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Puri district

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Puri district

Puri district
ପୁରୀ ଜିଲ୍ଲା
The Jagannath Temple at Puri
The Jagannath Temple at Puri
Location in Odisha, India
Location in Odisha, India
Country  India
State Odisha
Headquarters Puri
 • Collector Dhiren Kumar Pattnaik
 • Members of Lok Sabha Pinaki Misra, BJD
 • Total 3,051 km2 (1,178 sq mi)
Population (2001)
 • Total 1,502,682
 • Density 492/km2 (1,270/sq mi)
 • Official Odia, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 752 xxx
Vehicle registration OD-13
Coastline 150.4 kilometres (93.5 mi)
Nearest city Bhubaneswar
Sex ratio 1.032 /
Literacy 73.86%
Lok Sabha constituency 2; Puri, Jagatsinghpur
Vidhan Sabha constituency 7;
Climate Aw (Köppen)
Avg. summer temperature 37 °C (99 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 13.9 °C (57.0 °F)
Website .in.nic.puriwww

Puri(Odia:ପୁରୀ ଜିଲ୍ଲା) is a coastal district of the Odisha state of India, famous for its historic antiquities, religious sanctuaries, architectural grandeur, sea-scape beauty, and its moderate climate. It holds a wealth of attractions for visitors. It boasts a continuous history from the 3rd century B.C. to the present, and unique monuments such as those of Lord Jagannath at Puri, and the Sun God at Konark. It has the Chilika Lake, the largest brackish water lakes in India, that holds a picturesque sea-scape beauty. It offers an ideal resort for birds who migrate from different parts of the continent. By virtue of its geographical location, the climate of Puri is equable throughout the year.

This district comprises 1714 revenue villages. It has one subdivision (Puri Sadar), 11 tehsils and 11 blocks. Puri is the only municipality of the district.


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
    • Pre-history 2.1
    • History of the District as an administrative unit 2.2
  • Geography 3
    • Sea-coast Bays 3.1
    • Island 3.2
    • River system 3.3
    • Lakes 3.4
  • Demographics 4
  • Culture and Tradition 5
    • Temples 5.1
    • Traditional Fairs and Festivals 5.2
    • Dance and Music 5.3
      • Odissi dance 5.3.1
      • The Mahari Dance 5.3.2
    • Folk Dances 5.4
      • Other folk dances 5.4.1
    • Other Monuments 5.5
      • Excavated Archeological Sites 5.5.1
      • Theatres 5.5.2
      • Opera 5.5.3
      • Museum 5.5.4
      • Libraries 5.5.5
    • Notable people 5.6
    • District Culture office 5.7
  • Politics 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The District has been named after its headquarters town, Puri. According to Cunningham the ancient name of this town was Charitra mentioned by the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang as Che-li-ta-lo. But the restoration of the word Che-li-ta-lo as Charitra and its identification with the town of Puri are open to doubt. The importance of the town as a seat of Vaisnavism increased when Chodaganga Deva constructed the temple of Purusottama Jagannath and installed the images of the deities. Thereafter, it became famous as the abode of Purusottama and was popularly called Purusottama Kshetra.



Like many other parts of Odisha, in the Puri District, river gravels and slits may be included among the various Pleistocene formations. But no formation of this period has so far yielded any type of pre-historic stone tool though they are found in a large number from similar formations (river gravels, secondary laterite pits and murrams) in the districts of Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundargarh. So whatever information we have regarding the pre-historic cultures of this districts are mainly derived from different types of stone tools collected from the surface.

In the drama Anargharaghava Natakam attributed to circa 9th century CE, we find the name Purusottama applied to this town. In the Nagari Plate of Anangabhima III of the Saka year 1151-52 i.e. 1229-30 CE, the place is called Purusottama Kshetra. This name in the form of Purusottama Chhatar or only in the form Chhatar was used by the Mughals, the Marathas as well as the early British rulers in their official records. Even in Yoginitantra and Kalikapurana the city is referred to as Purusottam. Puri region was also known as Utkal.

The name Purusottama Kshetra was also for sometime known as Purusottama Puri. As the word Purusottama Kshetra was contracted into Kshetra or Chhatra, so also Purusottama Puri was expressed in the contracted form as Puri. In fact, in many early British records this town is known by the name Pooree. In modern times, the name of Puri has become the most popular of all the other names used for this town.

History of the District as an administrative unit

Under Mughal Rule (1592–1751), Odisha for the purpose of revenue administration was divided into three circars, namely Jaleswar, Bhadrak and kataka each of which Under Mughal was subdivided into Bishis. Puri formed a part of kataka circar. After their occupation of Odisha in 1751, the Marathas brought about some changes in the revenue divisions of the province . They divided Odisha, which then extended from the river Suvarnarekha in the north to the lake Chilika in the south, into five Chakalas viz. (I) Pipli, (II) Kataka (III)Soro, (IV) Balasore. The Chakala of Pipli comprised major portions of the modern district of Puri. The Chakalas were divided into parganas into Mahals or Taluqs. The conquest of Odisha by the British in 1803 set fourth great changes in revenue divisions and political relations . In June 1804, the province was divided into two divisions, namely the Northern and Southern Divisions, the river Mahanadi forming the boundary. Robert Ker and Charles Groeme were appointed as Judge, Magistrate and collector in Northern and Southern Divisions respectively. By 1805 both divisions were amalgamated and G.Webb succeeded Groene as collector and Robert Ker became the Judge and Magistrate of the whole province.

As the Raja of Khurdha revolted the 1804, he was arrested and was placed in confinement in the Fort of Barabati at Cuttack. His territory was confiscated and the Raja was subsequently released. In 1807 he was permitted to live at Balisahi in the town of Puri and functioned as superintendent of the temple of Jagannath. Puri was the capital of the province of Odisha and the headquarters of the collector, till 1816. In 1806 there was a proposal to remove the headquarters to Jajpur, but it didn't get Government sanction. In August 1814, a part of the collectors establishment was removed to Cuttack, which was again brought back to Puri in December. By 1816 the headquarters was permanently shifted to Cuttack which was Headquarters during Moghal and Marathas. By 1818 the office of the commissioner was established and Robert Ker became the first commissioner. From 1813 to 1819 there was a joint Magistrate at Puri with the jurisdiction over the Thana of Pipli, Gop, Hariharpur and Kiran. By 1819 this office was abolished and the joint magistrate of Khurdha was given the charge of the above thanas. On 11 February 1822, the office of the joint magistrate of Khurdha was abolished and Odisha was again divided into two divisions with the river Baitarani as the dividing line. Willkinson, the collector of Cuttack, was placed in charge of Cuttack and Khurdha and Ricketts with powers of a collector was given the charge of Balasore and Bhadrak.

Finally on 23 October 1828, the province was divided into three districts, namely Balaore, Cuttack and Jagannath, later known as Puri. Regulation IV of 1821 had provided that the power of a magistrate and collector might be vested in one and the same person and accordingly are magistrate and collector was appointed in each of the above three districts. H. Ricketts, R. Hunter and W. Willkinson were the first magistrate and collectors of Balasore, Cuttack and puri districts respectively.

In 1912 the new province of Bihar and Orissa was formed. Subsequently Orissa become a separate province in 1936. After integration with Orissa an 1 January 1948 of the feudatry states of Nayagarh, Daspalla, Khandapara and Ranapur with a total area of 3941 1st km. a separate Sub-Division comprising these ex-states was added to Puri District with headquarters at Nayagarh. The fourth Sub-Division of Bhubaneswar was carried out on 26 January 1959. The old Puri District consisted of four Sub-Division i.e. Puri Sadar, Khurdha, Bhubaneswar and Nayagarh, Puri Sadar Sub-Division consists of four Tahasils i.e. 1) Krushna Prasad 2) Sadar 3) Pipili, 4) Nimapara.

Again by the year 1995 the Puri District was divided into 3 Districts:


The Puri district lies around the latitudes 19° and longitudes 84°29'E. It has a geographical area of 3051 km2 or 264988 Ha. It has a varied geographical and geological divisions depending upon the available rock types, soil, vegetation, water bodies and climate.

The whole of the district may be divided into two dissimilar natural divisions i) The littoral tract ii) The level alluvial tract

i) The littoral Tract The strip of the country lies between the alluvial and the Bay of Bengal. It assumes the form of a bear but sandy ridger which stretches along the sea- shore for the full length of the District, Varying from 6.5 km. to a few hundred metres in with . Accumulations of wind blown sand give rise to ridges parallel to the coast. It forms the dividing line between the Chilika lake and the ocean

ii) The Level Alluvial tract

This level of alluvial region is full of villages and rice fields, watered by a network of channels, through which the water of distributaries of the most southerly branch of Mahanadi, find their way to the sea. There is no hill in Puri District except a small cultivate land are under plough. Generally biali or autumn rice, sarada or winter rice and dalua or spring rice these three types of rice are cultivated.

Sea-coast Bays

The length of the sea-coast of the district of Puri is nearly 150.4 km. Sandy ridges are found along the sea-coast which stretch into the districts of Jagatsingpur and Ganjam . One such sandy spit divides the lake Chilika from Bay of Bengal . These sandy ridges and dunes are formed by the strong monsoon currents which blow over the country for nearly 8 months of the year . The ridges vary from about 7 km to a few metres in width and have prevented most of the rivers of the district from finding their way into the ocean.


No Island is found in the coastal waters of Puri, but the Chilika lake is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a group of Islands.

River system

All the rivers of Puri district have a common characteristics. In the hot weather they are beds of sand with tiny streams or none at all, while in the rains they receive more water than they can carry. Generally all rivers are distributaries of Mahanadi rivers.

1) Kushabhadra River- A branch of Kuakhai river originates from Balianta and meets the sea of Bay of Bengal at the shrine of Ramachandi, located 15 miles east of Puri. Its tributary Mugei joins with Kushabhadra.

2) Daya River- A branch of Kuakhai river drains into the Chilika lake. Two small rivers join with Daya river i.e. the Gangua and the Managuni below Kanas. Daya river has been attributed with problem of causing silt build-up in Chilika Lake.

3) Bhargavi River- A branch of Kuakhai meets the sea of Bay of Bengal after breaking up into numerous distributaries in the last two and half miles of its course. There are four main branches all branching off from the left bank viz. Kanchi, the East Kania, the Naya Nadi and the South Kanchi (which drains into Sar Lake); and by various channel the first three are interconnected and finally join the Suna Munhi river which falls into Bali Harchandi and ultimately drains to the Bay of Bengal sea via the mouth of Chilika. The South Kania gets lost in the marshes on the western shore of Chilika.

4) Kadua River- It is a monsoon fed river that drains into Prachi river.

5) Prachi River- It is a branch commencing from Puri and Jagatsinghpur district. It has its origin near Kantapara on Cuttack-Gop road and passes through the village of Kakatpur before draining into the sea of Bay of Bengal.

6) Devi River- It is a branch of Kathajori. It runs into Puri district near the extreme east forming numerous branches.

There are also a few small rivers worth a mention, chiefly Ratnachira and Nuna, which drain into Bhargabi river and Daya river respectively.


Map of lake Chilka with near-by settlement of Puri.

1. The Chilika Lake

2. The Sar Lake


According to the 2011 census Puri district has a population of 1,697,983,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Guinea-Bissau[2] or the US state of Idaho.[3] This gives it a ranking of 291st in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 488 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,260/sq mi) .[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 13%.[1] Puri has a sex ratio of 963 females for every 1000 males,[1] and a literacy rate of 85.37%.[1]

Culture and Tradition

Puri is one of the fascinating littoral district of Odisha. The Cultural heritage of Puri with its long recorded history beginning from third century B.C. till present day, The monuments and religious sanctity, way of life of the people with their rich tradition possess emphatically to be the cultural heart of Odisha. In deed Puri is consider cultural capital of Odisha. The culture here is flourished with its manifold activities.

The District has the happy conglomeration of different religions, sects and faith in course of history. Majority of the people are Hindus. The other important communities like Muslims, Sikhs, jains, Christians and tribals found here in the District. The Hindu monuments of various sectors like Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Sakti cult, Ganapatya, Mahabir etc. are found. Similarly Muslim Mosques, Christian Churches are also noticed here.


The important monuments of the District are :-

Konark Sun Temple
  • Jagannath Temple (Puri)
  • Gundicha Temple, Puri
  • Lokonath Temple, Puri
  • Jambeswar temple, Puri
  • Sapta Matruka images near Markandeswar tank Puri
  • Sun Temple, Konark
  • Barahi Temple, at Chourasi, in Nimapara Block.
  • Mangala Temple, Kakatpur
  • Sakhigopal Temple, at Sakhigopal
  • Amareswar Temple, at Amareswar, Nimapara Block
  • Sculpture shed at Bishnupur, Nimapara
  • Gramswar Temple, Terundia, Nimapara
  • Alarnath Temple, Brahamgiri
  • Baliharachandi Temple, Brahamagiri,Block
  • Kunteswar Temple, Araorh, Pipili Block
  • Harihar Temple, near Pipili
  • Shiva Temple, Jagadalpur at Delang Block
  • Tara image at Badatara, Gop
  • Bayalisbati Temple, near Gop
  • Mohabir Temple, Siruli Sadar Block
  • Sri Sri Bakreswar Temple at Balanga, Nimapara block

The grandeur of architecture and the crafts maintop of the sculptures speak high of the cultural history of Puri District. A comprehensive list of Hindu temples in and around Puri district is available in the External links section below

Traditional Fairs and Festivals

It is said that 13 festivals are celebrated in calendar year relating to Lord Jagannath. Some important festivals related of Lord Jagannath and others are listed below.

Other Festivals for Tourists

  • Konark festival- Deptt of Tourism- Government of Odisha- 1st week of December
  • Konark Music & Dance Festival- Konark Natya Mandap- February
  • Basant Utshav- Parampara Raghurajpur- February
  • Puri Beach Festival at Puri- Organised by Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha - November
  • Sriksetra Mohotsav, Puri- Organised by Srikshetra Mahoshav committee - April
  • Gundicha Utshav at Puri- Organised by Urreka, Puri - June

In all the festivals Odissi dance and folk dances from different parts of the country are staged.

Cultural programme on second Saturday of every month

With the objective to encourage the young artist and to display our rich performing art form,Cultural programmee for two hours, in the evening of 2nd Saturday of each month is organized at the collector's conference Hall C (Near Sea beach Police Station) Puri by Dist,Council of culture.The majestic Odissi dance,the lucid Odissi Song and enchanting flok dances are staged in this programmee.There is no entry fee for viewing this programs.

Dance and Music

Ancient cultures of Puri have the most expressive forms of music and dance. These two highly evolved art forms have manifested themselves in some of the most evocative and celebrated performances from and not only the professional classical exponents but also from the various folk and tribal groups.

Much of Puri's ancient activities revolved around the beautiful temples that were abundant in the rural areas and the commercial centers. In the big temples, the role of dance and music in temple rituals was important enough to accord them a separate enclosure- the Nata mandira- for their full development. The famous Nata mandiras, beautifully embellished with figures in various poses of dance and musicians handling a variety of instruments are witness to this integral role in temple life .

Odissi dance

Sharmila Biswas performing Odissi in a dance festival in Kerala

What also comes to light is the important revelation that the cult of the "Devadasi" or female temple dancers was not only pre-valent to the temples in central and south India, but also existed in Odisha in a highly sophisticated form. The more talented devadasi are selected for training in the secret arts of the temple dance "Odissi" which today has become a highly stylized and elegant dance form. The devadashis were used to dance for lord Jagannath with the songs from Jayadev's Gita Govinda. After the abolition of devadasi system, this dance becomes the most developed classical dance form of the State. Padmashri Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra is the legend of the particular dance form.

Orissi music

Own its origin from Puri. It is a separate form of song with its own importance and is quite different from Hindusthani and Karnataki music.

The Mahari Dance

Limb linking service of the Lord Jagannath, Who is very much fond of music and song is the action and pride of ‘Mahari’ tradition. Mahari Tradition of the Sri Mandira is the beautiful Parijata flower of art an history of Utkal. It also enlightened the national culture by its fragrance and the touch. It has been doing so far from the time immortal. It has made the art of Utkal glorious. Mahari tradition is the same and one union of Lord Jagannath and great Nari Mahari. Mahari Dance coming from the Nata temple of the temple has reached and extended to the stage and shastriya Odissi dance.

Folk Dances

Gotipua is a fascinating folk dance of Puri Where boys below 14 years clad in female dress dance to the tune at the music. The acrobatic poses attached to the dance enthralls the audience. This dance is becoming very popular. The Gotipua team of Raghurajpur has earned much reputation.

  • Naga and Medha dance

Here the dancer put a mask on his head and dance to the rhythm of the enchanting music. The medhas of Ravan, Trisira, Navasira etc. and Naga dance one very popular in Puri town. During Rama Navami days this dance is enacted at the streets of Puri town for seven days.

Other folk dances

Ghoda nacha, Dhudki, Pala, Daskathia, Bhalunacha and Navrang are some other folk dances prevalent in the district.

Other Monuments

Excavated Archeological Sites

The following are the Excavorted archeological Sites of Puri District.

a) Kurum also known as Kuruma, is 8 km from Konark. The excavation work conducted here revealed the remains of Buddhists artifacts from the 10th century CE.

b) Manikapatana: - It is in Krushnaprasad block from which the remains of medieval period were found.

c) Klkha patana on Puri Konark Marine drive road where the remains from 15th century was found.


Annapurna Theatre, Situated at the grand road Puri, is a pioneer institution in the field of theatrical performances.


Opera is a popular mobile drama troupe is very popular in the state.


a) District Museum Puri:- With a view to preserve and project our rich cultural heritage, the district Museum at Puri is functioning since 1997. It is one of the branch museums of Odisha State Museum and managed by the state government. Different Veshas of Lord Jagannath, Sculptures of various Kinds, Patta paintings oalm leaf paintings, Handicrafts of numerous varieties are displayed in this museum. It is located at the station road, Puri-2. There is no entry fee for visiting this museum.

b) Another handicraft museum is situated at Batagaon, 5 km from Puri on Puri Bhubaneswar road. It is managed by a Co-operative Society.


a) Dist Library :-The Dist library of Puri is situated at station road and having more than 15,000 books, daily Newspapers and Magazines are brought to this library regularly. It is managed by the state government's department of culture. Anyone interested can read in this library. There is no lending facilities.

b) Panchasakha Memorial hall Library, Sakshigopal:- This library is also managed by department of culture. It has more than 4,000 books at its stock. Monday is the weekly holidays.

To extend library activities in rural areas, registered librariesfunctioning at different parts of the district are encouraged with various distance from Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation Calcutta through State Govt.

Notable people

District Culture office

To promote cultural activities and to implement Govt, decisions at the grass root level relating to art and culture, Dist Hqrs. The District Library Puri, Panchasakha Memorial Hall Library at Sakhigopal,the museum Puri is directly managed by this office.Besides it provide information on different aspects of culture.Cultural programmee are organized by this office. Grants to registered libraries, cultural institutions, pension to artist in indecent Circumstances are routed throughthis Office. It also keeps liaison with the Orissa Sahitya Akademi and the Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy.


The following are the Odisha Legislative Assembly constituencies[4][5] of Puri district and their elected members.[6]

No. Constituency Reservation Extent of the Assembly Constituency (Blocks) Member of 14th Assembly Party
105 Kakatpur SC Konark (NAC), Kakatpur, Astarang, Gop (part) Rabi Mallick BJD
106 Nimapara None Nimapara (NAC), Nimapara, Gop (part) Samir Ranjan Dash BJD
107 Puri None Puri (M), Puri Sadar (part), Gop (part) Maheswar Mohanty BJD
108 Bramhagiri None Brahmagiri, Krushnaprasad, Puri Sadar (part) Sanjay Kumar Das Burma BJD
109 Satyabadi None Satyabadi, Kanas Uma Samantray IND
110 Pipili None Pipili (NAC), Pipili, Delanga Pradeep Maharathy BJD


  1. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  2. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. Guinea-Bissau 1,596,677 July 2011 est. 
  3. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. Idaho 1,567,582 
  4. ^ Assembly Constituencies and their EXtent
  5. ^ Seats of Odisha
  6. ^ "List of Member in Fourteenth Assembly". Retrieved 19 February 2013. MEMBER NAME 

External links

  • Official website
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