President Kovind to offer prayers at Puri Srimandir

Puri: President Ram Nath Kovind is scheduled to visit Puri Srimandir on March 18 to pay obeisance to Lord Jagannath during his two-day Odisha visit. This will be the first visit of the President to the 12th century shrine after taking office.

The President will be welcomed at the Singhdwar by senior servitors including ‘Koulika Panda’ and ‘Chhatisa Nijog Nayak’ and then will escorted inside the temple for a darshan of Lord Jagannath.

Chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administrtaion (SJTA), Secretary of Law department and Puri King Gajapati Maharaja Dibya Singha Deb will accompany the President inside the temple, said Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal after reviewing preparations for the President’s visit.

Kovind will reach Odisha on March 17 and have a night stay at Puri Circuit house. He will visit the Srimandir at 7.30 and have darshan of the three deities till 8.15 am on March 18.

Tight security arrangements will be made while restrictions on darshan of deities by the general public will be barred during the period, temple officials informed.

President Kovind is also scheduled to attend the centenary celebrations of Rastriya Sanskruta Sansthan in Puri.

At the venue, security arrangements will be made as per the Blue Book. All arrangements will be made as per the guidelines that have been executed in case of visit of former Presidents to Puri in the past, informed SP Sarthak Sarangi.

Meanwhile, a preparatory review meeting was held under the chairmanship of Police DG RP Sharma at the State Police Headquarters in Cuttack. Central Range IG, Intelligence Director and other senior officials were also present during the meeting.

RP Sharma said, carcade rehearsal will be conducted at Bhubaneswar and Cuttack on March 15 and 16 respectively. “Full-proof security arrangements will be put in place at Puri Circuit House and Cuttack Anand Bhawan where the President will inaugurate a museum in memory of Biju Patnaik and at Law University in Cuttack,” Sharma said.