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Puri
 
Puri
 

Puri is a city in the east Indian state of Orissa. It is also known to many as Jagannath Puri after the Jagannath Temple, which was built in the late eleventh century.

Puri is one of the oldest cities in the eastern part of the country. It is situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal and is a popular beach resort, positioned in a unique place so that both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the beach.

Name: Puri, the holy land of Lord Jagannath has many names. It is mentioned in Puranas as Srikshetra, Shankhakshetra, Neelachala, Neeladri, Purusottama Dhama, Purusottama Kshetra, Purusottama Puri and Jagannath Puri. The word "puri" in Sanskrit means 'town', or 'city'. May be, Puri is a shortened name for Jagannath Puri or Purusottama Puri. In some records pertaining to the British rule, the word 'Jagannath' was used for Puri.It is the only shrine in India, where Radha, also referred to as Durga, Sati, Parvati, Shakti abodes with Krishna, also known as Jagannath.

History

Puri is the site of the Govardhana matha, one of the four cardinal institutions established by Adi Shankaracharya, the others being those at Sringeri, Dwaraka and Jyotirmath.

Puri is also famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, or "Festival of Chariots", when the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, are brought out of the temple, and placed in a chariot procession.

This festival occurs on various dates of the Gregorian calendar, typically in the month of July.

The town is famous for its many Mathas (monasteries of the various Hindu sects). It also houses the relics of many Hindu figures as traditionally it is seen as a holy place to die in or to be cremated. As a result, it has had a disproportionate number of widows. Like other old Hindu religious towns it has a lot of character that is difficult to be glimpsed or picked up on easily by a casual visitor.

In 1903, Sri Yukteswar established an ashram in the sea-side town of Puri, naming it "Kararashram". From two ashrams, Yukteswar taught students, and began an organization named "Sadhu Sabha."

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, founder of 64 Sri Gaudiya Maths performed the final past-times of his life in Puri.

Places of interest

Puri is considered a holy place of pilgrimage in India.

The beautiful sea beach with its unique and fantastic views of sunsets and sunrises.

The world famous Jagannath Temple (Bada Deula).

The gateway to heaven (as per Hindu mythology - Swargadwara). Swargadwara means direct gateway to Heaven. Here, there is a Burning Ghat for Hindus. Swarga means Heaven and Dwara means gate.

One of the four cardinal institutions established by Adi Shankaracharya - Puri matha

Ratha Jatra.

Gateway to famous Sun temple (from Puri 36 km.) at Konark from Konark towards north "Kuruma" is the location of a famous Buddhist place. It is possible to walk along the beach from Puri all the way to Konark (or Konarak the name it is also known by) in order to see the Konark Sun Temple.

Bada Thakura (Lord Jagannath), Bada Danda (Grand Road), Bada Deula (Jagannath temple), Bada Raja (King of puri), Maha Prasada (cooked food from the temple), Maha Dipa (oil candel) etc. are notable persons and things in Puri.

Tota Gopinatha mandira, Alharanatha mandir at Bramhagiri.

Jayadeba, the famous Oriya poet who has written "Gita Gobinda" in Sanskrit was born in Kenduli Sasan on the outskirts of Puri.

Sakhigopala otherwise known as Satyabadi is a very significant religious place and tourist destination of Puri district. Utkalamani Gopabandhu Dasa with his four friends set up Bakula Bana Bidyalaya here, an open air school which played pivotal role in building character of students. Also immensely contributed to the freedom struggle of India.

Tourism

Puri has a very long, broad sand beach. The sea produces very big waves here. It attracts many national and international tourists because of its beautiful long beach and world famous Jagannath Temple. The place to start a pilgrimage is here and Puri is a pilgrim's destination too. There are many ashrams and sacred temples in Puri.

Nearby Tourist Spots

* Sri Yukteswar Samadhi Temple, Karar Ashram
* Konark, Sun Temple
* Chandrabagha
* RamaChandi
* Beleswar
* Chilika
* Bhubaneswar
* Gopalpur Beach
* Kenduli Sasan
* Sakhigopala

See Also Culture and Tradition of Puri
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    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puri
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