Sri means Sri Devi, or Lakshmi, the svarüpa- sakti of Lord Vishnu.
That tract of land which is influenced by the Sri-sakti is thus known as Sri-ksetra. Sri Devi is a partial expansion of Srimati Radharani. According to the devotees who worship the Lord in mädhurya-rasa, this place has manifested the influence of top class of seva: madhurya and audarya. In the Skanda Purana (Utkala-khanda), it has been mentioned that this most beautiful Sri-ksetra is spread over ten yojanas (128km, or 80 miles) and surrounded by sands. Utkala is another name of Orissa.
This place was also known as Udradesa. Utkaladesa has been described in scriptures as the most holy place on this planet. In the Brahmanda Purana it is stated:
varsanam bharatah sresthah
desanam utkala smrtah
deso nasti mahitale
Among all varsas, Bhäratavarsa is great.Among all countries, Utkala or Orissa is the greatest. There is no place on this planet equal to Utkaladesa, Orissa. Utkala is divided into four parts which represent the weapons of Lord Vishnu. These four ksetras are known as Sankha-ksetra (Puri town), Padma-ksetra (Konark), Cakra-ksetra (Bhuvanesvara), and Gadasetra (Jajapura, where the Viraja Devi temple is). This ksetra-mandala covers an area of ten yojanas. Within that area of ten yojanas, Puri is known as Sankha-ksetra because its shape resembles a conch shell. This Puri-ksetra covers an area of five krosa, three of which are immersed under the ocean, and two on land. This land is covered with golden sands and decorated with a blue mountain.
Of the four ksetras, this Sankha-ksetra is very special as the Lord Himself in His arca-vigraha form is residing here on the bank of the ocean atop the blue mountain. The Lord has said this place is secret, even to Lord Brahma.
In Skanda Purana it is stated by Lakshmi Devi:
panca-krosam idam ksetram
yo ’sau visvesvaro devah
This ksetra which is five krosa in size and situated on the bank of ocean is best among all ksetras. In these five krosas, three krosas which are situated on the land portion are very sacred.
This place surrounded by golden sands and beautified by a blue mountain. At this place Narayana Himself is residing as Vivesvara. Lord Hari never leaves this place. He says in Skanda Purana,
satyam satyam punah satyam
satyam etad bravimi te
prasada-bhange tat sthanaam
na tyajämi kadacana
I am telling you as real truths for there times that I never leave this place even if my temple is destroyed. Sankha-ksetra spreads from east to west. Its head is towards the west
where Lokanatha Mahadeva resides. On the east side of Sankha-ksetra, Lord Nilkantha Mahadeva is residing. The belly portion of Sankha ksetra is situated beneath the ocean. Towards the end of this conch-shaped ksetra, Sri Nilkantheshwara Mahadeva resides. On the second avarta (circle) of Sankhaksetra, Kapala-mocana Mahadeva is residing. At the border of the third avarta Adyasakti Jagnamata Vimala is residing. On the navel portion of Sankha-ksetra there is Rohini-Kunda and Kalpa-vata. On the bank of Rohini-kunda, the Lord Himself is residing. Ardhasini Devi also resides in this ksetra. Her name is Ardhashini, because she drank half the water during the time of annihilation
This ksetra is very beautiful and wonderful It is extended up to ten yojanas. This place is very rare.