Ramakanta Biswas

President Droupadi Murmu, who is on a two-day visit to her home state Odisha, visited Lingaraj Temple on the second day of her visit and offered prayers to Lord Lingaraj on Saturday.

Murmu reached the famous Shiva shrine from Raj Bhawan amid tight security in the morning and performed 'Jalabhishek' and offered prayers to the Lord.

She first visited the Bindu Sagar lake before proceeding to the Temple to offer her prayers. Elaborate arrangements were made at the temple to welcome the first citizen of India. This was the first visit to the temple after assuming the highest constitutional post of the country.

Owing to security reasons, the temple was closed briefly to general devotees during her visit. The temple trust gifted her a photograph of Damodar Vesha of Lord Lingaraj apart from the Kotha Bhoga prepared by the Maha Suara servitors body of the temple and a Pata Uttaria (silk shawl).

She briefly interacted with the temple trust members before heading straight to Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar. Later, she flew to Cuttack in a special flight of the Indian Air Force. The President is scheduled to inaugurate the second Indian Rice Congress at the ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack.

After the inauguration ceremony, the President will fly back to Bhubaneswar Airport in a helicopter this evening from where she will fly back to New Delhi.

President Murmu, on her first day of the visit, visited her alma mater, Ramadevi Women’s University and also graced the foundation day of Jnanaprabha Mission as chief guest.

Also Read | President Murmu Gets Emotional Recalling Tough Days at Alma Mater Rama Devi

The President got emotional while addressing students and faculty members at her alma mater.

During her speech, President Murmu said, “The memories of college days watching a street vendor selling spicy peanuts with lemons and chilies at 25 paise are still fresh in my mind. Never had enough money to eat in the campus canteen, so I used to eat from street vendors.”

Later in the evening, the President inaugurated a 1000-capacity state-of-the-art Abhishek Hall at Raj Bhawan in presence of Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. 

(Reported by Alok Mohanty, OTV)