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Puri is known by several names since the ancient times, and was locally known as "Shrikhetra" and Lord Jagannath temple is known as "Badadeula".
Puri and the Jagannath Temple were invaded 18 times by Hindu and Muslim rulers, from the 4th century AD till the early 19th century with the objective of looting the treasures of the temple.
According to the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system the climate of Puri is classified as Aw (Tropical savanna climate). The average annual rainfall is 1,337 millimetres (52.6 in) and the average annual temperature is 26.9 °C (80.4 °F). Puri, the holy land of Lord Jagannatha, also known by the popular vernacular name Shrikhetra, has many ancient names in the Hindu scriptures such as the Rigveda, Matsya purana, Brahma Purana, Narada Purana, Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, Kapila Purana and Niladrimahodaya.
In the Rigveda, in particular, it is mentioned as a place called Purushamandama-grama meaning the place where the Creator deity of the world – Supreme Divinity deified on an altar or mandapa was venerated near the coast and prayers offered with Vedic hymns.
The 24 festivals, including 13 major ones, held every year in the temple complex contribute to the economy; Ratha Yatra and its related festivals are the most important which are attended by millions of people every year.
Then the land was drained by a tributary of the Bhargavi River, a branch of the Mahanadi River.
In the Sanskrit drama Anargha Raghava Nataka as well, authored by Murari Mishra, a playwright, in the 8th century AD, it is referred to as Purushottama. It is also said by Wilkinson that some relics of Buddha were placed inside the idol of Jagannath which the Brahmins claimed were the bones of Lord Krishna.
Even during Maurya king Ashoka's reign in 240 BC, Kalinga was a Buddhist center and that a tribe known as Lohabahu (barbarians from outside Odisha) converted to Buddhism and built a temple with an idol of Buddha which is now worshipped as Jagannatha.
Puri has been chosen as one of the heritage cities for Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme of Government of India.
Puri, located on the east coast of India on the Bay of Bengal, is in the centre of the Puri district.