These hallowed cremation grounds are the final earthly stop for some 40 deceased Hindus who are cremated here daily. You can watch or walk among the open-air ceremonies as long as you behave in a respectful manner and avoid taking photos. It’s an obviously solemn affair, but a fascinating glimpse into Puri’s role as one of India’s holiest cities.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Puri attractions

1. Raghunandan Library

0.78 MILES

The world's saddest library — featuring a few rows of dusty, locked bookcases — does a lucrative trade by offering great views of Jagannath Mandir for non…

2. Jagannath Mandir


This mighty temple is home to Jagannath (Lord of the Universe), an incarnation of Vishnu. Built in its present form in 1198, the temple – closed to non…

3. Model Beach

1.12 MILES

Puri is no palm-fringed paradise – the beach is wide, shelves quickly with a nasty shore break and is shadeless. But Model Beach, part of a sustainable,…

4. Markandeya Tank

1.23 MILES

This bathing place, where Vishnu is said to have resided as a neem tree, is particularly interesting in the mornings, when locals come here for their…

5. Narendra Tank

1.47 MILES

The largest of Puri's holy tanks, this is where locals bathe on a daily basis. It's also where a replica deity of Jagannath is brought on an annual basis…

6. Sun Temple

19.19 MILES

Conceived as the cosmic chariot of the sun god Surya, this massive, breathtakingly splendid temple was constructed in the mid-13th century, probably by…

7. Archaeological Museum

19.28 MILES

This museum contains many impressive sculptures and carvings found during excavations of the Sun Temple.

8. Pipli

22.65 MILES

This colourful village, 16km southeast of Bhubaneswar, is notable for its locally made brilliant appliqué craft, which incorporates small mirrors and is…