Odishatv Bureau

Puri: With the commencement of holy month of Kartik today, thousands of Habishyalis from across the State and outside thronged Puri Srimandir to begin observance of the month-long rituals of 'Kartik Brata'.

The Habishyalis (women who observe certain rituals for a month as prescribed by scriptures) believe that taking a pre-dawn bath at the 'Pancha Tirtha' followed by worship of Lord Raidamodar and other rituals during the holy month will bestow them with ultimate salvation.

Like every year, this year too Odisha government has pitched in with extensive arrangements to facilitate the devotees in their holy endeavour. Puri administration has arranged for accommodation, Mahaprasada and other puja essentials like Tulasi Choura, the worship place for the Habishaylis.

As per reports, the administration has set up three shelter homes at Railway Tourist Complex, Narendra Kona Habisyali Stayi Asraya Stali and Puri Pourasanstha Kalyan Mandap, respectively to make way for stay and accommodation of over 3,000 Habishyalis.

Special hassle-free transport services have also been made available for the devotees to help them take darshan of Lord Jagannath at ease during the holy month.

Moreover, in order to deal with any exigency, fire services have been put on alert. And to ensure security, adequate police forces have been deployed in the pilgrim town. Above all, a round-the-clock ambulance facility along with doctors has been pressed into service to deal any health emergency.