Offbeat Things to Do in Puri During Rath Yatra: Exploring the City Beyond Festivities

Immerse yourself in the spiritual bliss of Puri and explore its vibrant tradition and culture by participating in an experience like no other – the annual Rath Yatra festival. Thousands of devotees come together to celebrate Lord Jagannath with majestic chariots, singing hymns, chanting mantras, and offering puja rituals – electrifying the atmosphere with a profound moment that can bring even non-believers immense joy. 

The Puri Rath Yatra:

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Hindus from around the world travel to Puri in Odisha for Jagannath Rath Yatra – one of India’s most revered and celebrated festivals. This ancient event sees an awe-inspiring procession for over a week as devotees reverently transport statues representing Hindu gods Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subadra through the streets on giant chariots called ‘raths.’ 

This festival is celebrated every year on the second day of the Shukla Paksha, Ashadh month, as per the traditional Oriya calendar. It is referred to by many names, such as Festival Of Chariot or even Dashavatar Yarta, but its purpose remains constant throughout – devotion towards Lord Jagannath!

The one thing that you must do while in Puri during Rath Yatra:

Visiting The Jagannath Temple is essential while here; its stunning architecture bedazzles you. The temple is the focal point of the Rath Yatra festival. During this grand celebration, the idols of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra, and his sister Subhadra are taken out in a grand procession on chariots. 

The Rath Yatra is a mesmerizing experience, with thousands of devotees coming together to pull the massive chariots through the streets of Puri while the air is filled with the sound of drums and chanting. If you’ve never been before or plan on returning year after year – it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to miss out on!

Witnessing this grand procession is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, leaving one with a sense of divine ecstasy and profound spiritual awakening.

But if you’re looking to experience something beyond this popular event during your visit to Puri, look no further – we have rounded up some interesting offbeat things that are sure to leave you wanting more! 

Take a stroll around local markets for unique souvenirs or take in the beauty of Oriya architecture at the peaceful Jagannath Temple Complex; whatever it is that captures your fancy, there’s something here for everyone. Read on and find out how to make the most of your trip!

Things to explore other than Rath Yatra while in Puri:

1. Discover the Local Cuisine

Puri is famous for its delectable food, and during Rath Yatra, the streets are lined with food vendors offering an array of mouth-watering dishes. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the festival and explore the local restaurants to try unique dishes like kakara pitha, chhena poda, and gupchup. Try traditional dishes like dalma, ghuguni, and khaja from the street vendors near Jagannath Temple. These dishes are not only delicious but also reflect the city’s culinary heritage.

The Puri Khaja

2. Visit a Temple  

Puri is known as the spiritual capital of Odisha, and there are several temples in the city that are a must-visit. The most famous temple is the Jagannath Temple, which is the epicenter of the Rath Yatra festival. However, there are other temples like Gundicha Temple, Lokanath Temple, and Sonar Gouranga Temple that are worth exploring for an immersive spiritual experience.

The Jagannath Temple, Puri

3. Go Shopping at the Local Markets 

Puri is a haven for shopaholics, and there’s no better time to indulge in retail therapy than during Rath Yatra. Wander down bustling bazaars to find colorful items and traditional handicrafts like Pattachitra paintings, stone sculptures, and silver filigree jewelry. You can also pick up souvenirs like seashell trinkets and miniature chariots as a reminder of your time in Puri.

The Local Market

4. Enjoy a Beach Day 

Puri boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Odisha, and a beach day is the perfect way to unwind after a day of exploring the city. Spend the day lounging on white sand beaches like Puri Beach and taking in stunning sea views. You can also indulge in water sports like surfing and parasailing or take a dip in the ocean to beat the heat.

The Puri Sea Beach

5. Take a Boat Ride on Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake is the largest saltwater lagoon in Asia and is a haven for nature lovers. Take a break from the festival frenzy and take a boat ride on the lake to observe native wildlife, such as dolphins, birds, and sea turtles. You can also stop by the Kalijai Temple, located on an island in the lake and a popular pilgrimage site.

Odisha’s Largest Lagoon, Chilika Lake

6. Feel Like a Kid Again

The Amusement Park here is a fun-filled attraction that is perfect for families with kids. Experience fun activities like camel rides, roller coasters, and bumper cars and feel like a kid again. You can also indulge in some street food and snacks at the park to refuel after an adrenaline-filled day.

Camel Ride, Puri Beach


A visit to Puri during the Rath Yatra festival promises to be an experience unlike any other. And there’s more to this vibrant city than just the festival. From the serene beaches to the bustling night markets, Puri is a truly unique and extraordinary city with something for everyone. So why not add Puri to your travel bucket list today and witness the grandeur of the Rath Yatra while exploring all that this city has to offer? 

With so much to see and do in this beautiful part of India, it’s sure to be an unforgettable journey. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover one of India’s most unique cities – start planning your trip to Puri today!