Things not to miss in Jagannath swamy temple
Inside the temple, take time to see the shrines of Bimala Devi, which is considered to be a Shakti peetam, Lakshmi Devi mandir, finger impressions of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu etc.
In the sanctum sanatorium, go to the far end corner opposite to the idols and you can stand for a bit longer and see the idols.
- Religious Travel
You can visit Chilka Lake to see dolphins and spend a day in the island nearby. Even in peak summer it is a pleasure to go boating in the Chilka Lake for the breeze from the lake is cool. However going to the island is a four hour trip and may not be suitable for summertime. There is only one govt authorised boat company.
- Sailing and Boating
Visit Puri Jagannath swamy temple
This is the main attraction of the town - the temple of Lord Jagannath one of the names of Lord Krishna. The main Idol is made of wood and besides Lord Jagannath are his sister Shubhadra and older brother Balarama. The chariot festival of this temple is world famous. The Maha Prasad or holy food offering is also very popular.
Puri outside the Temple
During our four day stay at Puri, I found myself wandering on the Temple Road almost everyday, not to visit the temple, but to take pictures. It is a very interesting place to be in at any time of the day. It has lots of activities. Activities which include the locals as well as the tourists. They have accepted tourists to be a part of their daily lives now, mostly because I think it is the primary source of their income and livelihood.
This place according to me is not just a way leading to the temple, but it is a place to be felt and experienced. Therefore I suggest you spend the empty hours of your stay in Puri at this place. There are various places where you can be here. There are various shops where you will find traditional Orissi sarees, duppatas, kurtas, and materials. There are also many good restaurants here. I particularly like the one on the terrace top which overlooks the entire road, also they serve very crispy and delicious Dosa.
- Arts and Culture
Another beautiful aspect of Puri is its magnificent beach. It is one of the most beautiful and safe beaches of India, I suppose. It is a delight to watch sunrise and sunset, as well as to dive in.
There are various ways in which one can enjoy it. Many good resorts have private beaches, we has a good time there as they are quite with limited public, and therefore very 'private'. Yet, to enjoy a different mood of the sea, one should not miss to visit the common beach. It is filled with life with many restaurants lining the opposite side of the road, as well lots of people and vendors on the beach. In case you end up on the beach at noon (like we did) there are many large umbrellas and chairs for hire at the beach, so sit back and enjoy the numerous activities in the shade.
The sunrise should not be missed at any chance, as being on the eastern side of the country, it is a beautiful way to start your way. You can photograph the varies fishermen which set out early in the early hour, or just enjoy it with a cup of coffee from the hotel balcony, or maybe just hang around at the beach and feel the day rising.
Once on an earlier visit to Puri, we were fortunate enough to decide to just hang around at the beach on a full moon day, and in an hour the tides almost reached out to where we were sitting. It was a wonderful and an exciting experience. I suggest not to miss this co-incidence for anything in the world!
Raghurajpur: Heritage indeed
Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village in the Puri District. It is 14 kms from the Puri, and can be easily reached by a taxi. You can take the Bhumbaneshwar road and reach Chandanpur on NH 203, from where it is at a distance of 1.5kms.
It consists of approximately 120 houses, all of which are inhabited by skilled artists. The entire village exists and sustains on through its art and skill. While walking through the narrow lanes, you will find yourself peeking into every house and pondering over every door which has been beautifully worked on by these artists. Each plinth displays a different art. It includes many crafts like decorative balls, masks, hangings, paintings, sarees, but it is especially known for its Pattachitra paintings and Gotipua dance style.Just feel free to enter any little house and watch these artists at work. Many smiling faces will be welcoming you into their houses to take a look at their work in the hope that you might just buy something. It may seem a little annoying at first, but very soon you will find yourself engrossed in bargaining for quite a few items.
- Arts and Culture
Don't miss Konark!
If you do nothing else, don't skip the Sun Temple at Konark. I almost did, and am so glad I did not. A rare case where the hype is deserved.
If you have time, also check King Ashoka's peace pillar edict in Dhauligiri. Most visitors just make a beeline to the huge Japanese styled Peace Pagoda, but don't forget to stop at the reason why the pagoda was built in the first place: One of Ashoka's original edicts. It's inside a little garden, where you can see the inscriptions from behind a glass. On top rests (half) an elephant carved out of solid rock to represent Buddha.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Go to Chilika Lake
You can see dolphins quite close (but to fast for my camera), flamingoes (but not seen by me) and other birds. Since you need a boat unless you are a large group it will be cheaper by tour, i took one from OTDC it was a comfortable bus with a bit to much aircon; be prepared! 290 + 141 (if they have more then 20 passengers otherwise more) Rupies, cheaper with bad buses with other companies, 200 Rupies (plus 141Rupies for the boar). They stop first at Alarnath Temple, when entering some "Guru" might tell you first no entry and might want then 50 ore more Rupies, don't pay, from the entrance you have seen allmost all. At Satapada (in case you come on your own, there is a dolphin boat booking counter) the bus stops at a restaurant (Yatri Niwas) where you book you lunch, normal indian prices, the Fish Thali 90 Rupies was quite good, then the crowded boat takes you to the dolphins and some other places, you can also take ashort dip in the ocean, then in Satapada you get to see a video of the history of the lake and only after that you get your food.
- Budget Travel
- National/State Park
Go to Konark
Konark built in the 13. century is one of the real great indian tempels, with a lot of carvings on allmost every wall, only 35 km away, but 1.5 hours and 22 rupies by a very crowded bus, first bus at 8 am, last bus back at 5 pm. Tour buses would include also Bhubaneswar and several other places, but some of the tour buses (200 Rupies excluding entrancefees, the nice bus from OTDC is 400 Rupies) look as bad and allmost as crowded as the public bus and you would spend only a short time in Konark. It is also quite fun watching the indian tourist when they see some of the sexy carvings.
250 Rupies entrance fee includes also the archiological museum nearby. There are also some simple hotels and restaurants and the beach looks inviting.
Bhubaneswar is also a interresting town, go there by bus 2 to 3 hours.
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Konarak Sun Temple- The Do's & Don'ts
Request all tourists to read carefully do's and don'ts while entering the World Heritage Site, please respect the regulations fixed by ASI and Govt. of India. Now you shall find security guards everywhere inside the temple and in the campus garden.
Please remmber, now violation of guidelines can invite prosecution, fine which may mar your holiday.
Treat Yourself with Expert Herbal Massage!
You must have seen or experienced Herbal massage sometime or the other but this massage has a history of tradition of may be several hundred years. The masseur ( The Bariks of Baripada) in the picture is from Baripada district of Orissa. There is community of masseurs ( The Bariks) who have served the warriors, kings, queens, orthopaedic patients, rich and famous personalities in Orissa, Kolkata and all over India for generations and centuries. They are expert masseurs with some secret herbal oil which is made by themselves. They know the exact pressure points of the body, feet and apply perfect pressure on each point. When I asked him to give jolt massage on my neck, he declined and advised me never get it done as it may permanently damage my nerves around neck.( See the video).
The way he massage my foot and body I felt very rejuvenated and rerfreshed. Sea Bathing after a massage is highly recommended. The price for 40mts massage is about Rs100 to Rs. 200 on the beach but the same massage provided in the hotel would be around Rs.600/- and the masseur may get the same rate only as they are poor unorganised people.
In case you want to experience the great herbal massage near the Holiday resort or Mayfair beach resort hotel then look for Rabi Barik and experience heavenly refreshing massage. I tipped him well.
KONARAK SUN TEMPLE.
YOU CAN TAKE ABOUT 1000 PICTURES OF THE VARIOUS MOOD OF THE TEMPLE AND YET YOU FIND THAT YOU HAVE MISSED SOME OF THE POSES. IT IS BETTER TO BE EXPLORED BY ONE' S OWN EXPERIENCE. I TOOK ABOUT 300 PICTURES TILL MY MEMORY CHIP WAS FULL.
- Family Travel
Rathyatra or Chariot festival of Puri!
This spectacular chariot festival celebrated for 8 days is held at the famous Jagannath Temple at Puri (Orissa). Thousands of devotees flock to Puri during the occasion, as they believe that a glimpse of Lord Jagannath in his chariot gives salvation. Images of Lord Jagannath - the Lord of the Universe, his sister Subhadra and brother Balbhadra are taken out in a procession in three immense chariots. The main chariot is 14 meters high and 10 meters square with 16 wheels.
Thousands of devotees pull these chariots to Gundicha Mandir, a temple 3 km away. After a week, on 'Ashadha Sukla Dasami', the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Ashadha (June-July), return journey or 'Bahuda Yatra' of the deities commences in the same manner from Gundicha temple to the main temple like Rath Yatra.When two months of Ashadha fall in one year, Rath Yatra is observed as the festival of 'Nabakalebar' the old deities are buried within the temple premises ('Koilibaikuntha') and are replaced by new deities, carved out of Margosa trees for which there are set procedures. Double Ashadha occurs at intervals of 8 to 19 years. Construction of the chariots begin as early as April.
Jagannath Rath Yatra or the' chariot journey of Lord Jagannatha', observed in the month of Ashadha (June-July), is a festival that celebrates the annual visit of the God to his birthplace. The Jagannath Temple at Puri, Orissa is the venue for all celebrations. Several lakh people converge at Puri for this festival. An atmosphere of almost hysterical devotion prevails on this day and in earlier years; devotees were known to have thrown themselves under the wheels of the rath in the hope of obtaining instant salvation.
Source: OTDC/ Picture.
Sunrise in Puri Beach!
Oh! I missed the early morning Sunrise. These picturs are taken at 5.30 AM the time when I get up. As I have the habit of getting up with Kolkata in mind, I missed the first 20mts of Sunrise. It's up at 5.00AM and clearly visible from your hotel room. The picture are taken from my room balcony as I did not have time.
But the best views are guaranteed if you can reach the beach exactly at 5.00AM or earlier!
Puri Sea Beach
Puri Sea Beach is one of the best in India, visited by thousands everyday. An excellent weekend gateway from Kolkata. Though it is not like the beaches of Philippines or that of any European country, it is surely an under utilized beach. But there is lot of scope to improve it and have more facilities of bathing, toilets, boating and so on. This beach may not attact an European as it is highly crowded offering less facility but enjoyment is none the less.
I had been to Puri many times and have always enjoyed a lot.