When weekend trip and short vacays crowd our mind then nothing tops the list than our favourite destination Puri. From its grand old temples to the lush coastline, here’s our guide to explore Puri in 48 hours, the best way.
Eat, Pray, Shop: Here's Our Guide To A Weekend In Puri
What Can I Do There?
Hang Out At The Beach:
Nothing beckons us more to Puri than its amazing coast of frothy waves and yellow sand beneath our toes. For the best view, hit the beach at dawn around 4 am and watch the radiant glows of red, orange and yellow bleed across the sea as the sun climbs above the sea horizon. While it’s a frequent sight to see people flying kites on the beach, it’s also common to come across several sand sculptures along the shore.
Visit The Famous Temple:
One of the oldest cities of ancient India, Puri’s grand old Jagganath Temple remains as one of the principle attractions till date. Built in the eleventh century by the ruler of Kalinga, Chodaganga, this Hindu temple is given to Lord Jagannath, and is known to draw visitors from all around the world. While religious restrictions on entry makes it a real downer today, what remains to be admired of this temple is the grand ancient structure and the intricate sculptures and artwork that adorns it.
Shop Till You Drop:
Whether you’re a shopper or not, visit the main market of Puri near the temple quarters to check out or splurge on traditional Odisha ikat handloom. From kurtas to sarees, stoles and even cloth materials—you’ll find them in cotton as well as in silk. The other must-buy thing when exploring the market is of course Puri’s special sweets, ‘gaja’ or ‘khaja’. The long elliptical deep-fried sweets are bought in kilos by most are are best bought at Kakatua or at Ganguram.
Load Up On Crafts:
Of the few hours of your stay in Puri some must definitely be spent at the heritage craft village of Raghurajpur. Just 15 km away from the main city, Raghurrajpur is Puri’s best kept secret where you’ll be lost in a world of art and colour. Home to a handful of local craftsmen who are preserving and creating the ancient art of patachitra (scroll paintings on leaves and canvas), this village is lined with small houses that bear beautiful murals and artworks. Besides patachitra, you’ll also find craftsmen who are creating ancient Orissa’s traditional artwork of palm leaf engravings and tussar painting with motifs borrowed from mythology.
Check Out A UNESCO Heritage Site:
Wrap up your stay with a visit to the thirteenth century Sun Temple at Konark. Though mostly in ruins now, this UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its magnificent carvings and ancient architecture. This temple, once modelled as a chariot drawn by seven horses, is still admired for the intricate chariot wheels and the erotic figures that adorn the walls. Facing east, this temple is vest viewed during sunrise when the sun’s rays cast mesmerising hues on this ancient structure.
Where Can I Stay?
While you can put up in one of the plenty budget hotels and guest houses that line the perimeter of Puri’s sea beach, you can also try some of the hometays and resorts for a more quiet and peaceful ambience. Check out here for Nirman’s Homestay for a kitchy cool and artsy vibe. Alternately, you can check out some resorts like Holiday Resort or Pride Ananya.
How Do I Get There?
If road trips give you a high, then you can drive down to Puri from Kolkata is no more than ten hours to cover the 500 km distance. With plenty trains like Puri-Howrah, Jagannath Express and Duronto running almost daily between Kolkata and Puri, trains are, however, the easiest and best mode of transport to travel to the sea city.
When in Puri, whether in sun or in shade, be sure to apply enough sunblock, and don’t forget to carry your sandals and sunglasses.