One of India’s holiest pilgrimage destinations, Puri clusters around the sacred Jagannath Mandir on the Bay of Bengal. In addition to its vibrant streets and beach, Puri boasts the Heritage-listed Konark Sun Temple and the nearby handicraft village of Pipili.
Things to do in Puri
Head to the great Jagannath Mandir, one of the four most-sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus in India. While entry to the temple is limited to Hindus, everyone is welcome to admire its 11th-century Kalinga architecture and experience the buzz as pilgrims arrive to make offerings to the gods.
Stroll along the promenade overlooking the Golden Beach of Puri, which is particularly popular at sunset. Swim in the waters of the Bay of Bengal and watch locals playing cricket on the sand or visit during the annual Puri Beach Festival when spectacular sand art creations decorate the strip.
Make a day trip east to the Heritage-listed Konark Sun Temple, a 13th-century monument dedicated to the Hindu god, Surya. Overlooking the Bay of Bengal, it resembles a giant chariot and features 24 wheels elaborately carved with symbolic designs.
Want to pick up unique souvenirs? Travel north to the town of Pipili, famed for its applique handicrafts. Shop for colourful wall hangings, handbags and cushions or pick up silk and cotton textiles featuring beautiful ikat and bomkai work.
Getting around Puri
Puri is around 10 hours by train from Calcutta or just over one hour’s drive from Biju Patnaik International Airport. Cycle and auto rickshaws are available for getting around Puri or you can rent a vintage Enfield bicycle.