Pure Puri Orissa India

The holy city of Puri is located in the Bay of Bengal and is a coastal city in the Indian state of Orissa.

For Hindus Puri is a place of great religious importance and is one of the holiest places of pilgrimage in all of India. The city comes alive each June or July, the actual date depends on the Hindu calendar, for one of the biggest religious festivals in India.

The festival of Rath Yatra translates as the Festival of Chariots and is dedicated to the deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra who are brought out from the temple and placed in enormous chariots to parade in a procession through the streets of Puri.

The celebration of Rath Yatra commemorates Krishna’s journey from Gokul to Mathura. The principal chariot is 14 metres high and is transported on 16 large wheels that each two metres high, and the three chariots are pulled by upwards of four thousand devotees.

Nowadays the procession is largely symbolic, but there was a time when devotees would actually throw themselves under the huge wheels so that they could die within the sight of God.

Apart from the festival, Puri does have quite a nice, long beach, which attracts holidaymakers who are looking for a little relaxation and a quiet dip in the Bay of Bengal.

The beach too comes to life each September when the city hosts an annual Puri Beach Festival, the focus of which is the building of elaborate sand art.

As you would expect in a holy city there are numerous temples scattered around the town, but one of the most revered is the Sun Temple of Konark, which is located about 20 kilometres out of Puri.

This marvellous temple was gorgeously conceived as a colossal chariot drawn on twelve pairs of exquisite wheels by a team of seven richly-adorned horses in spirited gallops and symbolizing the Sun-god himself as if emerging from the depth of the blue expanse, the temple, of epic imagination and vastness, is the supreme realisation, through ceaseless architectural experiments, of the creative upsurge that fired the architects of Orissa since the seventh century AD.

Puri is a city which offers an intriguing mix of spirituality, historical complexity, constant cultural activities and plain old recreational facilities. It is a city which can assault all the senses, which can be at times, weird, wonderful and very relaxing; it is a city which can guarantee you a an introduction to the tremendous, and sometimes bewildering, authentic Indian experience.

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