Mrunal Manmay Dash

With the Puri Srimandir Parikrama project all set to be inaugurated on January 17, 2024, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) is on its toes rushing to finish all preparations.

In this connection, a preparatory meeting was held on Thursday in Puri Palace which was chaired by King Gajapatai Dibyasingha Deb. The meeting was joined by SJTA Chief Ranjan Das, Collector Samarth Verma, Managing Committee members and other administrative officials.

While invitations for the inauguration are being sent to many temples in Odisha and beyond, Puri King will offer betel and start the process for Yajnya. The Yajnya will begin as per the zodiac of the King with advice from the Royal Priest (Raj Purohit).

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to join the conclusion of Yajnya and public dedication of the Parikrama Project on January 17.

Speaking about the meeting, SJTA Chief Ranjan Das said, “It was mainly a review meeting. We reviewed the work done as discussed in the last meeting. All the officials of Temple administration and district administration apprised the King of the works done. We also discussed suggestions that came from several quarters to improve the event.”

The SJTA has drawn up a list of temples and guests as invitees to grace the inauguration ceremony which is expected to draw lakhs of devotees from across the country and abroad.

There are 857 temples, the Shankaracharyas of Chardham (Four major Hindu shrines), and the king of Nepal on the invitees’ list. Lord Lingaraj in Bhubaneswar, the presiding deity of Ekamra Kshetra was the first to be invited to the inauguration event.

While 13 teams have moved out from Srikshetra to give invitations to the shrines and temples in Odisha, 17 other teams have gone out of the state to distribute invitations to major religious shrines.

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