Puri Beach Travel Guide
The fine white sands of Puri beach, the roar of waves breaking and endless lines of pilgrims are an awesome spectical. The devotees come from all over India to take a dip in the purifying waters.
The pilgrims have been coming for years but the beach is now becoming very popular with both Indian and foreign beach lovers.
Apart from its cultural and religious aspects, the town has also been made famous by the striking sunsets and sunrises. If you are lucky, you might even come across an amazing sand sculpture by the internationally acclaimed Sudarshan Patnaik.
Why Puri Beach?
During the day the beach is alive with people bathing in the sun and sea while at night the beach turns into a small festival with large crowds who stroll the promenade enjoying icecreams and other refreshments on offer from the huge array of beach vendors.
Puri Beach has been celebrated as one of the most beautiful cities in India with a heritage and beach to match. The highly popular city is becoming a very famous tourist destination for many reasons.
The city is full of temples, beaches, historical monuments and museums making it a big cultural hotspot. Quite a few festivals and events are held in Puri which also draw in large crowds like the Ratha Yatra Festival for example.
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Things to see
Most people travel to Puri for its history and culture so the beach does not offer much in the way of entertainment except for the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises that are always so spectacular.
There is loads to go and see in and around Puri beach so in no particular order, here is a small list of recommended places.
1. Shree Jagannath Puri Temple One of the four most sacred pilgrimage places for Hindus. Constructed in the 11th century and is the starting point of the world famous Rath Yatra held in July. Entry is limited to Hindus but it's still worth a good look around as its history is amazing
2. Golden Beach of Puri. A bit of a no brainer really. Great for swimming and surfing but be careful as there are a few strong currents around.
3. Swargadwar The Gateway to Heaven. Site of cremation of almost all famous Orissa people.
4. Shree Lokanath Temple Dedicated to Lord Shiva, is said to be the place where Lord Shiva hid himself from Shani, under a pond.
5. Various temples worth taking a look at.
-Sunara Gaurang Temple
-Bedi Hanuman Temple
-Chakra Tirtha Temple
-Mausima Temple -Shree Gundicha Temple Destination of Rath Yatra.
6. A few famous places outside of Puri
-Sun Temple of Konark
-Chandrabhaga Sea Beach
-Satapada Dolphin Sanctuary
-Alarnath Temple -Pipili Famous for Applique Work -Raghurajpur Famous for Patta Chitra
7. Puri Konark Marine Drive. This road was recently rebuilt and is in a great condition. It's littered with deserted beaches but many are said to have quicksand so be careful.
Where to stay?
The hotels listed on this page are only meant as a guide, for a full range of hotels and accommodation in Puri then check you need to check out the page below. Good luck!
Accommodation in Puri
A selection of loads of Hotels in Puri categorised into price, location and quality! Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!
Because of the international popularity of Puri beach there are loads of 5 star hotels to choose from that are not too expensive but there are loads of better places to stay at a fraction of the cost.
Asian Inn Beach Resort
Asian Inn Beach Resort is positioned on Marine Drive Road, in the sacred Swargadwar area of Puri. The hotel has a great location which makes it a favourite with the tourists. The Railway station is just 3 km away, bus stand at 4 kms.
Hotel Vijoya International
This beautiful hotel in Chakra Tirtha is located right next to its own private beach where camping facilities are available. The hotel is sweet and friendly, pickup and drop off facilities are available from the station and you will be welcomed with flowers and welcome drink. The rooms are neatly furnished and are sea facing. The restaurant is not bad, cooking up some local specialities and will do their best to accomadate for any special dietry requirements.
Hotel Sea Queen In
This charming little hotel is situated just off the beach and has got a few rooms with view of the sea. Just next door is a little restaurant called Pink House which has lovely food and staff.
Also close to the hotel is an Ayurvedic and yoga center providing body massage and other ayurvedic therapies. All the services and food in and around the hotel are inexpensive, the rooms are around 400 Rupees.
This is my personal recommendation as it is a nice place to stay and a good place to meet other travellers.
Follow This link for more information on Accommodation in Puri.
Getting there and away
The easiest way to get to Puri beach is by train as you can get direct trains from loads of the big Indian cities such as, Klokata, Delhi, Ahmedabad and I believe Chennai as well but you probably won't want to make that journey by train! If you are arriving by train, go to State tourist counter in the station and ask for some advice; I think that is the only helpful tourist office in India.
The closest airport to Puri is Bhubaneswar which is about 3 - 4 hours away and has daily flights to and from the rest of India. The best way of getting to and from the airport is via one of the minibuses that are parked up outside, ignore the taxi drivers, they're gits.
Orissa is well known for its excellent state transport system so Puri beach is well connected by road and you can get buses easily from all over the state and neighbouring states.
The ultimate way of getting around Puri beach is taking a cycle rickshaw. They are cheap and pollution free and can be good at negotiating the wild Indian traffic. Always agree a price before jumping aboard!
The other option is, of course, the auto rickshaw which is still cheap although more expensive than the cycle rickshaw but they are quicker and more comfortable.
There is an excellent bus service in Puri beach, for short distance there are the local buses wich are always crammed and stop all the time or for more long distance journeys try out the luxury buses which have loads of room and really comfortable (not really luxurious though)!
You can also hire cars for a week etc but the best way to see a place has got to be by local transport unless, of course, you are a wimp or have very little time.
When to go
The bay of Bengal is often ravaged by monsoons in the summer making the sea very rough and the weather stormy. For this reason the best time to go is during the winter, between the months of November and early March.
Click here for more information on the Indian climate and when to go
If you are staying in a cheap hotel or guest house in Swargadwar or New Puri, try to take care of your own belongings. If you are still on the beach after 8, be careful as there have been a few tourist muggings in the past, just make sure you are with someone else and DO NOT go swimming after dark in Puri beach, it can be very dangerous.
The food vendors on the beach offer some great food but just be careful when eating any meats as they can be a bit dangerous to our foreign digestive systems.
If you get seriously ill in Puri, it is better to travel to Bhubaneswar to the Kalinga Hospital as the hospitals in Puri are basic and not that clean. Get a taxi and the insurance company should pay for it. The hotel should be able to get a local doctor for you if you need one.