Definitions

burning-ghat

Puri

[poor-ee]

Puri is a city in the east Indian state of Orissa. The city is famous for its Jagannath temple. The temple was built in the late eleventh century.

Puri is one of the oldest cities in the eastern part of the country. It is situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal and is a popular beach resort, positioned in a unique place so that both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the beach.

Name

The word "puri" in the most ancient Sanskrit language stands for 'Town or City' but, in this case, it is derived from Jagannath Puri. Another belief is that the name Puri is derived from Purushottama one of 108 Shakti Peethas, Purushottama.

It is the only shrine in India, where Goddess Radha also referred to as Durga, Sati, Parvati, Shakti abode here with Lord Krishna who is Jagannatha.

History

Puri is the site of the Govardhana matha, one of the four cardinal institutions established by Adi Shankaracharya, the others being those at Sringeri, Dwaraka and Jyotirmath.

Puri is also famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, or "Festival of Chariots", when the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, are brought out of the temple, and placed in a chariot procession. This festival occurs on various dates of the Gregorian calendar, typically in the month of July.

The town is famous for its many Mathas (monasteries of the various Hindu sects). It also houses the relics of many Hindu saints as traditionally it is seen as a holy place to die in or to be cremated. As a result, it has had a disproportionate number of widows. Like other old Hindu religious towns it has a lot of character that is difficult to be glimpsed or picked up on easily by a casual visitor.

In 1903, Sri Yukteswar established an ashram in the sea-side town of Puri, naming it "Kararashram". From two ashrams, Sri Yukteswar taught students, and began an organization named "Sadhu Sabha."

Places of interest

  • Puri is considered a holy place of pilgrimage in India.
  • The beautiful sea beach with its unique and fantastic views of sunsets and sunrises.
  • The world famous Jagannath Temple (Bada Deula).
  • The gateway to heaven (as per Hindu mythology - Swargadwar). Swargadwar means direct gateway to Heaven. Here, there is a Burning Ghat for Hindus. Swarg means Heaven and Dwar means gate.
  • One of the four cardinal institutions established by Adi Shankaracharya - Puri matha
  • Ratha Yatra.
  • Gateway to famous Sun temple (from Puri 36 km.) at Konark from Konark towards north "KURUMA" is the location of a famous Buddhist place. It is possible to walk along the beach from Puri all the way to Konark (or Konarak the name it is also known by) in order to see the Konark Sun Temple.
  • Bada Thakura, Bada Danda, Bada Deula, Bada Raja, Maha Prasad, Maha Deepa etc. are notable places in Puri.

Geography

Puri is located at . It has an average elevation of 0 metres (0 feet).

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Puri had a population of 157,610. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Puri has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 80%, and female literacy is 70%. In Puri, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Tourism

Puri has a very long, broad sand beach. The sea produces very big waves here. It attracts many national and international tourists because of its beautiful long beach and world famous Jagannath Temple. The place to start a pilgrimage is here and Puri is a pilgrim's destination too. There are many ashrams and sacred temples in Puri.

Nearby Tourist Spots

Politics

Current MLA from Puri Assembly Constituency is Maheswar Mohanty of BJD, who won the seat in State elections in 2004. He won this seat for BJD in 2000 and representing JD in 1995. Other previous MLAs from this seat were Braja Kishor Tripathy who won this seat representing JD in 1990, representing JNP in 1985 and 1977, Gadadhar Mishra of INC(I) in 1980.

Puri is part of Puri (Lok Sabha constituency).

References

External links

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