Puri () is a city and the district headquarters of puri district, situated on the Bay of Bengal south of the state capital Bhubaneswar in the Indian state of Orissa. It is also known as Jagannath Puri after the 11th century Jagannath Temple located in the city. Puri is a holy city of the Hindus as a part of the Char Dham pilgrimages. According to Hindu teachings, a pilgrimage of the temples of India is not considered complete without a journey to Puri.
Puri is endowed with one of the best beaches for swimming in India and is therefore also a popular beach resort, especially as it is positioned geographically so that both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the beach.
File:PuriSea.jpg|Sea Beach File:PuriSunrise.jpg|Sun is rising from the sea File:PuriSunrise2.jpg|Sunrise File:PuriWave.jpg|Waves Crashing Down File:PuriWave3.jpg|Waves Crashing Down File:PuriSea2.jpg|Sea File:PuriSky.jpg|Moring Sky File:PuriSunset.jpg|Sun is setting in the city File:PuriSunset2.jpg|Sunset view from beach
Puri, the holy land of Lord Jagannath, has many names. It is mentioned in Puranas as Srikshetra, Shankhakshetra, Neel chala, Neel dri, Purusottama Dh ma, Purusottama Kshetra, Purusottama Puri and Jagannath Puri. The word "Puri" in Sanskrit means 'town', or 'city' and is cognate with polis in Greek. It is possible that Puri is a shortened name for Jagannath Puri or Purusottama Puri. In some records pertaining to the British rule, the word 'Jagannath' was used for Puri. It is the only shrine in India, where Radha, along with Lakshmi, Durga, Sati, Parvati, and Shakti abodes with Krishna, also known as Jagannath.
The Puri beach
Puri is the site of the Govardhana matha, one of the four cardinal institutions established by Adi Shankaracharya, the others being those at Sringeri, Dwaraka and Jyotirmath.
Puri is also famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, or "Festival of Chariots", when the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, are brought out of the temple, and placed in a chariot procession. This festival occurs on various dates of the Gregorian calendar, typically in the month of July.
The town is famous for its many Mathas (Monasteries of the various Hindu sects). It also houses the relics of many Hindu figures as traditionally it is seen as a holy place to die in or to be cremated. As a result, it has had a disproportionate number of widows. Like other old Hindu religious towns it has a lot of character that is difficult to be glimpsed or picked up on easily by a casual visitor.
In 1903, Sri Yukteswar established an ashram in the sea-side town of Puri, naming it "Kararashram". From two ashrams, Yukteswar taught students, and began an organization named "Sadhu Sabha." Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, founder of 64 Sri Gaudiya Maths performed the final past-times of his life in Puri.
The Rath Yatra in Puri in modern times showing the three chariots of the deities with the Temple in the background Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Jagannath.
Culture and Tradition of Puri
Puri is one of the fascinating littoral district of Orissa. The Cultural heritage of Puri with its long recorded history beginning from third century B. C till present day, The monuments and religious sanctity, way of life of the people with their rich tradition possess emphatically to be the cultural heart of Orissa. In deed Puri is considered cultural capital of Orissa. The culture here is flourished with its manifold activities.
The District has the happy conglomerate of different religions, sects and faith in course of history, Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina, Muslim, Christian, Sikh found here in the District.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, an incarnation of Lord Krishna, appeared 500 (five hundred) years ago, in the mood of a devotee to taste the sublime emotions of ecstacy by chanting the holy name of Krishna. Stalwart scholars of Puri like Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya (head priest and great Sanskrit pandit) and others followed His teachings. Even kings and ministers of His period became His disciples. One famous King, Prataparudra, became His great admirer and ardent follower.
- Traditional Fairs and Festivals
The festivals are celebrated in a calendar year relating to Lord Jagannath are:
|Car Festival (Ratha Yatra)
||for 7 days from Rama Navami
|Maha Shiva Ratri
||in all the Saiva Pithas
|Jhamu Yatra Kakatapur
||Ghorodia in Pipil Block
|Bali Harachandi Mela
||during the Raj Festival in June
|Anabasar Yatra Alaranath Pitha
|Siruli Mahavir Mela
||Panasankranti- Siruli, Sadar Block
- Other Festivals for Tourists
- Konark festival Department of Tourism Government of Orissa 1st week of December
- Konark Music & Dance Festival Konark Natya Mandap February
- Basant Utshav Parampara Raghurajpur February
- Puri Beach Festival at Puri Organised by Hotel & Restaurant Association of Orissa Bhubaneswar November
- Sriksetra Mohoshav, Puri Organised by Srikshetra Mahoshav committee April
- Gundicha Utshav at Puri Organised by Urreka, Puri June
In all the festivals Odissi folk dances from different party of the country are staged.
CULTURAL PROGRAM ON SECOND SATURDAY OF EVERY MONTH:
With the objective to encourage the young artist and to display our rich performing art form, Cultural programmee for two hours, in the evening of 2nd Saturday of each month is organized at the collector's conference Hall C (Near Sea bech Police Station) Puri by District Council of culture. The majestic Odissi dance, the lucid Odissi Song and enchanting folk dances are staged in this programmes.
Puri is also famous for its 'Sahi Jatras' which represent the spirit of 'Sahis' (Sahi: Geographical barriers based on occupation) Every year, strong young men dresees as mythological characters like Ravaan, Durga Madhab, Naga Sanyassi go around the town after seeking blessings from the Shri Jagannath Temple.
The important monuments of the District are:
- Jagannath Temple, Puri
- Gundicha Temple, Puri
- Shyamakali Temple, Puri
- Siddha Mahavir Temple, Puri
- Swetaganga Tank, Puri
- Lokonath Temple, Puri
- Jambeswar temple, Puri
- Karar Ashram, Kriyayoga Teaching & Meditation Centre, Puri
- Sapta Matruka images near Markandeswar tank Puri
- Sun Temple, Konark
- Barahi Temple, at Chourasi, in Nimapara Block.
- Mangala Temple, Kakatpur
- Sakhigopal Temple, at Sakhigopal
- Amareswar Temple, at Amareswar, Nimapara Block
- Sculpture shed at Bishnupur, Nimapara
- Gramswar Temple, Terundia, Nimapara
- Alarnath Temple, Brahmamgiri
- Baliharachandi Temple, Brahmagiri, Block
- Kunteswar Temple, Araorh, Pipil Block
- Harihar Temple, near Pipil
- Shiva Temple, Jagadalpur at Delang Block
- Tara image at Badatara, Gop
- Bayalisbati Temple, near Gop
- Mohabir Temple, Siruli Sadar Block
- Gopaljeeu Temple, Ganeswar Pur, Gop
- Nilakantheswar Temple,Dighalo,Nimapara
- Daskhina Kali Mandir, Biragovindpur,Puri
Nilachala Kutir (Swami Nigamananda Ashram), Swargdwar, Puri
The grandeur of architecture and the crafts maintop of the sculptures speak high of the cultural history of Puri District.
- Excavated Archeological Sites
The following are the Excavated archeological Sites of Puri District.
- Kurum is 80 km away from Konark. The excavation work conducted here reveal the remains at Buddhists artifacts at 10th century AD
- Manikapatana It is in Krushnaprasad block from which the remains at mediaeval period are found.
- Klkha patana on Puri-Konark Marine drive road where the remains of 15th century was found.
Anna Purna Theatre, situated at the grand road Puri, is a pioneer institution in the field of theatrical performances.
Opera is a popular mobile drama troupe is very popular in the state.
- District Museum Puri: With a view to preserve and project our rich cultural heritage, the district Museum at Puri is functioning since 1997. It is one of the branch museum of Orissa state museum and managed by Govt of Orissa. Different veshas of Lord Jagannath, Sculptures of various Kinds, Patta paintings palm leaf paintings, Handicrafts of numerous varieties are displayed in this museum. It is located at the Station Road, Puri-2. There is no entry fee for visiting this museum.
- Another handicraft museum is situated at Batagaon, 5 km from Puri on Puri Bhubaneswar road. It is managed by a Co-operative Society.
- A museum has been established inside the Jagannath Temple which showcases history of Jagannath Temple as well as the epics such as Mahabharata and Ramayana.
- District library: The district library of Puri is situated at station road and having more than 15000 books daily newspapers and magazines are brought to this library regularly. It is managed by dept of culture, Govt of Orissa. Anyone interested can read in this library. There is no lending facilities.
- Panchasakha memorial hall library, Sakhigopal: This library is also managed by the department of culture, Orissa. It has more than 4000 books at its stock. Monday is the weekly holidays.
To extend library activities in rural areas, registered libraries functioning at different parts of the district are encouraged with various distance from Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation Calcutta through State Govt.
Places of interest
- Puri is considered a holy place of pilgrimage in India.
- The beautiful sea beach with its unique and fantastic views of sunsets and sunrises.
- The world famous Jagannath Temple (Bada Deula).
'''Hare Krishna Movement''', Puri originally started by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years back & inspired by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, preaching the sublime method of purifying heart & soul by chanting the Lord Krishna's (Jagannath) holy name.
- The gateway to heaven (as per Hindu mythology Swargadwara). Swargadwara means direct gateway to Heaven. Here, there is a Burning Ghat for Hindus. Swarga means Heaven and Dwara means gate.
- One of the four cardinal institutions established by Adi Shankaracharya Puri matha
- Ratha Jatra.
- Gateway to famous Sun temple (from Puri 36 km.) at Konark from Konark towards north "Kuruma" is the location of a famous Buddhist place. It is possible to walk along the beach from Puri all the way to Konark (or Konarak the name it is also known by) in order to see the Konark Sun Temple.
- Bada Thakura(Lord Jagannath), Bada Danda(Grand Road), Bada Deula(Jagannath temple), Bada Raja(King of puri), Maha Prasada(cooked food from the temple), Maha Dipa(oil candel) etc. are notable persons and things in Puri.
- Tota Gopinatha mandira, Alharanatha mandir at Bramhagiri.
- Jayadeba, the famous Oriya poet who has written "Gita Gobinda" in Sanskrit was born in Kenduli Sasan on the outskirts of Puri.
- Sakhigopala otherwise known as Satyabadi is a very significant religious place and tourist destination of Puri district. Utkalamani Gopabandhu Dasa with his four friends set up Bakula Bana Bidyalaya here, an open air school which played pivotal role in building character of students. Also immensely contributed to the freedom struggle of India.
Puri is located at . It has an average elevation of 0 metres (0 feet).
India census, Puri had a population of 2,01,026. Males- 104,267, females- 96,759, children under 6 years of age- 17,000. The sex ratio is 928. Puri has an literacy rate of 89.38.
Puri has a very long, broad sand beach. The sea produces very big waves here. It attracts many national and international tourists because of its beautiful long beach and world famous Jagannath Temple The place to start a pilgrimage is here and Puri is a pilgrim's destination too. There are many ashrams and sacred temples in Puri.
Nearby Tourist Spots
Prominent Educational Institutions
- SCS(A) College
- Govt Women's College
- Surajmal Saha College
- Puri Col
- Gopabandhu Ayurvedic Medical College
- Ghanashyam Hemlata Institute of Tech and Mgt
- G M Law College
- College of Pharmaceutical Sciences
- IMT Pharmacy College
- Sreejagannath Sanskrit University
- Sadashiv Sanktrit (Deemed) University
Besides these, Puri has many old schools and other professional institutes to cater to the educational needs of the students in and around Puri.
- District Headquarters Hospital, Grand Road
- T.B. & I.D. Hospital, Redcross Road
- Gopabandhu Ayurvedic Hospital, VIP Road, near police line square.
- Municipality Dispensary, Dolabedi, Laxmi Bazar.
- Chandan Hajuri Paediatric Hospital, Subhas Bose Square
- Municipality Hospital, Swargadwar.
- Kamaladevi Maternity Centre, Station road.
- Sri Jagannath Sebayata Hospital, Western Gate.
- Homoeopathic Filaria Research Institute, Labanikhia Chhak
- Puri Urban Leprosy Project, Chakra Tirtha Road
- Police Hospital, Police Line
Besides these there are many Pvt. Nursing homes spread across the city.
Current MLA from Puri Assembly Constituency is Maheswar Mohanty of BJD, who won the seat in State elections in 2009. He won this seat for BJD in 2000 and 2004 and representing JD in 1995. Other previous MLAs from this seat were Braja Kishor Tripathy who won this seat representing JD in 1990, representing JNP in 1985 and 1977, Gadadhar Mishra of INC(I) in 1980.Mr Uma Ballav Rath also became the MLA in 1991 in a Bi election as a JD candidate.
Puri is part of Puri (Lok Sabha constituency).
current M.P of puri is pinaki mishra.
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