Puri: President of India Ram Nath Kovind along with First Lady Savita Kovind on Monday offered prayers at Shree Jagannath temple and visited the Sun Temple at Konark in Puri district, on the last day of his three-day visit to Odisha.
Mr.Kovind and his wife arrived at the temple around 9.10 am, accompanied by Governor Ganeshi Lal and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and spent about 40 minutes at the 12th century Lord Jagannath Temple.
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 Shree Mahalaxmi on the premises of the 12th century Lord Jagannath temple. 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 temple.
“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.
“The President donated Rs 1 lakh for the development of the shrine,” Dr.Kumar adding that the SJTA presented him a “Patachitra” painting of Lord’s most auspicious “Nagarjua Bhesa” (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.
This was Mr.Kovind’s second visit to the temple, Previously, he had comefor 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 Sub Temple at Konark, one of the Unesco protected heritage site, along with his family members, Odisha governor Ganeshi Lal and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
The President saw the “Black Pagoda”, the other name of Sun Konark Temple where display of stone carvings was at its zenith. Mr.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 UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in India,” President had said to the NIT, Rourkela students.
During his three day visit, Mr.Kovind also inaugurated a super specialty hospital of the Rourkela Steel Plant on Sunday.
Before his departure to the national capital at about 4.55 pm on Monday, Mr.Kovind planted a “neem” sapling in the premises of Raj Bhavan here which was also watered by him and the First Lady.
Apart from Governor Ganeshi Lal, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan (Both accompanied him to Puri and Konark), Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also sees off the President at the Biju Patnaik International Airport.