I went to the holy Hindu city of Puri with my aunt and grandmother’s sister. Unless you are the religious type, Puri is not a place where you want to spend a minute of your time. The temple is run by the pandas (priests) … they are more like religious mafias. I was dumping Rs. 50, Rs. 100 here and there just to keep them off my back while I was in the temple’s core. A place of worship is not somewhere I like to frequent and this is ONE temple where I actually want to go. But these annoying pandas are like hawks. “Give this much here and you will enjoy eternal bliss.” … I DON’T WANT ETERNAL BLISS, BUZZ OFF!
Advice: You can’t get a minute of peace with Lord Jagannath if you pay EXTRA for a ticket to get closer than the “free” zone. So stay with the crowd and you will be much less stressed.
Puri has one of the best beaches in India. But it is also the least maintained. There is no sign of police anywhere near the crowded beach area and animal abuse is rampant. I saw some thugs who have horses (more like mules) and camels and they take people on short rides and make a living of it. I saw this one criminal with a slightly injured horse. The horse was clearly limping and a fat woman and her kid decided to go on a ride on this poor animal. I was watching the whole thing. Somehow fatso got on the horse and the criminal whipped and dragged the horse to give them a joy ride. When fatso and her kid got off, this criminal punched the poor horse in the belly and also hit its injured knee with a small wooden bat. It was such an outrage that I could not stop myself and yelled (like never before) at this scoundrel. Sure the sadistic bastard stopped hitting the animal, but I am sure he or someone else will continue abusing animals like this unless there is some police presence on the beach to monitor animal abuse.
I will post not a single picture from my Puri trip.