Prez Kovind offers prayer to Lord Jagannath in Odisha’s Srimandir

Puri: President of Indian Ram Nath Kovind today visited Srimandir here seeking blessings of Lord Jagannath during his two-day maiden visit to Odisha.

Accompanied by his wife Savita Kovind, Kovind had darshan of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra at Srimandir this morning.

Kovind entered the shrine at around 7.30 am and came out at around 8.20 am offering prayer to deities.

Puri Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA)’s chief administrator Pradeep Kumar Jena, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, servitor Krushna Chandra Gochhikar and other servitors welcomed President Kovind and India’s first lady Savita Kovind. They also accompanied the couple at Srimandir.

The record says that earlier Kovind’s father had also visited Srimandir.

Media reports said that some servitors expressed displeasure over the restriction to have interaction with the President during his visit to the temple. Even, they alleged that they were not paid ‘dakshina’ by the President for services as part of rituals and tradition after offering prayer to deities at Srimandir.

The temple administrator clarified that there was no schedule made for interaction of servitors with the President during the visit.

In view of President’s visit to Srimandir, the temple administration had closed the darshan for public from 6.30 am till 8.30 am.

The district administration had beefed up the security during his visit to Puri on Saturday. The road between circuit house and sea beach police station was sealed.

Yesterday, Kovind had inaugurated Anand Bhawan Museum in Cuttack.

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