An integral part of India’s legacy and heritage (dharohar) are its cities, towns, and villages. History awaits at every corner of India, whether it’s a lost legend, a well-preserved palace, or a village bazaar. Through our ‘Dharohar’ section we bring to you some of India’s treasured places.

This month we showcase Puri, a coastal city and a municipality in the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is situated on the Bay of Bengal, about 35 miles south of Bhubaneshwar. Completing the golden triangle of Odisha along with Konark and Bhubaneshwar, Puri is a large depository of art and architecture of India.

In the month of July, Puri gets ready for Puri Ratha Yatra. Puri’s Rath Yatra is a symbol of unity, brotherhood, and peace. Thousands of devotees travel from all over the country to participate in this yatra and get good fortune by pulling the Lord’s chariot. It is stated that anyone who takes part in the Rath Yatra would be blessed with pleasure and riches.

Puri has a myriad of tourist attractions ranging from monuments of ancient history, breathtaking temple architecture, art & craft villages & pristine beaches that never ceases to amaze. Puri Beach is a fine coastline of Bay of Bengal with sun gleaming on the pristine waters of the beach. Located at a mere distance of 35 kms from the Sun Temple, the place is ideal for holiday makers looking for some solitude. Jagannath Temple here was built in the 11th century by King Indradyumna. This glorious temple is the abode of Lord Jagannath who is a form of Lord Vishnu. It is the most revered pilgrimage site for Hindus and is included in the pious Char Dham Yatra with Badrinath, Dwarka and Rameshwaram. Another place to visit is Raghurajpur Artist Village – a heritage crafts village. Raghurajpur is famous for various art forms like palm leaf engraving, papier mache, and wood and stone carvings. Apart from shopping artifacts, one can also enjoy Gotipua folk dance performances. Another recommended place to visit is Narendra Tank. It is one of the largest tanks in Odisha. Built in the 15th century, the tank is surrounded by numerous big and small temples. Chilika lake, another tourist attraction, is the biggest inland salt-water lake. Set amidst a beautiful landscape full of lush greenery, the Chilika lake also has a beautiful island laden with trees. One can enjoy the beauty of the flocks of flying migratory birds during the winter season. Apart from bird watching, this lake is also famous for boating, fishing, and many other things.

Puri has great connectivity by air, road and rail. By Air, Biju Patnaik airport at Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport, which is nearly 56 km from the heart of the Puri city. Puri is a major railway junction. Regular direct train services are available from many cities in India, including Bhubaneswar, New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. Puri is well-connected with the neighboring cities through well-constructed roads as well.

Ideal for family vacations and spiritual pilgrimage, Puri is a city bestowed with a bounty of ancient temples, beautiful beaches, historical places, and cultural villages and towns. It’s one of the few destinations where one can combine spiritual salvation with fun & adventure.