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The temples, the golden beaches, blue waters and white surf of Puri are a tourist's delight. The sea is shallow for almost a mile and it is easy to swim. It is one of the four important Dhams or pilgrim destination of India. The Rath Yatra or Car festival held at the famous Jagannath temple is an annual ritual for which devotees from all corners of India congregate in Puri.
Places to see
This 65 metre high temple is made in the Kalinga sytle of architecture. Built in the 12th century during the reign of Chodaganga Deva the temples the smaller shrines of Vimala, Vishnu and Lakshmi, and the Ananda Bazaar-the biggest food market in the world-which are within the precincts, merit a visit.
This Garden House is about 2 km from the Jagannath temple. It is a smaller sanctum, where Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken during Rath Yatra. It is also popularly known as the house of Jagannath's aunt.
This tank is near Jagannath temple with a small shrine to King Indradyamuna.
About 25 kms from Puri is Sakshi Gopal temple, with a life size image of the child Krishna.
An excellent example of the engineering skills of the ancient days is the Atharnala bridge over the Madhupur stream. This bridge was built in the 13th century and is still in use.
It is a beach at the mouth of river Nuanai just 8 kms away from Puri. There is a Sea Turtle Research center here.
This craftsman's village is famous for Patta chitra or the patta paintings and is 14 kms from Puri.
An artificial lake has been made by a high bund constructed in the hills. The temple of Jamwa Mata and the ruins of an old fort are to be visited here.
Chilika is the largest fresh water lake in Asia. Chilika is also known as Honeymoon Island or Breakfast Island. There are about 160 varieties of fishes in the lake.
The coastline along Puri has some fine beaches. The beach front is wide, and ideal for beach sports.
Try the delicious seafood and buy miniature stone sculptures, wood carvings and patta paintings. Chandan Yatra, Snana Yatra, Rath Yatra are ceremonies held in every summer.
The migratory birds also flock the shores of Orissa in winter, the state is well explored any time of the year but summers March to June are hot and humid. The rainy season lasts from July to October, and the state receives heavy rainfall during the period. The Puri Jagannath Rath yatra takes place during the months of June/July. The Konark festivaL takes place in the winter month of December.