PURI---A Coastal town in the State of Orissa in India is having a Religious and Historical Value to the Hindus in Particular and Indians in General.
Being on the Coast of Bay of Bengal People at large and Eastern Indians in Particular visit this place very often.Its a Favourite Tourist Destination for Middle Class segment of People.
Famous for its Shree Jagannath Temple which is dedicated to Lord Jagannath , A Form of Lord Vishnu, the temple was Constructed in between 11th and 12th Century by the Rulers of Eastern Ganga Dynasty and is one of the Four Great Temples or Chardhams as per Hindu Religion.
Surrounding the History and Rituals of this Temple the Society and Culture of Puri and Orissa developed and is still being Practiced religiously. The place is also famous for its Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival and Millions of people and devotees visit this place in June-July for being a Part of this Hindu Ritual.
Though Puri is famous for the Temple but People flock to this place for other Activities like Enjoying the Golden Beach ,Bathing in the Sea, Tasting its sweet Dishes which Orissa as a whole is famous for.
In its vicinity there are lot of Tourist Attractions to visit like Historical Sun Temple in Konarak, the Second Largest Coastal Lagoon in the World, Chilika, Japanese Peace Pagoda and Ashokan era Relics in Dhauli and the List Continues.
Though my visit to Puri this time was not the First time but since the place is an overnight Journey from Kolkata and is one of the easiest place to visit I along with my Family opted for a short trip to Puri…We Travelled by an AC Coach from Kolkata at around 9 PM and reached in the early Hours to the Bus stand of Puri…Thereafter we took an Auto Rickshaw ,another 20 Minutes Drive to the Hotel on the Beach where we had a Prior Booking.
After reaching our Hotel we straight away went to the Beach and enjoyed the early Morning Breeze and saw the Beauty of the Sun with its reflection on the Water…Fishermen were returning with their Catches of variety of Fish as they generally take their Boats to the Interiors of the sea in the Night and return with their Catch to sell it to the local Salesmen/saleswomen…A Regular activity for these people and is a Hardship nobody reckons it.
We decided to visit the Temple first and took a Temple Guide to take us around…It was very interesting to know the History of the Temple as well as the Local Culture which has evolved out of this place. Once the Visit got over we went to a Famous Veg Restaurant opposite of the Temple which is run by the family of the Ruler of Puri. The Ruler of Puri because of his Role in the Jagannath Culture and Temple is still being regarded officially as a Ruler or Raja of the Place even though the concept of Rulership is no longer valid in the Democratic setup of present Day India.
We wanted to visit some of the Offbeat places in and around and thus next Day Morning at around Six we took an Auto Rickshaw and travelled to the Mohona or a place where one of the River meets the Ocean…It was a Very Good Experience and since lot of people do not know about this place, the place was still clean and away from the Madding Crowd.
On the Third Day we took a Cab and went to a Village around 30 Kms from Puri which is again famous as an artists Village and we saw how each and every person of that Village are involved in the Local Craft known as Patachitra making….They work on a Leaf of a Tree and those are historical evidences of Religious Writings from traditional Days…From their we straight away drove down to Chandrabhaga Beach and Konark sun Temple…Enjoyed the Evening inside the Architectural beauty of the Temple Premise where never ever any Temple activity or Commonly called Puja has ever happened even though it was constructed as a Temple in honor of the Sun Goddess as per Hindu Traditions.
Next Day after relaxing on the Beach and bathing in the Sea we took the same Coach and returned to our Home after an overnight Journey.
It was a very short and enjoyable trip for me and my Family and will cherish forever.