Budget: Rs. 5500 per head including sight stay, food and sight-seeing.
Places to Visit:
- Lord Jagannath Temple– The temple is situated in the heart of the city and is studded with ancient architectural works, which is the main attraction for the huge crowd of tourists and devotees. At the time of our visit, the crowd was a bit less crowded as compared to the time of RATH YATRA, which happens in the month of July. However, it is considered to be the most appropriate time to visit the temple and take part in the sacred procession of RATH YATRA. Above all, the ‘MAHA BHOG’ at Jagannath Temple is the best one can get and should definitely be had. Since our hotel (Puri Hotel) was at a distance of 3 km from the temple, continuous auto services were available which charged us Rs.20/person and took hardly 10 minutes to reach there.
- Sea Beaches- The shores of the Bay of Bengal are another major tourist attractions. Our hotel was just 500 meters away from the main sea beach. Hence, we enjoyed the cool sea breeze and a stroll down the lane. Masterpieces of Sand Art made by local artists on these beaches were spectacular and just blew our minds away.
- Chandrabhaga, another sea beach, is famous for the merging of a river into the sea which enhances its beauty altogether. It is on Swargadwara road and is approx. at a 10 km stretch. Public transports are available between the places at a fare of Rs.10-15/person. Even rented cabs and taxis also available.
- Udaigiri, Khandagiri Caves, and Shanti Stupa at Dhaulagiri
– The Udaigiri and Khandagiri caves are a splendid example of rock-cut shelters. Situated at distance of 53 km from Puri, these Buddhist Pagodas are a treat to watch and give an excellent view of Dhauli hills. Entry fee is Rs. 5/person. Easy-to- Cabs are available with a package of Rs. 250/person and take you to both of these places. We recommend Buses which are available for Dhaulagiri at a fare of Rs. 18/person. From there, regular autos and taxis take to the caves for around Rs. 75-80/person.
- Chilka Lake- The world famous migratory location for birds and fishes, is at a distance of 113 km from the city. Buses are available at a fare of Rs. 70-80/person. We took private cabs for Rs. 1000 (per person cost Rs.250).
- Konark Temple- The Sun temple is an architectural masterpiece, 37 km from the city. Built to worship the Sun Lord, its architecture can be only admired when seen through naked eyes. One should definitely spend a good time here to absorb its beauty. We took a cab for Rs.600 (Rs.150/person). Public transports are also available at lower fares.
- Ling raja Temple- It is at a distance of 55 km from Puri (20 km from Konark). A holy place which has a stone denoted to each of the 33cr Hindu devas. We recommend Package Travel Taxis for these places which charge Rs. 175-200/person and take you to both the temples.
For your Tastebuds:
- Authentic Odissian Thali in The Nakli Dhaba Restaurant at an affordable cost of Rs. 230 was the one which we enjoyed the most. They serve 65 types of dishes from the Odissian cuisine. It is at a walking distance of 5 minutes from the Puri Hotel.
- ‘Chena Pore’, an authentic sweet dish of the state is much more a bite and is available at almost all nearby sweet shops at Rs.45/100gms.
How to Reach from Jamshedpur:
- Train– Purushottam/ Kalinga Utkal Express (3AC fare of Rs.900/ pax).
- Flights– Ranchi to Bhubaneswar (Rs. 7000-8000/pax, depending on booking time), but this includes an extra fare of reaching Ranchi from Jamshedpur (Rs. 250/pax) and Bhubaneswar to Puri (Rs.300/pax)
- By Road– Public Transport costs Rs.150/person but takes 7 hours for the entire journey.
- Puri Hotel: It is situated at 1km from Jagannath temple, and is close to the sea beach, it stands out as the most affordable hotel at base tariff starting from Rs.700/room day. It comes with free Wi-Fi, spacious rooms, excellent service along with dining facility which makes it the best choice and therefore, this tops the list for stay options.
- The Hans Coco Palm: It’s a 3-star resort with swimming pool and spa and costs around Rs.6500/room day.
- Pushpa Puri: One of the hotels under Bengal tourism and being very close to the railway station, it is a budget hotel charging Rs.1244/room day (approx.) and is a good option for lodging.
The Sinhala Market, popular for Handmade ‘batik printed’ articles and accessories, was 15 minutes’ walk away. We used the famous local transport TOTO Rickshaws to reach there in just 5 minutes at Rs.5/person only.
- The entire city has a good connectivity with Auto-rickshaws, TOTO, Cabs/Taxis and mini buses, wherein buses have a fixed rate chart, bargaining is required in other transports.
- What we enjoyed the most was the rich cultural extravaganza of the Odissi Dance and the Oriya Language.
- We visited PIPLI (40 km from
- the city) to cherish the famous Applique Artwork and Palm Leaf Paintings. We suggest you bring back a few pieces of this artistry as we did.
- Every day a unique creation of sand art at the beaches by a new artist made our each day wonderful.
We feel, a place so rich in culture is a must-visit. So just pack your bags and GET SET to GO!! Happy Tripping. 🙂
PS: This trip was taken in March 2016