Built during the 12th century, by the Ganga king, Chodagangadeva the Jagannath Temple Puri is one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots in India. Lord Jagannath Who is also popularly known as Lord Vishnu resides in this temple with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra which has become the focus of religious life throughout Orissa This 214 feet (65 meters) spire of the temple even can be seen soaring over the countryside. With 6000 direct temple servitors, a temple kitchen which feeds 10,000 people daily and some 25,000 on festival days, Jagannath temple is truly an institution unique in the world.
The Gundicha Temple is located at the end of Grad. From the famous Jagannath Temple, this beautiful temple is just 3-km away. At the time of the 'Ratha-Yatra' festival, Lord Jagannath goes to the Gundicha temple and stays there for one week. According to the popular saying, the king who originally established the temple of Jagannath, the wife of 'indradyumna' was known as "Gundicha". Just before Ratha-Yatra Festival, during Chaitanya-Caritamrita festival the cleansing of the Gundicha temple takes place.
Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter within the main Temple building. They can walk within the walls and see the beautiful garden.
Puri Rath Yatra
Rath Yatra is the biggest festival in Orissa. Held in the month of July, this Festival of Chariot attracts devotees from all parts of the country and abroad. The Procession f Chariot starts from Lord Jagannath Temple and ends in Gundicha Mandir which is at a distance of 3 km. Lord Jagannath along with his brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Goddess Subhadra ride on three gigantic chariots reach to this Gundicha Mandir. Huge magnificently decorated chariots are pulled by thousands of devotees. It is believed that the Gods are visiting their aunt in Gundicha Mandir. They enjoy a vacation there for five days. After five days they return back to their home temple in a procession called 'Ultarath'.
The shrine of Lord Sakshigopal is located about 20 kms away from Puri. This Temple worships the sacred feet of Shri Radha, which can however be only seen on 'Anala nawami' day.
How to Reach Puri
Bhubaneswar Airport, which is situated at a distance of around 56 Km is the nearest. This airport is well connected and has regular flights to and from all important cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai. From the airport one can take bus to Puri. If any one wants he or she can also hire a taxi. Puri has its own railhead and is connections from all major cities of India. Apart from buses, Puri has the facilities of taxis, cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws for local transport.