One day itinerary for Puri, Odisha - Sun, Sand, and Spiritual Serenity

Khaja, a delectable sweet delicacy, holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike when sold outside the Jagannath Temple in Puri. These mouthwatering treats, known for their crispy, layered texture and irresistible sweetness, are a popular offering for devotees and tourists seeking a taste of the local culinary delights. As one strolls along the bustling streets surrounding the temple, the aroma of freshly prepared khajas tantalizes the senses, beckoning all to indulge in this traditional confectionery.

Welcome to Puri, a coastal gem on the Bay of Bengal known for its pristine beaches, vibrant culture, and spiritual significance. In this one-day itinerary, we'll guide you through a memorable journey, from the sacred temples to the sun-kissed shores, offering a taste of the rich tapestry that makes Puri a must-visit destination.

Behold the majestic grandeur and spiritual opulence of the Jagannath Temple, an iconic landmark nestled in the vibrant city of Puri, Odisha. With its rich tapestry of ancient rituals, cultural heritage, and profound philanthropic endeavors, this temple stands not just as a symbol of devotion but as a testament to the enduring spirit of humanity and the timeless allure of faith. Join us on a journey through the corridors of this sacred abode, where divinity converges with the rhythms of life, fostering a harmonious symphony of tradition, festivity, and compassionate service.

Morning: Spiritual Awakening at Jagannath Temple

6:00 AM - 8:00 AM:

Begin your day with a visit to the iconic Jagannath Temple, one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites. Participate in the early morning rituals and witness the divine aura that envelops this sacred abode. Marvel at the towering spire and explore the temple complex, immersing yourself in the spiritual energy that defines Puri.

Nestled along the shimmering Bay of Bengal in the vibrant coastal town of Puri, the Golden Beach stands as a picturesque haven of tranquility and natural beauty. With its golden sands, azure waters, and breathtaking sunsets, this idyllic stretch of coastline offers a mesmerizing retreat for beach enthusiasts, nature lovers, and wanderers seeking solace amidst the rhythmic lull of the waves and the warm embrace of the sun. Join us on a virtual journey to the Golden Beach, where the elements of nature converge to create an enchanting tapestry of serenity and bliss.

Late Morning: Tranquil Stroll at Swargadwar Beach

8:30 AM - 10:30 AM:

Head to Swargadwar Beach for a serene morning stroll along the golden sands. Feel the gentle waves at your feet as you soak in the calming sounds of the Bay of Bengal. The beach is not just a picturesque escape but also holds cultural significance, making it an ideal spot for moments of reflection.

Lunch: Seafood Delight at Shree Rath Yatra Bhog

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM:

Indulge in a delicious seafood feast at Shree Rath Yatra Bhog, a popular eatery known for its fresh and flavorful offerings. Try the local specialties like Macha Jhola (fish curry) and Prawn Curry, savoring the authentic coastal flavors that Puri is renowned for.

Raghurajpur village in Odisha is renowned for its talented artists who have garnered national and international recognition for their exceptional craftsmanship. The village is home to several esteemed artists who have dedicated their lives to preserving and promoting the traditional art forms of the region. Some notable artists from Raghurajpur include Padma Vibhushan awardee late Jagannath Mohapatra, who was a master Pattachitra painter and a revered mentor for many aspiring artists. Another prominent artist is Rupashree Mohapatra, known for her intricate Pattachitra paintings and expertise in the art of Tussar silk painting. Sudarshan Moharana is a skilled stone carver who has created awe-inspiring sculptures, while the late Laxmidhar Mohapatra was a renowned papier-mâché mask maker. These artists, along with many others in Raghurajpur, have not only elevated the artistic heritage of the village but have also played a significant role in promoting the cultural legacy of Odisha to the world.

Afternoon: Artistic Exploration at Raghurajpur

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM:

Venture to Raghurajpur, an artisan village famous for its Pattachitra paintings and traditional crafts. Explore the narrow lanes lined with vibrant artwork, and engage with the local artisans as they demonstrate their intricate techniques. This cultural haven provides a unique insight into Odisha's artistic heritage.

Chilika lake is one of the popular places to visit in Odisha  and it’s spread over Puri, Khurda and Ganjam regions of Odisha state. It’s on east coast of India which flows into the Bay of Bengal. It’s largest coastal lagoon in India and second largest lagoon in the world. The largest one is New Caledonian barrier reef. Recently we visited Chilika lake and this Photo Journey shares some of the photographs telling story of our visit.Supposedly Chilika Lake is largest wetland on the Indian sub-continent for Migratory birds in winters. Lot of tourists visit Chilika lake but main ecosystem is around fishery resources. There are thousands of fisher-folks in villages around shoreline and islands around Chilika Lake.How to reach – Most of the folks visit Chilika Lake from Bhubaneshwar or Puri. Taxi is one of the best ways to save time and explore the beauty on your way. Balugaon is nearest railway station and then auto can help you reach near Chilika lake. In the world of Ola and Uber, commute has become easier and convenient. One doesn’t need to negotiate with unreasonable cabbies and auto-walas outside Railway-station or bus-stand. I am sure, buses from main cities would be available but. There are different views of people visiting Chilika. Nature lovers would certainly love the place and if you like following birds, it's certainly a good place for you.As you see lot of these pearls being shown in our photographs. So this is a typical thing in Chilika lake that locals show you pearls and different kinds of stones. And they break shells in front of you. Not sure how real these are but we bought few by paying few thousands. There are lot of stories about the stones sold around Chilika. For a moment, we were also depressed by the thought that stone we bought can be fake. We are not experts and we don't even want to get these tested (for our own peace). But be cautious before taking such decision. They can be fake or real. You have to see if you like any of these stones and willing to pay a price.Boat rides are interesting but they don't give life jackets which was surprising for us. We didn't see dolphins in Chilika lake. It seems that early morning view around Chilika lake is very interesting.Since lake is huge, boating experience of Chilika Lake is different.

Late Afternoon: Sunset at Chilika Lake

4:30 PM - 6:30 PM:

Embark on a scenic drive to Chilika Lake, Asia's largest brackish water lagoon. Enjoy a boat ride amidst the picturesque landscape, spotting migratory birds and playful dolphins. As the sun begins to set, witness the lake's transformation into a canvas of vibrant hues, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

Dinner: Local Flavors at Wildgrass Restaurant

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM:

Conclude your day with a delightful dinner at Wildgrass Restaurant, a popular eatery that offers a fusion of local and global cuisines. Relish dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and savor the warm ambiance that complements the coastal charm of Puri.

In just one day, you've experienced the spiritual fervor of Jagannath Temple, the tranquil beauty of Swargadwar Beach, the artistic richness of Raghurajpur, and the breathtaking scenery of Chilika Lake. Puri, with its blend of spirituality, culture, and natural beauty, leaves a lasting impression on all who explore its diverse facets in a single, enriching day.

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While in Bhubaneshwar ( Odisha , we planned to drive to Konark Sun Temple and witness it's grandness & heritage.Temple has beautifully carved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A lot of portions of temple are in ruins, although remained part is being maintained. Some work was happening when we visited the temple this month (july’2016).Sun Temple in Konark is 65 kilometers from Bhubaneshwar and 35 km from Puri.ASI maintains the temple and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Konark Sun temple is also featured in the list of 7 wonders in India, along with Meenakshi Amman Temple of Madurai, Dholavira of Gujarat, Red Fort of Delhi, Jaisalmer Fort of Rajasthan, Nalanda of Bihar and Khajuraho of MP.The name Konark comes from Sanskrit words - Kona and Ark. Europian sailors had 2 important temples in this part of India - Konark Sun Temple and Jaganath Temple in Puri, which are called Black Pagoda and White Padoga respectively.Konark Sun Temple has used iron beams for it’s structure. It was made to look like Surya-Rath (Chariot of Sun God). There are 12 carved stone wheels which are 3 meters wide and is pulled by a set of seven horses, which you see on entry gate of the temple. It followed popular Kalinga Architecture.Maintenance of Konark Sun Temple was in progress and it made us feel good about the care ASI is taking of these beautiful heritage buildings in India. Although it made us worry about the way these structures are restored. Plain stones without any carving are being added to give support to the structure. It's understandable that same carving might be difficult to achieve but some creative stuff can be done. More than structure, the craved stones are decaying with time and wondering if there is a good way to avoid it. I am sure ASI must thinking about all these things.Konark Sun Temple is one of the most visited tourist places in Odisha and it's considered as one of the most popular places to visit around Bubaneshwar. We didn't want to miss and happy that it was a nice experience to be there. Although the weather was not suitable, but we had fun.There are some interesting facts about the architecture of Konark Sun Temple. Original temple had one part of the compound, which was 70 mgr high. Now the highest structure of the Sun Temple is 30 meters high, which is essentially the audience hall along with smaller structures like Dance hall and Dining hall.Orissa Tourism website  lists few interesting details around history behind this temple.Surrounding of the Konark Sun Temple is pretty green and the weather made it greener for us.We had great time roaming around this beautiful campus of Konark Sun Temple, which has lot to surprise you and make you think how it was built many centuries ago. Here we tried to click family selfie with our DSLR  and it came out well :)These are the Ashvas (horses) of Surya Rath. Somehow the faces are different and I am not sure why. There must be some reason behind these shapes.

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