Puri city in Orissa is looked upon as the Tirthraj. The supreme pilgrim centre (Tirthraj) among all pilgrim centres in India. It is a belief that if a person dies in Puri he is released for good from the cycle of births and gets himself merged in the body of the Almighty. He does not undergo rebirth. According to tradition Puri was once a thickly wooded hill inhabited by the Sabaras (Pre-Aryan and Pre-Dravidian tribes of the Austric linguistic family). The sunny beach at Puri is one of the best in the world. Watching the sunrise in Puri early in the morning by the blue sea away from the cacophony is itself an experience which needs. It is one of the most popular sea-side resorts where visitors from all parts of the globe come to relax.
Geography of Puri
Puri is a city in Orissa on the coast of Bay of Bengal. It is the headquarters of Puri District and lies in 19 degrees 48 minutes North and 85 degrees 49 minutes East. It is bounded by Sri Lokanath on the west, Shri Beleswar on the east, and by Indradyumna on the north. The four principal spots called ghats are situated close to the boundary of Puri. The Atharnala ghat is on the north, Lokanath ghat on the south, Mangala ghat on the west and Chakratirtha ghat on the east.
Culture of Puri
Puri is considered the cultural capital of Orissa. The culture of Puri has been enriched with multiple activities that take place in the city. Puri experiences a confluence of several religions in its heart. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jains, Christian and tribals are found in the city of Puri. In fact it can be said that the cultural tradition of Puri had started in the third century BC and has gloriously continued till today. The religious sanctity of the place as well as other activities adds to the cultural fervour of Puri.
Demography of Puri
According to the census of 2001, Puri had a population of 157,610. The percentage of males and females in the city were 52 percent and 48 percent respectively. Puri has a very high literacy rate. The literacy rate of the city is as high as 75 percent. Among the literate population 80 percent males and 70 percent females are literate. In Puri 10 percent of the total population is less than six years of age.
Fairs and Festivals of Puri
Several fairs and festivals take palce in Puri throughout the year. Ratha Yatra or Car Festival, Puri Beach Festival, Ganesh Puja, and Jhulan Yatra are among the more widely celebrated ones.