Offbeat Places To Visit With Your Family Near Puri

Take the road less travelled and explore the hidden gems near the coastal religious town of Puri
Offbeat Places To Visit With Your Family Near Puri
Revelry in the temple town of PuriShutterstock

One of the original four sites of the Char Dham Yatra, home to the Sree Jagannath Temple and an hour away from the Konark temple, the coastal town of Puri is one of the holiest sites in India. Every year it attracts lakhs of devotees and visitors alike to its shores and is alive all year round. If you wish to avoid the crowds and have a relaxing getaway, here are some offbeat places near Puri that you can explore with family.

The Museum of Tribal Arts and Artefacts

Close to 10 per cent of the total tribal population in India resides in Odisha and visiting this museum is the perfect way to understand the culture of the these tribes. It was established in 1953 and houses tribal replicas and artefacts; everyday tools and objects used by the community, like wooden guns and bird traps. In the outer premises stand replicas of tribal homes. The museum is a space to understand the evolution of tribal culture and an insight into their belief system; part of which is Mandua Sam, an invisible village deity and the god of death worshipped by the community.

The museum is open from 10 am to 5pm and closed on Mondays and state holidays. The entry fee is INR 10. Children aged below 12 and school children are entitled to free entry

Statues of tribals at work in the museum/ Google Images

Take in the Buddhist heritage of Dhauligiri Hills

A place of immense historical and spiritual significance, Dhauligiri Hills is the place where Emperor Ashoka decided to immerse himself in Buddhist teachings. It houses the famous rock edicts of Ashok and also has a Vishwa Shanti Stupa or the peace pagoda situated at the site of the Kalinga War. Visit the place to gather some peace of mind and take in the 360-degree panoramic views from the hills.

The entry fee is INR 25 and the there are two light and sound shows in a day, from 6:30 to 6:50 pm and from 7:10 to 7:30 pm.

/ The magnificent Stupa at Dhauligiri / Google Images

Explore Raghurajpur

Situated just fourteen kilometres away from Puri, Raghurajpur is Odisha’s first heritage crafts village. It is known for its Pattachitra painters, an art form that dates back to the 5th century BC and the Gotipua dance troupes. The dance troupes are a precursor to the classical dance form of the state, Odissi. There are also palm leaf engravings, wood and stone carvings and mask making and papier-mache toys. It also holds the distinction of being the only place where Patas, which are used to decorate the throne of Lord Jagannath are made.

An artisan at work in Raghurajpur/ Cobblestone Chronicles

Visit the Udayagiri Caves

Located an hour away from Puri, the Udayagiri Caves are a must visit if you are a history enthusiast.  These are ancient rock structures that reflect the art, culture, architecture and religion of the era gone by. It is also a very fascinating spot if you are a wildlife enthusiast. The rock structures date back to the 2nd century BC and are a marvel in natural heritage.

The 33 rock-cut chambers have Jain and Hindu wall paintings and sculptures and the most prominent structure is the 5 feet tall boar avatar of Vishnu with people worshipping him. It takes around an hour and a half to explore the caves completely and then you can choose to spend the day here just relaxing.

The entrance to the Udayagiri Caves / Google Images

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