Puri City, Orissa, India- The superb sand art of Sudarshan Pattnaik, the imposing and inspiring architecture of the Jagannath temple and its famed beaches washed by the waters of the Bay of Bengal have given Puri international recognition. The city also derives its sanctity from the Govardhan math, one of the four cardinal institutions founded by Sri Adi Sankaracharya.
As one of the most popular tourist destinations on the eastern coast, Puri also offers unmatched leisure activities like bird watching in the Balukhanda Reserve Forest, short cruises and dolphin watching. What's more, it's easy to mingle with the local craftsmen, and learn their art during your stay there - the Sand Art Institute conducts short term courses for tourists, and even if you're not taking up a course, a visit to this open museum is mandatory.
Puri's art transcends to delicate palm leaf paintings, concentrated in a neighbouring village of Raghurajpur, sandstone carvings in the neighbourhood of Pathuria Sahi, and the colorful appliqué work at Pipli.
The annual Rath Yatra at the Jagannath Temple during the month of June/July and the Beach Festival in November jolts this leisurely town into activity. While the Rath Yatra sees thousands of pilgrims pouring into Puri, the Beach Festival is a colorful extravaganza of folk dance, music and art.
Puri is the heart of the district of Puri, lying on NH 203, and 65 km from Bhubaneswar and culturally linked to each of the six other sub divisions of Pipli, Satyabadi, Brahmagiri, Balipatna, Chilika and Ranpur.
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