This is why Odisha should be on your list for this Summer.

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The coastal city of Odisha, Puri is famous for its religious history and cultural diversity. Puri is considered as one of the Char-Dhams (four pilgrimages). They are considered sacred by every Hindu to visit at least once in their lives. The first thing that resounds with the name of Puri is “The Puri Jagannath Temple”. This temple is known for it’s splendid architecture which was influenced by the Kalinga dynasty. One must not miss the opportunity of being a part of the Rath-Yatra festival which is celebrated on a massive scale during the month of July-August.

Rath-Yatra: The Chariot Festival

Rath Yatra is one of the major Hindu festivals celebrated with great enthusiasm in the state of Odisha. A massive crowd of pilgrims are attracted from India as well as from all over the world to Puri for this festival. This festival is celebrated as a toast to Lord Jagannath’s annual visit to Gundicha temple. It is also known as “The Mausi Maa” temple which is approximately 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) away from Sri Jagannath temple in Puri. Every year, three new chariots are constructed for Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra. The auspicious morning of Rath yatra begins with the invocation of three deities. This is followed by an energetic afternoon where thousands of pilgrims joyously pull the chariot of the deities from Jagannath temple to the “Mausi Maa temple”. During this, different Odissi dancers and street artists display their art forms on the streets of Puri in an attempt to cheer up the tourists. Another great thing about this festival is the Mahaprasad.

Mahaprasad is a phenomenal combination of 56 recipes which is offered to Lord Jagannath in the temple. It is of two types which are Sukhila prasad, comprising mostly of sweets and Sankudi prasad which includes rice, Dalma, and mixed curry. Thousands of pilgrims flock together in a place called Anand Bazar to enjoy this mouth watery and holy recipe of Mahaprasad of the Puri Jagannath Temple. To know more about the Cuisine of Odisha, visit Cuisine of Love : Odisha
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Other than the Amazing Rath Yatra, there are some beautiful places around for you to have a look at.

Konark sun temple:

Konark temple is constructed in the form of a giant chariot. That is said to be dedicated to the Lord of Sun as mentioned in the Hindu Mythology. The walls of the temple are gorgeously sculptured with erotic art which enhances the beauty of the temple. Konark temple is located in a village which is about 35 km towards the north of Puri. This place is easily reachable as bus services are available every day of a week. Bus journey will take approximately 1hr35mins and in a car it will take around hour to reach Konark temple from puri.
Location: Google Maps

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Chilika lake:

Chilika lake is Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon which is spread over puri, khurda and ganjam districts of Odisha. It is considered as one of the most important wetlands of Odisha. This is because it is a home to some unique variety of birds. This place also offers an affordable boat ride to a different island which is occupied with a rich biodiversity. Chilika lake is located about 48kms away from Puri and easily accessible with buses and rental cars. By road, it would take approximately 2 hrs as the highway connects to the capital of Odisha which is Bhubaneshwar.
Location: Google Maps

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The Beach:

A perfect chillout spot which is a favorite haunt of both Indians, as well as International pilgrims, is a sight to behold in Puri. It is renowned for the various sand sculptures and designs. Also because of the opportunity that the beach offers to witness both sunrise and sunset at the same beach. Amidst the treacherous currents, the golden sands of the Chakratirtha side is a beauty to behold and a pleasant place for a stroll.
Location: Google Maps

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By

Jagannath Majhi, Food and Travel Blogger, INDIA.

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