Puri is a city and the district headquarters of Puri district, Odisha, eastern India. It is situated on the Bay of Bengal, 60 kilometres (37 mi) south of the state capital of Bhubaneswar. It is also known as Jagannath Puri after the 11th century Jagannath Temple located in the city. It is a holy city of the Hindus as a part of the original Char Dham pilgrimages, of which the other legs are Dwaraka, Badrinath and Rameswaram.
According to Hindu teachings, a pilgrimage of the temples of India is not considered complete without a journey to Puri.
The Sun Temple Konark is at distance of around 35 km from Puri.
Puri, the holy land of Lord Jaganath, has many names. 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.
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 Jyoshimath.
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.
In 1903, Sri Yukteswar established an ashram in the sea-side town of Puri, naming it "Karar Ashram". From two ashrams, Sri Yukteswar taught students the Kriya Yoga, and began an organization named "Sadhu Sabha."
Near Puri more than 30 years ago, Father Marian Zelazek SVD and Sister Amelia, founded a village for the lepers. In Puri and in its surroundings he worked with the lepers and the downtrodden, helping them to have a shelter, food, medicines and a human dignity. Near the village he started a school for the children and a home for the orphans.
When Father Marian passed on April 30th 2006, he was near the lepers, the friends whom he loved so much, as he always wished.