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The temple town has many Hindu religious maths or monasteries.The economy of Puri town is dependent on the religious importance of the Jagannath Temple to the extent of nearly 80 percent.However, the administrative jurisdiction of the Puri Municipality extends over an area of 16.3268 square kilometres (6.3038 sq mi) spread over 30 wards, which includes a shore line of 5 kilometres (3.1 mi).Puri is in the coastal delta of the Mahanadi River on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.Odisha, including Puri and its temple, were under the British Raj from 1803 till India attained independence in August 1947.Even though princely states do not exist in India today the heirs of the Gajapati Dynasty of Khurda still perform the ritual duties of the temple.
The estuary of the Bhargavi River has a shallow depth of just 5 feet (1.5 m) and the process of siltation continues.
It is delimited by the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, the Mauza Sipaurubilla on the west, Mauza Gopinathpur in the north and Mauza Balukhand in the east.
It is within the 67 kilometres (42 mi) coastal stretch of sandy beaches that extends between Chilika Lake and the south of Puri city.
Its name is mentioned, conforming to the deity worshipped, as Srikshetra, Purusottama Dhāma, Purusottama Kshetra, Purusottama Puri and Jagannath Puri. It is also known by the geographical features of its location as Shankhakshetra (the layout of the town is in the form of a conch shell), Another ancient name is Charita as identified by General Alexander Cunningham of the Archaeological Survey of India, which was later spelled as Che-li-ta-lo by Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang.
When the present temple was built by the Eastern Ganga king Anantavarman Chodaganga in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, it was called Purushottamkshetra.