. The name Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) is a combination of the Sanskrit words Jagat (Universe) and Nath (Lord of) . The temple is an important pilgrimage destination for many Hindu traditions, particularly worshippers of Krishna and Vishnu, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimages that a Hindu is expected to make in one's lifetime . The temple was built in the 1135 AD atop its ruins by the progenitor of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. This shrine is elaborately shaped with high shikhars. Internal chamber of the temple is sustained by 16 pillars. The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra, or Chariot festival, in which the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars. Since medieval times, it is also associated with intense religious fervour.
The temple is sacred to the Vaishnava traditions and saint Ramananda who was closely associated with the temple. It is also of particular significance to the followers of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism whose founder, Chaitanaya Mahaprabhu, was attracted to the deity, Jagannath, and lived in Puri for many years.
Puri – Rath Yatra (Car Festival): Ratha Yatra, the Festival of Chariots of Lord Jagannatha is celebrated every year at Puri, the temple town in Orissa, on the east coast of India. According to legends Lord Jagannath expressed his desire to visit his birthplace “Gundicha Ghar” ones every year. Moreover Subadra wanted to visit her parents place –Dwarka, therefore his two brothers Jagannath and Balbhadra took her there on this day. Another legend is that Lord Krishna and Balram went to Mathura on this day to participate in the competition on the invitation of king Kans.
Puri Rath Yatra festival comes in the month of June – July of every year. It starts on the second day of bright fortnight of month Ashada according to Hindus month calendar. On this day three chariot Nandigosha (Yellow colored), Taladwaja (Blue Colored) and Deviratha lined up in front of Jagannath Temple. The presiding deities of the main temple (Sri Mandira) Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, with the celestial wheel Sudarshana are taken out from the temple precincts in an elaborate ritual procession to their respective chariots. The huge, colourfully decorated chariots, are drawn by hundreds and thousands of devotees on the bada danda, the grand avenue to the Gundicha temple, some two miles away to the North. After a stay for seven days, the deities return to their abode in Sri Mandira.
Markandeshvara Tank: as per Legends of India Lord Vishnu become the Neem tree situated close to the temple. This religious spot is having some more temples surrounding such as Gundicha, the Sunaragauranga, the Lokanath, the Tota Gopinath and the Daria Mahabir temples. Religious people visit the temple regularly and dip into this holy tank.
Sudarshan Workshop and Museum: Tourist here can watch the replicas of the holy chariots. God idols in different shape are also available at this workshop.
Excursion near Puri City
Konark (35 kms away): Konark is the very well-known place for the only big Sun Temple in India. The Sun Temple was built in the 13th century and designed as a gigantic chariot of the Sun God, Surya, with twelve pairs of ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses. Some of the wheels are 3 meters wide. Only six of the seven horses still stand today. The big 12 pair wheeled chariot tired by seven strong horses is the dignity of this small city.
Balighai Beach: The incredible beach where the tourist can take pleasure of most alluring beach side ornaments is Balighai, though visitors have to travel 8 kms to reach the destination. The beach is situated by the side of the Bay of Bengal and at the mouth of the river Nuanai, Balighai, provides wonderful opportunity to experience confluence of the calm river with the turbulent sea. Most part of this place is fringed by lovely causarina trees. This place is also famous for shy Baliharina deers who reside in this area. Now its very rare to sopt a deer in this area, if you are lucky then you will be able to catch a glimpse of the Baliharina deer. Another special attraction of this beach is the Sea Turtle Research Centre, where you can watch the large turtles fluttering around in their tanks.

Balighai sea beach attracts lots of domestic and overseas visitors to enjoy the natural scenery. The magnificent sunrise and sunset site of the beach is an unforgettable experience for tourists’. Tourists can also enjoy sunbath on the neat and clean sea beach and explore the gift of nature by boat riding on the Nuanai River. The scenic beauty of this place is ideal for group picnic with family, friends and your beloved.
Sakshigopal Temple: The next wonderful spot is the temple of Lord Sakshi Gopal located at distance around 20 Kms from Puri. The legend is that Lord Gopal who came to bear witness known in Sanskrit as Sakshi is worshipped in the Temple. This Lord Krishna temple is world-known for architectural grandeur.
Raghurajpur (10 kms away): the next famous Indian tourist place near Puri is Raghurajpur where a tourist can enjoy paintings and art galleries.
Pipli (36 kms away): the craft and handmade items at Pipli are most demanding even in abroad. The cloth pouches and various craft items are supplied to different countries as well. The embroidered covers with obscure appliqué are fine examples of work done by Puri workers.
Best time to reach puri is between Octobers to April as the temperature in summer season goes to 30 degrees or more, whereas winter average temperature is 17 degrees.
Reaching Puri City:
By Air: BPA (Biju Patnaik airport) situated at Bhubaneswar is the big air head to reach Puri. This airport is only 56 kms away from the city. Bhubaneswar airport is directly connected with almost every big airport of India such as Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
By Train: the big railway station of Puri junction is connected with almost every city of India. Frequent and direct trains from the different cities allow travelers to reach the spot easily. The big railheads connected to Puri are New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.
By Bus: OTDC (Orissa Tourism Development Corporation) buses are available linked with diverse cities of Orissa to Puri. Direct and regular buses from Bhubaneswar, Konark and Cuttack are attainable for the tourist.