|Puri is a city and capital of District Puri of Odisha. It is one of the char dhams in India. Puri is also named as Jagannath Dham, Jagannath puri, Srikhetra, Purushottama Dhama, Purushottam Kshetra, etc. However, the original name was derived from Purushottam Grama (Puri). In Sanskrit, the word ‘Puri' means city or town. Puri and temple of Lord Jagannath was invaded and looted 18 times by several kings and sultans from the period of 798 AD to 1881. British conquered Odisha in the year 1803 and it was under British Government till India's Independence. Now Puri is one among 12 heritage cities of India under the ‘Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana' Scheme.|
Puri is basically famous for the Lord Jagannath Temple and its Rathayatra. Every year more than 24 festivals were celebrated in this temple, out of which 13 are famous among them. The major festivals are Rat Yatra, Chandan Yatra, Snana Yatra, Anasara, Naba Kalebara, Suna Besha, Niladri Bije, Sahi Yatra, Samudra Arati, etc. Puri is also famous for arts and crafts like Sand Art, Appliqué art, Modern art, etc. Odissi dance is a cultural heritage of Puri. Many eminent persons like Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra (Odissi Dance Guru), Mayadhar Rout (Odissi Dance), Sonal Mansingh (Odissi Dance), Sanjukta Panigrahi (Odissi Dance), Sudarshan Patnaik (Sand Artist), etc. are belong to Puri.
Places of interest at PuriPuri is no doubt a religious place, famous for Jagannath temple and beach. However there are many other interesting places in and around Puri which are must seen while travelling here. The Pancha Tirtha of Puri (Indradyumna Pokhari, Rohini Kunda, Markandeya Kund, Swetaganga and Mahodadhi (Bay of Bengal) are most sacred bath places in Puri. Other must seen places are Gundicha Temple, Swargadwar, Beach, Puri District musesum, Raghunandan Library, etc. and nearby places are Konark Sun Temple, Satapada Dolphins in Chilika Lake, Bhubaneswar Lingaraj Temple, Dhauligiri (Buddhist Temple), Khandagiri Caves, NandanKanan Zoo, etc.
Puri is only 60km from Bhubaneswar, Capital of Odisha by road and rail. There are more than 40 daily trains and 90 weekly trains from Bhubaneswar. However, the main junction to reach Puri by train is Khurda Road Station. Malati Patapur Bus Stand of Puri is one of the largest bus terminals in India. During Naba Kalebara festival it served more than 15 lakh devotees.
- Naresh Kumar Behera