The Odia state-Puri symbolizes the very essence of Hinduism. It is here that the journey of Char Dham (four sacred Hindu places in India) starts. And the world-famous festival of Rath Yatra attracts many visitors. The locals are helpful but are careful that they don’t cheat you regarding prices.
How to go
Direct flights from Delhi airport to Bhubaneswar take you to Odisha’s capital city. Take a train from Bhubaneswar to Puri. The journey is short and the railway officials are helpful with foreigners. Many hotels are in proximity with the Puri railway station. Do not believe in exorbitant prices the taxi drivers say. But wait in the auto stand, where you get a coupon for a taxi with the fixed price. It is a reasonable and comfortable way of getting around.
When to go
Summers are torturous. The heat and humidity become incredibly high. Do not visit in the months of April, May, and June. Visit during October- December. It is the peak tourist time, and the hotels seldom have empty rooms. Book online at MakeMyTrip, cleartrip or yatra. These websites also offer tour packages to Puri at dream prices. If you want a quiet holiday, then February and March are months to savor the serene beauty of Puri Beach.
Things to do
Most of the hotels are at a close distance to the beach. Just 5-10 minutes of walk and you will reach the beach. The entrance or the main beach is swargadwara, which remains crowded. It is better to get around and enter the beach from the side of the Mayfair resorts. These side of the beach is quiet and you can relax well. You can see the fishermen setting out towards the sea early in the morning. And if you want you can sit on a camel, but let me warn you it is uncomfortable.
The sunset at the beach is not as much fun because you do not really see the sun dipping below the horizon in the west. That time is best for bathing in the sea because the waves are smaller. The best time to watch the sun in all its glory is sunrise, it rises above the sea level looking like a ball of fire.
The Jagannath temple is famous across the world for Lord Jagannath. If you are one of the devotees or want to see the craze then, visit during the Rath Yatra. It takes place every year during June- July. Huge chariots made out of sandalwood, carry the three Gods- Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra from one temple to other. On other days also you can visit the temple, but for foreigners, there is no entry inside the temple. Racist, yet true.
The Puri to Konark Marine drive road is got to be one of the most beautiful roads in the word. How many times do you get the chance of driving alongside the sea water? It is not just the coastline which makes it pretty but also the greenery.
The marine Drive leads to the famous Konark Temple, which has historic significance. It is 13TH Century specimen of the Odishan art and architecture. And it is next to impossible to remake this masterpiece. The design of the temple resembles that of the chariot of the Sun God- Surya. It is 100 ft tall with 24 wheels around the structure. There is renovation work going on here to save the structure from collapsing.
While returning from the Konark temple there are many places to see, one is the Lotus Eco Resort. You can just sit by the water, and feel the balmy breeze and have your share of seafood. Near the resort are places where you can do water zorbing on the river.
If none of these, interest you just stop by at the Chandrabhaga beach which is the best place to watch the sunset.
What to wear
Puri is a place which gets humid even during winter. And the Konark temple- is the temple of the sun god. The sun shines directly above the temple. So dress as if you are in the tropic, which you will be indeed.
Loose t-shirts and skirts are the best options for girls. If you are heading to the temple though, you need to cover your knees and arms. Men can wear anything that is comfortable to them. Cotton is my fabric of choice when I visit Puri.
The local dialect is Katkia, which is a form of the state language Odia. You do not have to know it in order to interact. English and Hindi are equally handy. Still, if you are planning on visiting Puri and want to learn a few phrases then
“ Beach ku rasta kuade ?”, which means “ where is the way to the beach?”
“ Hotel X kauthi achi?” which means “ Where is the hotel X?”
“ Tama naa kana?” means “ What is your name?”
If you want to know any other sentence too, just leave a comment below, we will be happy to help.
Rupees is the currency of India. And Odisha also functions with the same currency. There are many ATMs and the hotels also do card payments. Do not keep excessive cash with you, because you can get mugged in this crowded beach rendezvous.
Mostly all the hotels provide Wi-Fi. It is mandatory for them to share the password with you. Internet connection will not be a problem.
Puri is a holy city. If you are here just to have fun at the beach then opt to stay a bit outside of the city. The culture here does not permit for you to practice debauchery. People here generally eat paan or the beetle leaf. So do not be surprised to see red mouth around.
Pomphret or the fried prawns are the seafood you get on the beach. And it is a delicious experience to sit on the beach and eat. Dahi Bara is another local cuisine you got to try, it is healthy dipped in yogurt and sprinkled with onions. My favorite part of visiting Puri is the seafood, you get to at crabs, prawns – which you do not get in other places. And above all it is fresh.
There are autos all around the city which will drop you from one desired location to other. There are also rental bike services in Puri – but there are only a few. So book way before time, and do it online if you want to drive on the Marine Drive Road.
Puri is not a place where you stay for days. It is a weekend getaway. The trip cost varies depending on your activities and the type of transportation you use. Cabs cost more than autos and zorbing costs more than just sitting around on the beach, and seaside prawns cost less than ones in Lotus Resort. Still, 5000 Rupees is enough to get you through a Puri weekend.
How many days to travel
As mentioned earlier, it is a place for a weekend. But if you want to stay longer and look into the local life and custom you can stay longer.
Near the beaches, you find congested roads. They are narrow. And drivers here flirt with death. But the Puri Marine Drive road is a broad road meant for a happy road trip.
How safe is
Puri is as safe as India gets. It gets crowded all the year round. So, pickpocketing can happen anytime. You need to be on alert. That is why do not take much cash around. Other than that, you can wander around without a single care in the world. It is most visited place by International tourists in the state.
December 27, 2017 10:14 am
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