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About Puri

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Puri, the holy abode of Lord Jagannath, is one of the four Dhams (religious centres) of India. The sunny beach at Puri is one of the finest beaches in India. Watching the sun and the crimson glory surrounding it and just the opposite side the full moon and a star along with it still visible is a celestial experience.Puri is one of the most popular sea-side resorts where visitors can comfortably relax. The cool wave of breeze makes one more energetic and refreshed.Puri is endowed with one of the best beaches for swimming in India and is therefore also a popular beach resort, especially as it is positioned geographically so that both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the beach.

Puri has many names. It is mentioned in Puranas as Srikshetra, Shankhakshetra, Neelāchala, Neelādri, Purusottama Dhāma, Purusottama Kshetra, Purusottama Puri and Jagannath Puri. The word "Puri" in Sanskrit means 'town', or 'city' and is cognate with polis in Greek. It is possible that Puri is a shortened name for Jagannath Puri or Purusottama Puri. In some records pertaining to the British rule, the word 'Jagannath' was used for Puri. It is the only shrine in India, where Radha, along with Lakshmi, Durga, Sati, Parvati, and Shakti abodes with Krishna, also known as Jagannath.

Adi Sankaracharya

Puri is the site of the Govardhana matha, one of the four cardinal institutions established by Adi Shankaracharya, the others being those at Sringeri, Dwaraka and Jyotirmath. Puri is also famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, or "Festival of Chariots", when the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, are brought out of the temple, and placed in a chariot procession. This festival occurs on various dates of the Gregorian calendar, typically in the month of July. The town is famous for its many Mathas (Monasteries of the various Hindu sects). It also houses the relics of many Hindu figures as traditionally it is seen as a holy place to die in or to be cremated. As a result, it has had a disproportionate number of widows. Like other old Hindu religious towns it has a lot of character that is difficult to be glimpsed or picked up on easily by a casual visitor.
In 1903, Sri Yukteswar established an ashram in the sea-side town of Puri, naming it "Kararashram". From two ashrams, Yukteswar taught students, and began an organization named "Sadhu Sabha." Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, founder of 64 Sri Gaudiya Maths performed the final past-times of his life in Puri.

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