7 Best Places to Visit in Puri That Make It the Backbone of Odisha’s Tourism

Positioned along the Bay of Bengal and just 61 kilometers (approx.), from Bhubaneswar, Puri is the backbone of Odisha’s tourism. It is the spiritual capital of Odisha and hence, the attraction is a perfect place to satiate your quest for salvation.  Moreover, Puri is extra beguiling because it is also the principal center of Vaishnavism in India. Such is the hype of the places to visit in Puri that this temple town of Odisha has bypassed the Rishikesh on the scale of spiritual tourism.

You will be bowl over at the Puri places to visit because it includes a Golden Beach (Puri Beach) and has acquired the Blue Flag Tag! Additionally, the annual Rath Yatra Festival at Jagannath Temple is another big thing! Above all, Puri is the Eastern Dhams amongst the Bada Char Dhams of Hindus. As a result, many places to see in Puri make it the backbone of Odisha’s tourism.

Puri is a notable spot for both first-time and returning visitors to India. Tourists who have heard about Puri have a notion that top sights in Puri are a blend of art and culture along with sun-kissed beaches. But ask the one who has been to Puri. They will let you know that Puri is also the final resting place of Lord Vishnu. Hence, Hindus seek spiritual enlightenment at Puri. Wade, through the sacred temple complexes, attained enlightenment at the popular coastline with a sacred aura. Take your family to the picnic spots in the Puri district. The location itself plays a key part in contributing to the positive spiritual energy.

Why Places to Visit in Puri Sees Lakhs of Footfalls Annually?

Puri makes the tip of the Golden Triangle of East India along with Konark and Bhubaneswar. Puri is Lord Jagannath’s abode. Vaishnavite Hindus are devoted to Lord Vishnu, and his incarnations believe Puri’s Jagannath Temple is the door to salvation. The salvation’s quest influences Indians and millions of foreigners as well. Moreover, Puri is also the seat of Adi Shankaracharya, where he established his Rig Vedic Math in the 9th century A.D. Unknown to many, even the aftermath of cyclone Fani couldn’t stop devotees from bowling over with the spirituality of Puri. Hence, places to visit in Puri see lakhs of footfalls annually!

Interested to discover the legacy of India’s Eastern Dham? Put on your reading glasses to chalk down the top 7 places to visit in Puri:

1. Sri Jagannath Temple

It goes without saying that the list of tourist places in Puri can’t be summed up without Sri Jagannath Temple. This temple is the reason behind lakhs of footfalls in Odisha, as it constitutes one of the Char Dhams of India. On the brighter side, the city of Puri has revolved around Sri Jagannath Temple since ancient times. The main deities worshipped in the temple are Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra.

Unlike the statues found in other Hindu temples, the statues of main deities are carved from wood and are replaced every 12 years. The two Gods and the Goddess of the temple are ornamented according to the occasion and seasonal change. Jagannath Temple has a 65 m high spire that dominates the Puri skyline. Devotees can enter the temple via four gates. Only Hindus are allowed at Jagannath Temple.

Moreover, the Jagannath Temple complex holds the world’s largest kitchen that feeds around 10,000 devotees a day! Several other small shrines are scattered around the temple’s main complex. Although the temple celebrates around 24 festivals annually, real exuberance begins at the Rath Yatra Chariot Festival. The temple structure has 20 feet high fortified walls. The Jagannath Temple has four chambers.

  • Main Deities Worshipped Here: Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Lord Devi
  • World Largest Kitchen Name: Anna Kshetra of the Jagannath
  • Temple Structure: Classic duel style of Kalinga architecture
  • Temples Four Chambers: Bada Deula, Jagamohan, Nata Mandir, Bhoga Mandap
  • 4 Gates of the Temple: Lion Gate, Elephant Gate, Horse Gate, Tiger Gate

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2. Golden Beach (Puri Beach): A Blue Flag Certified Beach of India

Imagine yourself encapsulating the joy of watersports at one of the famous beaches of Puri. Golden Beach or Puri Beach is one of the principal tourist attractions in Puri, where the stretch of fine golden sands invites leisure seekers. Moreover, this beach gets coveted with Blue Flag Certification for its cleanliness. So it goes without saying that the water here is pristine blue in comparison to mainstream Indian beaches. Furthermore, several tourists come to take a purification dip to pay their homage to Lord Jagannath.

When you are at Golden Beach, stroll the shoreline dotted with souvenir shops selling seashells and pearls. If you want to bowl over at the free things to do at the beach, indulge in beach volleyball or badminton. Puri Beach is the same place that features astonishing sand sculptures we people see on social media. Consequently, these sanctified tourist spots in Puri are known to host the annual Puri Beach Festival. In this fest, delicious cuisine and cultural programs are the highlights.

One lighthouse also provides visitors to enjoy the sweeping views of the sea and the town. After being accorded as the Blue Flag Certified Beach, Golden Beach has become the tourist hotbed. One must definitely include visiting Golden Beach of Puri in winters, early summers, and post-monsoon. Did we mention the beach shoreline is dotted with several shacks, budget, and luxury resorts or hotels?

  • Visiting Hours: 6 AM to 7 PM (approx.)
  • Distance from Jagannath Temple: 2 km (approx.)
  • Watersports at Puri Beach (Golden Beach): Jet skiing, angling, boat ride, swimming, surfing, and sea cruising
  • Puri Beach Festival Details: Celebrated annually in November for 5 days
  • Lighthouse Opening Timings: 4 AM to 6 PM

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[ Have a look at our Best Puri Tour Packages ]

 

3. Sudarshan Crafts Museum

It is a handicraft museum in Puri where art lovers will have a good time learning about the erstwhile Odisha’s art and craft. If you want to explore the best places to visit in Puri in 2 day, Sudarshan Crafts Museum is the spot to go! Even more, this museum is located at a stone’s throw distance from Puri railway station. This abode of fine artwork features a Buddhist Temple, Craft Centre, and a small sales center that sells craft items.

This art and craft museum was conceived by the humble and master craftsman Shri Sudarshan Sahoo in 1977. Ever since then, the museum has showcased the beautiful ancient craft of stone carving. There is one library also! Lastly, the objective of Sudarshan Crafts Museum is to provide a platform for excellent stone craftsmen to earn their bread and butter.

  • Museum Opening Timings: 8 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 8 PM
  • Days Museum Remain Shut: Closed on Saturdays & Sundays
  • Entry Fee (approx.): ₹. 5 for Indians, ₹. 50 for Foreigners

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4. Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary

Ever seen a seashore area coupled with a forest wildlife sanctuary? If not, then you should look at the Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary. A Marine Drive road runs adjacent to it, and it falls on Puri-Konark Marine Drive road. The rare Black Buck, deers, large tribes of monkeys, hyenas could be spotted here. Also, due to its proximity to the sea, visitors will love witnessing Olive Ridley Turtles. If you are coming from Konark, Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary is the place to explore. It goes without saying that Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary is amongst the best places to visit in Puri in 3 days. 

  • Visiting Hours: 7 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Distance from Puri: 27 kilometers (approx.)
  • Entry Fee: Free for all
  • Ideal Visitor Duration: 2-3 hours (approx.)

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5. Chilika Lake and Sanctuary

Looking to plan a day trip from Puri because you have 1-2 days in hand? You can’t go wrong with Chilika Lake and Sanctuary. This is not a mainstream lake. But, firstly, Chilika Lake is Asia’s biggest inland saltwater lagoon. Secondly, it is an important breeding ground for migratory and aquatic birds in the Indian subcontinent. Several small islands are studded, out of which Honeymoon Island and Breakfast Island are must-visits.

Birds come to Chilika Lake from Siberia, Central Asia, and even the Himalayan regions. Moreover, moving south of Chilika Lake will allow tourists to meet up with Irrawaddy Dolphins White-Nosed Dolphins. Hiring a boat to explore the islands is the best choice with your near or dear ones. Lastly, the loading near Chilika Lake offers scrumptious seafood to nosh on!

  • Distance from Puri: 44 kilometers (approx.)
  • Visiting Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM
  • Popular Migratory Bird to Spot at Chilika Lake: White Bellied Sea Eagles, Greylag Geese, Flamingos, Purple Moorhen
  • Best Time to See Migratory Birds at Chilika Lake: Winter (November to February)
  • Tourist Places on Chilika Lake: Kalijai Temple, Bird’s Island, Mangalajodi, Sea Mouth Island
  • Boating Price: ₹ 2,500 – 3,000 for 90 minutes trip (approx.)

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[ Explore Best Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa ]

6. Narendra Tank/Narendra Pokhari

Narendra Tank is one of the best picnic spots in the Puri district to visit with family or kids. You can club this place of interest in Puri with Jagannath Temple because of its proximity to each other. Legends say that this tank is holy where Lord Jagannath took his sacred bath, and hence, Narendra Pokhari is another holy spot in Puri. It dates back to the 15th century A.D. and is a sprawl access vast area, featuring an island in the middle. There are a lot of small shrines encircling the tank.

Most importantly, visitors can plunge into a holy bath at the 16 ghats that surround the island. Above all, Narendra Tank is the site where the annual celebration of Chandana Yatra takes place. During the festival, devotees applied Chandana paste on the deity, followed by washing it with the sacred tank water.

  • Distance from Lord Jagannath Temple: 1 kilometer (approx.)
  • Visiting Hours: 6 AM to 9 PM
  • Entry Fee: Free for all
  • When the Chandana Yatra is Celebrated: In April during the Baisakhi month of the Hindu calendar

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7. Raghurajpur Artist Village

So you think artisan villages are scattered only in Rajasthan? Switch your thinking at Odisha’s first heritage craft village. Raghurajpur Artist Village is another place to visit in Puri for art and craft lovers. This village has a single street lined with thatched brick houses. Local craftsmen are well versed in Saora art, a traditional practice that is only practiced in Odisha at this time. Seeing the effort, knowledge, goes into making the traditional artwork is the best thing to do!

Furthermore, the local artists practiced Pattachitra – the ancient art of painting on the palm leaves. Even more, the artists work on various mediums, including silk clothing, coconut shells, and glass bottles. You will have a good experience at Raghurajpur Artist Village which seems more like a museum. There are around 150 houses, and each of them is decorated with colorful paintings.

Take permission before entering into the houses of the locals to admire the work displayed on their walls. Then, indulging in a small walk around the village will make a bowl over with art and craft culture, traditions of Odisha. At last, you can buy the art items from the villagers but remember, bargaining over the art price won’t make you a hero. Also, be a responsible traveler and don’t create any nuance on your heritage walk at the village.

Distance from Puri: 14 kilometers (approx.)
Visiting Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM
Ideal Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

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Must Read:
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What Are Some Places to Visit in Puri in 2 Days?

If tourists have less time in hand and they want to explore the best of Puri in quick turnaround time, seek some inspiration from places to visit in Puri in 2 days. They constitute temples, beaches, shopping markets

Tell Me Unbelievable But True Things About Puri Tourism

Puri is the crown jewel of Odisha’s tourism because it has temples, Math, beaches all under one roof! Even more, there are 5 (Panch) Tirthas in Puri. As it is located along the right side of the seashore. Out of which, the shoreline of Pur Beach is considered sacred, and people worship as it itself amongst the Panch Tirthas of Puri.

Furthermore, a visit to Puri will remind you of the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. The Konark Temple of Puri has erotic carvings on sculptures. However, it doesn’t depict the intimacy between divine and sacred energies. These erotic sculptures are more about human beings’ sexual expressions chalked on the core ‘Moksha’ Hindu theme.

Back in 2019 April, the pilgrim town of Puri was hit by the category 4 storm just before the exact two months of the world’s biggest chariot festival, Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra. Many tourists were struck during the cyclone in Puri. On an estimate, 25,000 tourists were asked to leave Puri before cyclone Fani hit the coastline. One can get an idea of the damage after knowing the cyclone winds were clocking 240 kmph. As a result, the beachfront properties in Puri were destroyed.

In Spite of the whooping loss, the Odisha government, with mutual collaboration with Odisha Tourism, worked really well to restore everything before the grand chariot Rath Yatra Festival. Such is the belief and faith of people in Lord Jagannath (Lord Vishnu’s incarnation) that those who come under his blessing umbrella are always showered with more than they ask.

It would be once in a lifetime experience if you included the fabled spiritual land of Odisha in your itinerary.

Best Time to Puri (Weather, Season, Climate)

Travel Seasons Avg Min/Max Temperature
March to June (Low Season) 24°C – 36° C
July to September (Shoulder Season) 25°C – 32° C
November to February (Peak Season) 12°C – 25° C

Nearby Towns, Cities Around Bhubaneswar

Town/City Name Distance from Bhubaneswar (approx.)
Cuttack 16 kilometers
Balasore 251 kilometers
Kolkata 495 kilometers
Vizag 495 kilometers
Bhubaneswar 82 kilometers

[ Book our customized Odisha Tour Packages ]

Most Popular Related Searches For Places to Visit in Puri

Q. What are the places to visit in Puri in 2 days? +-

Ans: If you have 2 days in hand for Puri exploration, you must visit travel places in Puri like; Raghurajpur Artist Village, (Puri Beach) Golden Beach, Jagannath Temple, Chilika Lake. Bookmark most of them with friends, spouses, and family. 

Q. What are the famous tourist places in Puri for a 3 days trip? +-

Ans: Narendra Tank / Narendra Pokhari, Gundicha Temple, Sudarshan Craft Museum, Puri Swargadwar Beach are must-visit places to visit in Puri in 3 days. All of them are a cluster of adventure, spirituality, and cultural experience. 

Q. What are the must-visit sightseeing places in Puri in 4 days? +-

Ans: If you have this much time in hand, carefully itinerary to explore the unexplored places to visit in Puri in 4 days. Include Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary, Markandeswara Temple, Sakhigopal Temple.

Q. Are there any picnic spots in the Puri district for kids? +-

Ans: Yes! There are waterparks in Puri for kids to enjoy their holidays. A few of them are; Pratyush Ocean World, Blue Splash Waterpark, Wonderworld Waterpark. Apart from the waterparks, beaches, museums, and temples are great sightseeing places for little tourists.

Q. Which beach in Puri is considered sacred and holy? +-

Ans: Puri Beach, aka Golden Beach, is located close to Jagannath Temple and is the holy and sacred beach. Hindus devotees take a dip in the sacred water during the Char Dham Yatra. Also, the absence of underwater current makes it one of the safe beaches in Puri for swimming.

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