Every year, my family selects a tourist place and we visit it as a part of our summer vacation ritual of spending time together. However, travel plans around the world got delayed due to covid. So, when we got a chance to finally take a trip together in November, many of our relatives suggested that we visit Jagannath Puri.
We decided to take a flight to Bhubaneswar and rent a car in Bhubaneswar to take a scenic road trip to Puri. Puri is connected to Bhubaneswar by smooth roads. This is the most convenient way to reach Jagannath Puri.
We had a hassle-free journey as the route barely had any traffic. I was mesmerized by the view of an isolated beach that grabbed our attention while crossing the Balukhand-Konark Reserve Forest.
Our first day at Jagannath Puri
On the first day at Puri, we headed directly to the remarkable Shri Jagannath Puri temple, a very famous Hindu temple in India that is included in the Char Dham Hindu Pilgrimage. We reached the temple sharp at 7 AM as they said the darshan tickets distribution would be closed by 7:20 AM. After getting the tickets, we entered the queue, and within 1.5 hours, we were in for an amazing darshan of Lord Jagannath. The darshan was followed by a hearty breakfast of hot jalebis and kachoris outside the temple complex.
Later, we visited the famous Gundicha Char Temple, well-known by the name ‘Garden House of Jagannath’, famous for celebrating the Rath Yatra of Puri. The temple was not crowded as most of the people visit this temple during Rath Yathra.
Also, as we visited Jagannath Puri in the month of Ashwin or Karthik, we were fortunate enough to witness the famous Durga Pooja, which is one of the major festivals celebrated in Odisha. People were worshipping the idols of the goddess Durga. On the other hand, the streets and pandals were beautifully decorated.
Our second day at Jagannath Puri
After the spiritual darshan on day one, on the second day we decided to explore the beautiful beaches of Puri. We opted for a cab booking app in Puri to hire an affordable local cab with an experienced driver. We first went to Puri beach, which is located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.
The beach is well-known for its beautiful sand sculptures made by professional artist Sudarshan Patnaik. It was one peaceful beach! Later, we visited Chilika Lake, which is the largest saltwater lake. It looked like a paradise on earth and was a treat for nature lovers and bird watchers. The place also played host to beautiful flora and fauna and islands like breakfast island, bird island, and honeymoon island.
Finally, to wind up our Jagannath Puri trip, we chose a perfect place to visit, which is Sudarshan Crafts Museum, one of the famous tourist places of Odisha. It housed many artistic works of the founder, including work on stone and fibreglass, wood carvings, etc.
Overall, the Jagannath Puri trip was relaxing, and indeed a memorable experience.