HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The nearest airport is 62-km away at Bhubaneswar. There are Indian Airlines flights from there to Delhi, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Madras, and Bombay. Indian Airlines, Bhubaneswar city, Airport, Reservations.
Rail: Puri has direct train service to and from Calcutta, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vishakhapatnam, Vijayawada, and Tirupati.
Road: The bus stand is by the Gundicha Mandira on Grand Road. The canter minibuses to and from Bhubaneswar are quicker than the larger buses. Minibuses from Bhubaneswar to Puri leave regularly from the Baramunda Bus stand, the Old Bus Stand, and from by the petrol station opposite the Ashok Hotel from 5.30am to 9.30pm. To get to Bhubaneswar it takes at least two hours by train, and only an hour and a half by bus. The non-stop buses, which stop once or twice, are the quickest. There are regular hourly buses to Konark. Some of the private buses leave from the junction of Grand Road and Hospital Road.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a few main areas where there are hotels along the beach. The northeast part, near the fishing village, on or just off Chakra Tirtha Road, is where most of the budget hotels are located and is a popular area for western tourists. Another area is the main Indian tourist area, which is by the Puri Hotel, near Beach Sea Road. Most of the people staying in this area are Indians. There are also a few hotels in the southwest part of town. It is quiet there and the seawater is clean too.
HOTELS, ASHRAMS & GUEST HOUSES AT LOW END
Sree Chaitanya Saraswata Gaudiya Math Temple Guesthouse, Gourbar Sahi
The Purushottama Gaudiya Math, Swarga Dwara
The Bharatsevashram Sanga, near Swarga Dwara
The Vagla Dharamsala, Grand Road
Hotel Subhadra on Grand Road
HOTELS & LODGES AT CHAKRA TIRTHA ROAD
The Bay View Hotel
Hotel Shankar International
Hotel Sri Balaji
HOTELS & RESORTS AT MIDDLE
The Birla Guesthouse, Gourbar Sahi
Vijoya International, on Chakra Tirtha Road
The Hotel Samudra
OTDC Panthanivas Tourist Bungalow
The Puri Hotel, on Marine Parade,
Hotel Holiday Resort, Chakra Tirtha Road
Hotel Golden Palace
HOTELS & RESORTS AT HIGH END
The Mayfair Beach Resort
The Southeastern Railway Hotel, Chakra Tirtha Road
Hans Coco Palms
PLACES TO EAT
There are few pure vegetarian places in Puri, as most of the residents are sustained by a diet of seafood. At the Birla Guest House they serve vegetarian meals with no onion or garlic. It is a good place to stay and eat, but if you are going to eat there you have to let them know in advance so they can prepare everything properly. You can also order meals in advance at some of the Gaudiya Math Temples for a donation.
GETTING YOUR BEARINGS
The Jagannatha Temple is in the middle of town at one end of Grand Road, which is a wide road that runs to the Gundicha Temple, 3-km northeast. The Jagannatha Temple is about 1-km from the beach, where most of the hotels are located. The spiritual places in town are spread out and it is best to have some kind of transportation to get around.
FOR MORE TRAVEL INFORMATION
The OTDC tourist office, open from Monday-Saturday, 10am to 5pm, is on Station Road and there is a 24-hour tourist counter at the railway station. The post office is on Temple Road. One can change money at the State Bank of India, open from Monday-Friday 10am to 2pm, Saturday 10am to noon, and Sunday 11.30am to 1.30 pm. Changing money here can take an hour or more.
Two good detailed books about Puri are "A Visit to Jagannatha Puri" by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami and "Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu In Jagannatha Puri" compiled by Mahanidhi Swami.
One can also rent a bike at different shops for a day on Chakra Tirtha Road.
The temperature of Puri reaches a low of 17 C (62 F) in the winter and a high of up to 32 C (90 F) in the summer. One needs to wear light cotton clothing in the summer and light woolens for winter mornings. One can swim in the ocean or sun bathe all year round. It is comfortable to swim even in December, though less so in January. The generally temperature weather is good all year round, which makes Puri an ideal place to visit most seasons.
There is a daily OTDC Luxury Coach that goes to Konark , Dhauli , the temples of Bhubaneswar, Khandagiri , Udayagiri , Nandankanan Zoo , and Saksi Gopal Temple. It starts at 6.30am and ends around 7pm. It is a long trip (over 12 hours). This tour can be arranged by the many travel agents in Puri.
Tours go to Chilika Lake on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6.30am to 6.30pm by OTDC Luxury Coach. It is the biggest inland lake in the country and attracts a large number of migratory birds in the winter.
Medical and Dentist: SCB Medical College is supposed to be the best in Orissa .
Sun Craft has a good collection of Jagannatha Deities, stickers, and paintings. One can also get an excellent variety of 'Jagannatha Prasada', if one arranges it a day in advance. It is located on Armstrong Road not far from the railroad station in the Tini Konia Bagicha area.
The small town of Pipli has many shops that sell appliqué works, including fancy colorful wall hangings and mirror work umbrellas. This is where most of the appliqué items one sees all over Puri are made. It is located halfway between Puri and Bhubaneswar.
Raghurajpur, which is 14-km from Puri, is famous for Patta Chitra , or leaf paintings. You can get the paintings much cheaper here then anywhere else, but most likely you will need a translator.
The ocean current can be very strong in Puri and it is not unusual for people to drown here. So be careful when going for a swim. It is best not to swim alone.
Konark : 33-km
Balighai : 8-km