Odi: ପୁରୀ purī

‘City (of the Supreme Being)’ [Purushottama Puri, Sri Jagannatha Dhama] City/District  Odisha

From Skt:  purusha ‘spirit’, ‘soul’ ‘(male) being’; and uttama, ‘highest’, ‘greatest’, ‘supreme’.

Puri is one of the original char dham [Hin: chār, ‘four’; Hin/Skt: dhām(an), ‘abode’] pilgrimage sites for Vaishnavite Hindus who believe that visiting the four key sites dedicated to Vishnu (Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram) will lead to moksha, ‘salvation’.

Vishnu is worshipped here in the form of Jagannath, ‘Lord of the Universe [Skt: jagan, ‘world’, ‘universe’; nātha, ‘lord’, ‘master’]. In the annual ratha yatra Jagannath, his brother (Balbhadra) and sister (Subhadra) are paraded on enormous highly ornate temple chariots, the origin of the English word ‘juggernaut’.

Jagannath’s  vehicle is remade every year and is 14 metres high with 16 wheels two metres in diameter. Puri relies heavily on Lord Jagganath: with 24 festivals a year attracting millions of devotees, the temple generates 80% of the city’s revenues.

For related place names see Indian Place names and Odisha place names.