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Puri

Puri being a coastal district of Orissa , is famous for its Historic antiquities ,Religious sanctuaries , Architectural Grandeur , Sea-scape beauty,moderate climate.It holds a wealth of attraction for the visitors. It boasts of a continuous history from the 3rd Century B.C. to the present day and its unique monuments like those of Lord Jagannath at Puri , the Sun God at Konark are the famous in the world. It has the Chilika lake , one of the largest  brackish water lakes in India, that holds a picturesque Sea-Scape  beauty. It offers an ideal resort for birds who migrate from different parts of the continent . By virtue of Geographical location , the climate of Puri is equable through out the year.

Puri the abode of Vishnu as Jagannath which contributed the word " Juggernaut"   to the English language, represents its integrated individuality as its cultural heritage , a unique blend of claims of time and eternity with a power answerable only to wisdom . Puri's compendious heritage has been representing that spark of immortality that the Oriyas and the Indians have own against the powers of negation , through a spirit of university , adaptability , and an astute mixture of the present which no other culture can aspire to explain as its self justification. The name of the Lord as Purusottama (perfection personified) or as Jagannath (Lord of Universe) represents a universality in true with the familiar faternity of mankind (Vasudheiva Kutumbakam).  Adi Shankaracharya visited Puri , set up the Gobardhan matha (monastery) as the exception from his other three mathas as a vaishnavite, defined Jagannath as the Supreme one. It is thus not only one of the four Dhams (Holy Places) for Hindus but  the most pious   and sacred place.

Various sectarian head visited Puri on piligrimage , setup his own monastery for continued serve to Lord Jagannath and returned .
                  
Spiritually mollified - The list includes Kabir and the "Torani' of Kabirchaura nayak the founder of Shikhism , visited Puri and gained entrance into the temple by performing a miraculous feat of showing the trinity reflected on his palms . He setup the bauli and Mangi mathas which still attract the Shikhs from the worldover . Sankar Deva of Assam had followed the same path . Other religious heads and dignifiers like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Rai Ramananda , Jayadeva, Gorakhanath, the father of Nath, cult of religious  icoloclasm   supposed by visited Puri. Saint Totapuri  a vedant teacher of Ramakrishna has also visited puri.

Bhakti Krishnatirtha and Muquaddam Jahanies visited Puri . The latters synthesized "Pir" concept at konark bears testimony . Sridhar Swami , SadhuSundar Das and the devote ma   visited Puri for fulfilment of their spiritual Craze.
                
The Quintessential characteristic of its culture and philosophy has made it from Pan-Indian to Pan-Continental. The Car-Festicval of Shri Lord Jagannath now not limited to Puri or Orissa rather it is celebrated in global scale , the reverberation echos of which are heard from Los Angeles to Piccadily  from Heidelberg to Tokyo.
                
The Jagannath culture is not only pre-dominated in Puri but it is global. Its Universal affirmation is secular defusion of such an  attitude is futuristic. It calls for unity in diversity is an age of diverse perversity. The consecration of all the empire by Gajapati of Puri .Kapilendra Deva to Lord Jagannath , the lord emerging as "istadeva " and "Rastradevata" and rolled down the centuries as the crest of nationalism which found Madhusudan Das (the eminent barister of British era )in 1928 to cryout 'serve us, Lord Jagannath'. The dazzle of Kohi-noor, originally gifted to Lord Jagannath , the Hum of devotional "Janana"(non-bhajan), the cries of  Chandan Hajuri (the chief warier of Maharani Laxmibai) and 'the Mahaprasad brotherhood'  have been unifying forces and symbols of national unity .
   
The evolution of Odissi Dance and music out of the Devadasi-institution still enchants all with its  mystic rhythm. The Orissan school of architecture emerging from here is a poetry frozen in stone.
The Patta-paintings and applique work are a craze in the west ,particularly in U.S.A. of today . The Shell-craft of Puri have a major appeal.
            
It is thus here at puri that the pattern of a Pan-Indian ,(nay, global) culture of tomorrow is on the anvil . People are individual atoms ever contributing their  properties to the "matter" of Jagannath Dharma without conciousness of mutual distinctions . Puri belongs to humanity , the seat  of an eternal education , the bridge that gulfs the past and the future and the blending of diverse impulses for a single embodiment in the march of all fulfilling time .
Temples and sanctuaries , beaches and glorious lakes, colorful ,vibrant and the numerous festivals for every reason and for every season that can take on a"Jagannath-like  momentum" .
                                                
Puri has then all and much more for all.
               
Excellently connected by air, rail,and road , Puri invites you   to its hospitable environs and promises you an experience you will never forget .When others talk of taking you down memory lane .
Puri will take you back to your ancient linkages . When others talk of romancing  with the stones, her ancient architects and sculptors will show you what it really means ,

HISTORY    
                                                           
PRE-HISTORY  

Like many other parts of Orissa , in the Puri District , river gravels and slits may be included among the various Pleistone formations. But no formationof this period has so far yielded any type of pre-historic stone tool though they are found in a large number from similar formations  (river gravels,secondary laterite pits and murrams) in the districts of Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj,  Keonjhar and Sundargarh. So whatever information we have regarding the pre-historic cultures of this districts are mainly derived from different types of stone tools collected from the surface.
                                                          
ORIGIN OF THE NAME  

The District has been named after its head quartes town, Puri.According to Cunningham the ancient name of   this town was Charitra mentioned by the Chinese piligrim Hiuen Tsang as Che-li-ta-lo. But the restoration of the word Che-li-ta-lo as  Charitra and its identification with the town of Puri are open to doubt. The importance of the town as a seat of Vaisnavism increased when Chodaganga Deva constructed the temple of Purusottama Jagannath and installed the images of the deities. Thereafter , it became famous as the abode of Purusottama and was popularly called purusottama Kshetra.

In the drama Anargharaghava Natakam attributed to cir.9th century A.D. we find the name Purusottama applied  to this town . In the Nagari Plate of Anangabhima III of the Saka year 1151-52 i.e., 1229-30 A.D. , the place is called Purusottama  Kshetra . This name in the form of Purusottama  Chhatar or only in the form Chhatar was used by the Mughal , the Maratha as well as the early British  rulers in their official records . even in Yoginitantra and Kalikapurana the city is reffered to as Purusottam . Puri region was also known as  Utkal.
The name Purusottama Kshetra was also for sometimes known as purusottama Puri and as the word Purusottama  Kshetra was contracted into Kshetra or Chhatra so also Purusottama  Puri was expressed in the contracted form Puri . Infact , in many   early British records this town is known by the name Pooree. In modern times Puri has become the most popular of all the other names of this town.                                               

Important Places

JAGANNATH TEMPLE

SEA BEACH 
        
The  golden beach of Puri is one of the best in the country for Sun, Surf and Sand.  The beach area has been a popular  seaside resort for decades, and some of the old hotels  capture the charm of bygone days.    For this shining beach, Puri has got its dual importance of a relaxed seaside resort and of an important pilgrimage centre.   A stroll along the beach or a   much  desired bath here in the sea is very much refreshing.

The  beach  goes  festive on occasions  like
"Kartik Purnima"  i.e.   the full moon day of the  lunar month of  Kartik  when Hindus gather here in the  early morning to take a holy deep and pray sea God.  The five
days long  Beach Festival in the months of February  i now very popular in the Festival calender
 
Beach clothes are appropriate for this sea side resort.

SUN TEMPLE

CHANDRA BHAGA

At about 3 kms from the Sun Temple at
Konark is the Chandrabhaga beach. The strong currents do not make it either safe or easy for swimming. But the picturesque view of the sunrise and sunset at this place is enchanting.

According to a myth, the Sun God is believed to have sought a beautiful sea-maiden named Chandrabhaga. After chasing her up to this point, she is said to have disappeared into the sea. A river by the same name Chandrabhaga is supposed to have existed just 3 kms away from the temple where (as another legend goes), Shamba, the son of Lord Krishna prayed to the Sun God for 12 years to be cured of leprosy.

In memory of Shamba’s successful penance, the Chandrabhaga Mela (festival) is held every year. During the full-moon phase in the month of Magha, the festival

CHILIKA LAKE   

NESTING in the heart of Coastal District Puri, Asia's largest & biggest inland Brackish water lake, Chilika, streching across the length of the three districts of Puri, Khurdha& Ganjam ,itjoins up with the Bay of Bengal through a narrow mouth ,forming an enormous lagoon of brackish water .Spread over an area of 1,100 sq. km it was declared a sanctuary in 1987. Dotted with many emerald green islands with colorful names such as honeymoon islands and Breakfast island ,Chilika is home to a rich variety of aquatic fauna .It is also a sanctuary and winter resort for migratory birds like a bird watcher's paradise. Sun rise and Sun set are memorable experiences here.  Winter is the loveliest time at Chilika ,with thousands of migratory birds flying in from as far as Siberia to make their winter sojourn in strange waters . The water come alive with their raucous cries and colorful plumage as the birds battle to find space to make their new homes . While the lake's Nalabana island has been declared a sanctuary for its varied flora and fauna , Kalijai island is home to Goddess Kalijai and the venue for annual Makar Mela .

Boating and fishing facilities are available in this lake containing a large variety of fish.The lake provides a livelihood to thousands of fishermen . Chital and Black buck roam freely on the scrubby shores while Dolphins gambol playfully in the foam of the churning waters at Chilika mouth near Satapara .For crushing and visiting the islands , one can make use of the motor launches of the OTDC at Barakul and Rambha , and the revenue department at Balugaon. Private boats are also available here. OTDC organises water sports in Chilika at the Water sports complex , located at Barakul .  Hundreds of boats sail out daily on the lake's blue expanse in search of mackerel , Prawn Crabs, the sight providing an insight into the pageant of rural India at its colorful best.

Encircled by Hills all along its arched shape, Chilika Lake's colorful changes with passing clouds overhead and the shifting sun. The water ripples languidly , occasionally rippling with a gentle breeze across from the Bay of Bengal .

SATAPADA  :- Satapara , a retreat in nature on Chilika lake,is poened up to the tourists . For its location near the confluence of the lake with the ocean and proximity to puri(48km), it is an ideal spot to enjoy Chilika . The thrilling sight of dolphins round the year and abundance of migratory and resident birds in winter make it a preffered place for a vacation with nature.
 BALIGHAI :  It is 10 K.M. from Puri in marine drive in Puri-Konark Road. Beautiful isoleted beach , attractive for tourist.

BALIHARACHANDI

At about 20 kms from Puri, on sand dunes near the confluence of the expanded sea and calm River Bhargavi is situated the temple of Baliharchandi. The place derives its name from ‘Baliharchandi’-the revered goddess who is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga.

This place is most often the first choice for a picnic or pleasure trip. The solitude that the place enjoys along with the visual enchantments is a haven for lovers of nature. The wild flora and fauna around this place are often the subject of study for young students with a scientific bent of mind. Take care not to wander away into the unknown without the help of local people as quicksand pervades the area.

If religious sanctity alongwith scenic beauty is what you are looking for,

BELESWAR :-
20 K.M. from Puri in Puri-Konark road lies th famous Lord Shiva Temple . It is near the sea beach, a beautiful picnic spot.

BRAMHAGIRI :-

20 K.M. from Puri towards Satapada is the Bramhagiri bazar. It is famous for Lord Alarnath the god of Vishnu. Legent says Lord Jagannath stays in Alarnath during the ANASARA (suffering from fever) period before car festival every year.
                 
PIPLI :-
Applique in Orissa is an old temple art , which has been refined to perfection. A fine example of the craft is the enormous applique canopies above the reigning deity of Puri , Lord Jagannath . Applique art is the process of cutting coloured cloth into shapes of animals , birds, flowers, leaves and other decorative motifs and stitching them on to a piece of cloth that can ultimately be used as a lamp shade , a hand bag or even a garden umbrella . The village of Pipli , 40 kms. from Puri , is the site of beautiful applique work, created by artists, quite a few of whom have won national awards for their crafts.  
                 
RAGHURAJPUR :- The artists' village of Raghurajpur , 16 km from Puri , is famous for its Pattachitras created by traditional chitrakaras , who have for centuries , also churned out palm-leaf etchings with exquisite detail . Quite a few of the craftsmen are winners of national awards.
                 
SAKSHIGOPAL  :-Sakhigopal is 20 km from puri is famous for Radha Krushna temple . It is also famous for Satyabadi bana vidyalaya and bakulabana.

Bramhagiri : It is situated at the distance of 25 kms from Puri. It is famous for Alarnath Temple.

Bali Harchandi : It is situated at the distance of 37 kms from Puri.It is famous for goddess Harchandi.

Kuruma : It is situated at a distance of 8 kms from north-east of Konark. This place is famous for Buddhist Monastry(Boudh Bihar) and there are the images of Buddha, Heruka, Avalokiteswar and Trivikaram Visnu.

Ramchandi : It is situated at the distance of 5 km. from Konark.It is a beautiful picnic spot and is famous for the Goddess Ramchandi temple.

Satapara :
Satapara is situated at a distance of 50kms on Puri-Brahmagiri road on Chilika lake coast. About 60 thousand of pilgrims visit this place to watch the natural beauty of Chilika lake.

 Astaranga : Astaranga is situated on the seabeach, 60kms away from Puri. This is a famous fishing

Kakatpur : It is at a distance of 65kms from Bhubaneswar and is famous for Goddess Mangala Temple.

Important Facts about Puri District

Area

3,051 Sq.Km.

Forest

137.10Sq.Km.

Blocks

Tahasils

Sub-
divisions

Population

14,98,604

Literacy Rate

78.40%

1. Puri sadar
2. Pipili
3. Delanga
4. Kanas
5. Nimapada
6. Kakatpur
7. Astaranga
8. Brahmagiri
9. Krushna
prasad
10. Satyabadi
11. Gop

1. Krushna
prasad
2. Nimapada
3. Pipili
4. Puri
5. Kakatpur

1. Puri

Head quarter

Puri

Vidhasabha
seats

6

Sub division

1

Villages

1,714

Blocks

11

Grama
panchayat

204

Municipality

1

Towns

4

N.A.C

3

Temperature

36.2(Max),
13.3(Min)

Tahasils

5

Rainfall

1586.1mm(Avg)

 
 
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Keonjhar | Khurda | Koraput | Malkangiri | Mauyrbhanj | Nabrangpur | Nayagarh | Nuapada | puri | Rayagarda | Sambalpur | Sonpur |
 
 

 
 
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