Puri: Epitome of religious bliss
Puri is amongst India's most visited religious sites. The town of Lord Jagannath sees pilgrims young and old flocking the temple throughout the year. The ancient temple is part of the Char Dham Pilgrimage. During June, lakhs of devotees flock to witness the world famous Rath Jatra, also known as the “Car Festival”, when the huge colourful chariots of Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra begin their annual nine day long sojourn to their maternal aunt, Goddess Gundicha Devi's temple.
Temple lovers can also visit the Gundicha, Lokanath, Sunaragauranga, Daria Mahabir and Tota Gopinath temple. Apart from temples, there are also a number of holy tanks like Narendra, Markandeya, Sweta Ganga and Indradyumna besides scores of monasteries locally known as Mathas also of touristic interest. The streets are dotted with shops selling colourful collectibles, mostly religious souvenirs. One can also buy shell crafts , pattachitras, palm leaf paintings, horn work, wood carvings etc as souvenirs.
Apart from being a religious centre, Puri is equally famous for its sunny beach and is a perfect getaway for someone looking for serenity and salvation. White waves spalshing against the golden beach makes for an awesome sight and relaxes your senses like no other. The coastline is dotted with "Nulia's" (sea guards) distinguished by their conical white caps, provides the tourist with a safety assurance while taking a dip in the blue waters of Bay of Bengal. In the evening the beach comes alive with market selling everything from combs to utensils and is dotted with numerous shacks selling fresh catch from the sea. The sunrise and sunsets needless to say are some of the most photogrpahes moments of the Puri sea beach.
The intoxicating religious frenzy of the place combined with its pristine beach has made Puri a much sought-after destination for travelers.