Puri: With the onset of sacred and the holiest of all months in the Hindu calendar Kartik, large numbers of devotees throng to the pilgrim town to observe the holy month.
According to sources, hundreds of women devotees swarmed to Puri to live at mutts and religious hostels during the month to offer puja to the deities and carry out special rituals associated with the month, called ‘habisha’.
As per ritual, women observing ‘habisha’ perform puja in front of the ‘tulasi choura’ or basil plant and blow conch followed by ‘hulahulis’. Later they take a holy walk around the temple.
As per the tradition, those who observe the habisha or the Kartika brata give up a number of vegetables such as different varieties of gourds, brinjal, a number of pulses and other leafy vegetables for the whole month.
Meanwhile, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has prepared a special time table for the Kartik month expecting a huge footfall of devotees.