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A heaven on earth is the common description of Puri. Both the devout and the pleasure-seeker bestow such praise on the place. The world's biggest Vishnu temple dividing the skyline through a host of smaller temples overlooking Puri's wide, sprawling, clean, sunny, buoyant, and vibrant beach, which too is one of world's finest of its kind are its chief attractions.
Places of interest in Puri:-
The Temple of Lord Jagannath built during the 12th century A.D. by Chodaganga Deva dominates the landscape for kilometers around. Being the tallest temple (65 metres) in Orissa, it is one of the most magnificent pieces of monuments of India. In front of the main gate stands a 16 sided monolithic pillar (11 metres high), called Aruna Stambha which formally stood in front of the Sun Temple and was brought to Puri during the 18th century A.D.
Some of the other important temples are Gundicha, Lokanath, Sunaragauranga, Daria Mahabir and Tota Gopinatt. There are also a number of holy tanks like Narendra, Markandeya, Sweta Ganga and Indradyumna. There are many Monasteries locally known as Mathas also of touristic interest.
Approach :- By air to Bhubaneswar (Puri is 62 km from Bhubaneswar), road and rail.
Excursions in Puri:-
Balighai (8 km)*
The Casuarina fringed Balighai beach is a famous picnic spot. The Sun and fun at the mouth of the river Nuanai is unforgettable.
Brahmagiri (25 km)*
Brahmagiri is known for the living shrine of Alarnath. Streams of pilgrims visit Alarnath during Anabasara of Lord Jagannath. Nearby is the shrine of Baliharachandi on the solitary sand dunes.
Satyabadi (20 km)*
Satyabadi or Sakshigopal is known for the shrine of Lord Sakshigopal. It is believed that the visit to Puri is incomplete without a visit to Sakshigopal. The temple is only 2 km away from the main road leading to Puri and is convenient to visit.
Baliharachandi (27 km)*
27 km to the south-west of Puri is the temple of Baliharachandi. Situated on a sandy hill near the sea and adjacent to the mouth of the river Bhargavi, Goddess Durga is worshipped here as Baliharachandi. The scenic beauty of this place is ideal for group picnic.
Raghurajpur (16 km)*
One of the most famous artists village in Orissa, the village of Raghurajpur boasts not only of the exquisite pattachitra's and talapattachitra's, but also of being the native place of Guru kelucharan Mohapatra, the famed Odissi dancer. Even today, under the tutelage of renowned Guru's, young boys can be seen practicing the Gotipua dance here. A visit to Orissa would definitely be incomplete without a visit to this little village.