Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra-Planning your visit

This year I had a short visit to Odisha's Puri during the annual Rath Yatra (Jatra) or car festival. This post shares some insights and tips to plan your visit to Puri during the popular Rath Yatra festival.
Reaching Puri from Bhubaneswar
Option 1: Train
Local train from Bhubaneswar railway station can take you to Puri in about 2-3 hours. You should be getting a train every hour. Depending on no of stops, waiting time actual time could vary.

Option 2: Direct train to Puri- You will get train direct to Puri from Kolkata and other parts of India- particularly because of special trains during Rath Yatra- This will avoid the need to stopover at Bhubaneswar and let you reach Puri directly.

Train station is right inside Puri town, about 2 kms from Jagannath temple.

Option 3: Bus: Bus between Puri and Bhubaneswar can take about 2-3 hours depending on various factors. Be sure to board a bus that has Rath Jatra Pass- like the one shown below- such buses will be allowed inside the town till private bus stop near Gundicha temple. If you board a bus without a pass, it will be stopped outside the town and last few kms you'll have to take another transport.

I took a fast passenger train while going to Puri- took 15 rupees for ticket, about 3 hours in travel and 1 hour waiting. Took a bus for return journey- about 30 Rs bus fare, took about 2 hours.

Option 4: Car/taxi
You can take self drive car (like Zoomcar) from Bhubaneswar or hire a taxi. Again this will be a more expensive option plus you've to worry about car parking and other headaches as vehicles without a pass will not be allowed near temple.

Where to stay during Puri Jagannath Yatra?
Option 1: On Grand Road
Pros
Cons
Close to temples, walking distance, about a km

Can watch procession from room/hotel roof top possibly

All restaurants and shops nearby
Traffic restrictions- only vehicles with pass are allowed- you might have to park your taxi far away

Foreigners may not be allowed to stay

Crowd and noise

Option 2: Near the beach
Pros
Cons
Calm & possibly beach view
Possible to reach in own vehicle/taxi without pass
Bit far from temples

Option 3: Other places
There're several small hotels n accommodation options all over city.

How much accommodation will cost in Puri?
Cheapest option I saw was this.

I stayed in this hotel-Non AC room for Rs 500 a night. Room was just ok to kill a night, nothing luxurious.

Most hotels in Puri were charging around 1500 INR per night for a decent AC Room. Rate may be higher on first and last day of Rath Yatra where crowd is several times higher.

Below: Notice that hotel has removed their regular rate card- most certainly to charge an inflated rate during peak demand time.

How long should I plan to visit Puri during Rath Jatra?
Day 01 and Day 10 are usually most crowded time- when the Rathas move from one temple to another. Rest of the days Rathas will be stationery without any major celebrations. If you can afford to stay for entire 10-12 days great, else you can plan to visit 2-3 days either on the initial days or towards the end.

How are the facilities at Rath yatra?
Very good. Lots of police booths, first aid booths, information booths, mobile ATMs, lots of police presence and so on. Crowd management was good.
Can I do a day trip from Bhubaneswar to Puri Rath Yatra without staying there?
You can but will be hectic with 4-6 hours of travel. For best experience plan at least one night in Puri.

Things to keep in mind while visiting Puri for Jagannath Yatra
  • Mobile phones and cameras are not allowed inside Jagannath temple- either don't take them or you've to keep them in a locker for a payment.
  • The hotel where I stayed had a display "Foreigners not allowed"- when I asked why, I was told "instructions from police". My guess is since foreigners are not allowed inside Jagannath temple, Police want them to stay in other parts of the town and not on grand street.
  • Vehicles without a pass won't be allowed inside the heart of town during the festival. Good number of share autos, mini buses operate to ferry people around.

What else to do while in Puri?
  • Visit Konark Sun Temple- about 35 kms
  • Visit Chilika Lake- 100 kms
  • Puri beach- 2 kms
  • Visit Cuttak before heading to Bhubaneswar

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post!!! Odisha is such a beautiful place and no one can deny that the Rath Yatra is the most fascinating thing to see there. Thanks for this article. Its actually really helpful to be alert about the stuff happened during the fest. Thanks once again for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great to read. Someday will visit Puri Jagannath temple. Thanks for the informative post.

    ReplyDelete

Appreciate your efforts and interests to comment. Comments may be moderated due to increased spam. Will ideally respond to comments within few days.Use Anonymous option if you don't wish to leave your name/ID behind- Shrinidhi

Powered by Blogger.