“The great spiritual army marched its hundreds, sometimes its thousand miles along the roads, across the unbridged rivers, and through pestilent jungles, those who took to the road had spent their strength long before the holy city was reached,” wrote Hunter. Indeed, before roads and railways were built, this is how devotees through the ages reached Puri.
Puri offers perhaps the best sea and surf bathing in all India. The long stretch of golden sands of the Puri beach is immensely popular with visitors throughout the year. The spell of the ancient city spreads up to the beach despite an elegant look given to it by the colourful tourists. On the beach for a relaxing swim, you will also admire the lithe fishermen, called Nunias’, at work wearing their conical silver straw hats. They guide bathers through the high and rhythmically rolling waves. Also on the beach is The Swarga Dwar or “Door of Paradise”. It is used as a cremation ground and when the ceremonies are finished here the pilgrim bathes in the sea to wash away his sins.