Bhubaneswar, July 4 (LocalWire): Jagannath Puri or Puri, situated along the Bay of Bengal in Odisha is one of the four holy places of India.
It also happens to be one of the most popular beach destinations in the eastern part of the country.
Thronged by pilgrims and beach loving tourists in equal numbers, Puri is a place that has a unique blend of both religious significance and the beauty of the beach.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you should visit Puri.
1 Rath Yatra or the chariot festival
One of the most awaited festivals in Odisha as well as in India, Jagannath Rath Yatra is an annual event, which is celebrated in the month of June or July.
It is dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna), his sister Goddess Subhadra and his elder brother Lord Balabhadra.
2 Jagannath Temple
The Shree Jagannath Puri temple is one of the most impressive monuments in the state and is dedicated to Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe and an incarnation of Vishnu. It has one of the world’s largest kitchens.
3 Puri Beach
It is one of the most famous beaches along the Bay of Bengal offering clean sand and roaring seas with the main attraction being the stunning sunrise and sunset scenes.
Puri Beach also has religious importance as devotees come here to take a dip after visiting the revered Jagannath Temple nearby.
4 Raghurajpur Artist Village
It is a village of artisans engaged in various handicrafts where every house itself is a piece of art.
The village has nearly 120 houses that give an insight into the rich heritage of Odisha and provides visitors an opportunity to see the artisans at work.
This is another place for local handicrafts including idols of gods, animals, birds, flowers, leaves, rounds, and triangles.
6 Kanchi Ganesha Temple
Puri, one of the original chaar dham’s or four holy places of the Hindus, is mainly famous for its Jagannath temple.
However, inside the main temple complex is the Kanchi Ganesha Temple. The temple gets its name from the King of Kanchi, who gifted the idol of Lord Ganesha.
7 Nalabana Bird Sanctuary
Nalbana was proclaimed in 1987 and was designated a bird sanctuary in 1973 under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Nalbana in Odia language means a weed-covered island. It is an island with a vast area of 15.53 km sq.
8 Sakshigopal Temple
One of the most sacred temples of Puri, the Sakshi Gopal Temple is located on Bhubaneshwar Highway and is constructed in the Kalinga style.
9 Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary
Twenty-six kilometers from Puri, the Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.
Spread over an area of 72 km square, the wildlife sanctuary is located between Puri and Konark along the Bay of Bengal. Black-buck, spotted deer, striped hyena, jungle cat Olive Ridley sea turtles are the main attractions here.
10 Baliharachandi Temple
The Baliharachandi Temple is about 27 km from Puri and is dedicated to goddess Durga.
It sits on a sandy mound just off the beach near the mouth of the Lake Chilika.
The temple faces east and is said to protect the fishermen.