Odisha Govt provides lodging facility to devotees

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government for the first time has made lodging arrangement for about 2,000 elderly women devotees who perform Kartik Brata at Sri Jagannth Temple at Puri.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today took stock of the progress made for the arrangement before the holy month of Kartik, considered sacred and the holiest of all months.

“This time arrangement has been made for only 2,000 ‘Habisiali’ (mostly older women devotees). They will be given lodging facilities besides safe drinking water, health, sanitation and other basic facilities,” an official attending the Chief Minister’s meeting said.

The official said the persons interested to get government facilities need to apply online or through district collectors by October 7.

The lodging arrangement have been made at Kalyan mandap, Mochi Sahi, Bagala Dharmasala and Narendra Kona where temporary shelters are made, he said.

Thousands of women, many of them widows, assemble at Puri to perform ‘Habisa’ (penance) as a mark of respect to Lord Jagannth during the month of Kartik.

As per the tradition, those who observe Habisa or the Kartika brata, renounce a number of vegetables such as different varieties of gourds, brinjal, a number of pulses and other leafy vegetables for the whole month.

They either partake the prasad cooked in the Jagannath temple or prepare curries out of sweet potatoes, coconut and only a few pulses are allowed to be eaten and worship Lord Vishnu and Shiva in groups through various traditions.