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Puri is a city in the state of Odisha in eastern India, also called Sri Jagannatha Dhama after the 12th-century Jagannatha Temple located in the city. The temple is an important Hindu religious centre, and Puri is one of the original Char Dham (four abodes) pilgrimage sites for Hindus. History tells us that the Jagannatha Temple was invaded 18 times by Muslim rulers to plunder its treasures, but it survives today and Puri is home to many Hindu religious mathas or monasteries. The great legend to Puri revolves around the annual Ratha Yatra, or chariot festival at Jagannath Temple – commemorating the journey of Lord Krishna from Gokul to Mathura, the Rath Yatra is celebrated in June-July. The idol of the Lord is placed in a mammoth chariot which is pulled literally by hundreds of devotees. Interestingly, the English word juggernaut, with its connotation of an overwhelming steamroller or battering ram, is derived from Jagannath, meaning ‘Lord of the World.’

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