Puri/Konark, March 23, 2021 (PTI): President Ram Nath Kovind and the First Lady offered prayers in Puri on Monday.
The President, along with Savita Kovind, offered prayers at Lord Jagannath Temple and visited the Sun Temple at Konark in Puri district, on the last day of a three-day visit to Odisha.
First Lady offered prayers in Puri
Kovind and his wife arrived at the 12th century Lord Jagannath temple in Puri around 9.10am, accompanied by Governor Ganeshi Lal and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and spent about 40 minutes there.
They entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and paid obeisance to deities- Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath. They also offered prayers to Maa Bimala and Goddess Mahalaxmi on the premises of the world-famous temple.
First Lady offered prayers in Puri and performed rituals
As per the tradition, the President and his wife sat on the floor of Mahalaxmi temple for some before going to tie a flag (Patitapabana Bana) atop the shrine. “India’s first citizen tied a flag atop the temple wishing wellbeing of the countrymen,” said Janardan Pattajoshi, a servitor accompanying him.
He said the President was heard chanting “Jai Jagannath” during his presence in the temple.
Puri’s Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb and the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief administrator Krishan Kumar welcomed them at the Lion’s Gate of the temple.
Kovind donated Rs 1 lakh for the development of the shrine, Kumar said, adding that the SJTA presented him a “Patachitra” painting of Lords most auspicious “Nagarjuna Bhesa” (The Lord’s warrior attire). The temple was decorated with flowers for the President’s visit and the security has been beefed up in the town.
President Kovind’s visit to Odisha
This was Kovind’s second visit to the temple. Previously, he had come for the blessings of the Lord in 2018.
Shops and business establishments on both sides of the Grand Road were closed for security purpose.
No visitor or devotee was allowed to enter the temple 30 minutes before the President’s arrival.
The President later went to the 13th century Sun Temple at Konark, one of the UNESCO protected heritage site, along with his family members, Odisha governor Ganeshi Lal and Pradhan.
Kovind saw the “Black Pagoda”, the other name of Konark Temple where display of stone carvings was at its zenith. Kovind while addressing a meeting at the NIT Rourkela on Sunday had mentioned the name of Konark Temple.
Odisha has been immensely rich in history and culture. It has been the cradle of scientific approach since early times. Built about 800 years ago, the Sun Temple at Konark is an example of perfect blend of art and science. “I am looking forward to my visit to the temple tomorrow. It is listed among UNESCOs World Heritage Sites in India,” President had said to the NIT, Rourkela students.
During his three-day visit, Kovind also inaugurated a super specialty hospital of the Rourkela Steel Plant on Sunday. Before leaving for the national capital on Monday evening, Kovind planted a neem sapling in the premises of Raj Bhawan here which was also watered by him and the First Lady. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sees off the President at Biju Patnaik International Airport.