During his visit to Odisha, King Charles stayed at Raj Bhawan as a State guest.
Prince Charles, now the King of the UK, during his visit to Odisha
Prince Charles, who has now become King Charles III following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, visited Odisha once. Yes, the 73-year-old King became our state guest in 1980. Then, he was 32.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
During his visit to Odisha, he had stayed in Raj Bhawan and the then Governor CM Poonacha had hosted him. Janaki Ballabh Patnaik was then the Chief Minister of Odisha.
During his short stay, he had visited several nearby places. Haripur under Pipili tehsil in Puri district, was one of them.
The cherished memory has come alive with the Prince becoming the King of the UK. Local villagers are fondly remembering the day when they had Prince Charles amongst them.
“I can recollect even the day. It was December 4, 1980. Then our village was an Adarsh Gram Panchayat. When we came to know that Prince Charles is coming to our village, we were extremely happy. He went around the village, expressed interest to know how coconuts are plucked, how baskets are strewn, how jhoti or chita (a kind of rangoli) is done on floor and more,” said an elderly villager.
“We pray to Lord Gopinath, his mother’s soul may rest in peace. We also pray for his overall development,” he added.
“It seems like yesterday. After watching how paddy is thrashed, he straight came to our house. Then my mother, who was ill, lying in bed and my younger brother was having his lunch. I myself offered him a green coconut. During his visit, there was heavy police deployment in our village,” reminisced another villager.
“I am a daughter-in-law of the village. I feel proud for belonging to a village visited by Prince Charles,” said a woman of the village.
He had also visited Mukteshwar temple in Bhubaneswar. This 10th-century temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Because of its architectural marvels, it is regarded as the ‘Gem of Odisha Architecture'. This west-facing temple is famous for its stone arch and sculptures depicting Panchatantra stories.
During his stay, King Charles, then Prince, had also met Chief Minister Janaki Ballabh Patnaik and discussed with him over several topics.
The longest serving monarch of the UK, Queen Elizabeth II, breathed her last on September 8. She reigned for 70 years.
While King Charles has visited India 10 times, so far, Queen Elizabeth visited the nation thrice during her reign.