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Puri

Puri attracts many visitors throughout the year, most of whom are pilgrims drawn to the area as Puri is considered to be a very holy destination. Tourists come here to watch the fascinating swirl of pilgrims during festival time, with the added bonus that Puri has a long sweep of beach, perfect for walks and paddling amongst the surf-crested waves.

The beach is set up with loungers and parasols, and here the practice of sand art is growing in popularity. Artists come to the beach every day to carve sand sculptures of gods and deities, which are washed clean by the tides to be created afresh the following day.

Puri is home to the world famous Jagannath Temple. Although closed to non-Hindus, visitors can see the impressive spire topped with a flag. According to legend, the flag is changed every day by a priest who clambers up the tall spire without support. The annual Ratha Yatra festival sees hundreds of pilgrims congregate here to participate in the chariot procession, where deities are carried to the river in wooden Rathas (chariots) to perform rituals.

At the Swargarda cremation grounds visitors can get a fascinating glimpse into the customs of the Hindu populations who choose this holy place to cremate their loved ones. After visiting the Swargarda cremation ground many pilgrims bathe at the palm-tree lined Markandeya Tank to purify themselves in holy water.

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Susan Heller

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So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
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Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
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We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
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I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
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Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
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