PURI: Like every year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited Jagannath temple here on the New Year’s day on Tuesday. However, he did not go inside the temple but offered prayer to the Patitapaban at the entrance of the 12th century shrine. Standing in front of the temple, he wished the people of Odisha a happy and prosperous New Year.
Later, the CM went to Swargdwar cremation ghat and offered flowers at the memorial of his father Biju Patnaik.
Meanwhile, more than three lakh visitors thronged the Pilgrim Town on the day to celebrate the New Year. A heavy rush was witnessed on the beach as people took a dip in the sea and offered prayer to the rising sun. Similar rush was noticed at Konark, Ramchandi, Satpara, Chilika lake and Harchandi which are important tourist spots.
The district administration had put in place elaborate arrangements for the day. The Jagannath temple administration opened the gates at 2 am for devotees. Over 30 platoons of police including 500 officers were deployed to ensure smooth celebration of the New Year. This apart, 200 life guards were deployed on the beach to prevent drowning in sea. Hundreds of police personnel were also engaged to regulate vehicular traffic.