Puri, the religious capital of Orissa stretches at the coastline of Bay of Bengal. This is a unique combination of the exciting pleasure of sea beaches with the divine religious emotions. Most of the people who have not visited the place see it as the location ground for Puri Jagannath Temple. But, there are lot more pilgrim sites in Puri other than the revered Jagannath Temple.
Here is the indicative list of pilgrimages that you must visit in Puri. As the place is always buzzing with devotees coming to join the 24 annual festivals, it is recommended to check Puri hotel booking price list before going into the city.
Puri Jagannath Temple – Everybody knows the name but it is worth mentioning repeatedly because the Jagganath Temple is one of the four abodes of Hinduism. The centuries-old temple has its direct influence on each aspect of the people residing in the city. It holds a unique position in the world as there’s no religious institution holding a whole city within its boundary. There are at least 6,000 people employed directly in the temple which feeds a minimum of 10,000 people daily.
Gundicha Temple – About 3Km northeast to the Jagannath Temple stands the divine Gundicha Temple. During the Ratha-Yatra festival, Lord Jagannath visits the Gundicha Temple and stays there for a week. Except for these few days, the temple is considered unoccupied though there are some people appointed to maintain the temple the whole year. Non-Hindus are allowed to enter the premise and stroll in the beautiful garden but they are not permitted to enter the main temple building.
SakhigopalSatyabadi – This famous Lord Krishna’s Shrine is situated at a distance of 17Km from Puri. The temple looks like a miniature of the Puri Jagannath Temple. This was one of the important educational centres during the 19th and 20th century.
Kapalmochana Temple – The Kapalmochana Temple also known as the Manikarnika Temple is the famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated in the south-western direction from the Jagannath Temple. It is famous as Manikarnika because of the sacred Manikarnika pool in its premises.
Dashavatar Temple – This is a ruined temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The name indicates to the ten incarnations of the Lord. It is said that the famous poet Jayadeva stayed in this temple and composed his poetic book GeetGovindam after being inspired from the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
Nilkantheshwar Temple – As the name suggests this is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is one among the five prominent Shiva Shrines of Puri. It is believed that Lord Shiva is the guardian of Puri who saves the city from any danger. Therefore, there are 8 Shiva temples in the 8 directions of the city guarding it against all sides.
Jameshwara Temple – The Jameshwara Temple is a Shiva temple from the 11th century. This temple is situated at the extreme end of a street called Harichandi Street. The Jameshwara Shiva is believed to be a protector from Yama, the Lord of Death.
Loknath Temple – This Shiva temple is situated at the western end of Puri. It is believed that the Shiva Lingam in this temple was established by Lord Rama himself. It is a common belief among the devotees that diseases can be cured with the grace of Loknath Shiva. A stream of water flows through the Lingam which keeps it immersed. All the offerings to the Lingam remain decomposed in this stream of water which is taken as prashadam to heal diseases.
Swargdwar – It is a beach in Puri that is considered sacred and divine. According to the beliefs, a great devotee attained moksha and went directly to the heavens through a door that opened at a particular place near the beach. People still dip there with a belief that a door to heaven will open.
No one should miss these pilgrim sites while visiting Puri, the land of temples.