President Murmu treks one km to Jagannath Temple, pays obeisance to Trinity

On her invitation, the royal couple too broke the age-old tradition and partook Mahaprasad along with the President.

Published: 11th November 2022 06:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2022 06:17 AM   |  A+A-

The President bows down in front of Srimandir. Also seen are Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

By Express News Service

PURI: As historic as her election, President Droupadi Murmu took everyone by surprise when she walked for about a kilometre to reach the Shree Jagannath Temple here, meeting and greeting people who had gathered in large numbers along the Grand Road to catch a glimpse of the daughter of the soil.

The President is on a two-day visit to the state to pay obeisance to the Trinity and also attend a few felicitation programmes.After she landed at Talabania helipad, Murmu’s convoy stopped near Marichikot chhak. Taking her security details by surprise, she started to walk along Grand Road. As the first citizen of the country went on foot, the security personnel created a ring to keep a close watch.

Accompanied by Governor Professor Ganeshi Lal, Union Minister for Education and Skill Development Dharmendra Pradhan and daughter Itishree Murmu, she reached the Simhadwara to be received by Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb and temple chief administrator Vir Vikram Yadav besides her family priest.  Along the way, she met school children waiting by the roadside and interacted with them.

Inside the temple, she was escorted to the sanctum sanctorum where she offered prayers to Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi  Subhadra. She also offered ‘Tulasi mala’ to the deities before entering the temples of Goddess Bimala and Mahalaxmi. She also paid respects to the pandits on the Mukti Mandap and received their blessings.

After spending about 30 minutes, President Murmu came out of the temple and garlanded the statue of Utkalamani Gopabandhu Das before proceeding to Raj Bhavan. On her invitation, the royal couple too broke the age-old tradition and partook Mahaprasad along with the President. She left the town by 3.45 pm.

Though security was tightened on the route, SPG and the state police had a tough time after the president got down to walk despite the massive gathering.Around 24 platoons of police personnel and scores of officials were deployed in the town. Additional DGP RK Sharma, IGP Narasingh Bhol, SP K Vishal Singh and district magistrate Samarth Verma supervised and monitored the law and order situation on the day.

Prayer for India in visitor’s book

President Droupadi Murmu prayed for the development and prosperity of India and she noted that in the visitor’s book of Srimandir. “I pray before the Lord for welfare of humanity,” her handwritten note in the book stated. Murmu, who has championed the cause of tribals all through her career as a political leader and then as Governor before she rose to the highest Constitutional post of India, wrote that Mahaprabhu Jagannath is the Lord of the tribals and God of the Universe. “I am fortunate to have had darshan of the deities,” the guest book said.

President Murmu savouring Mahaprasad with Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb

A devotee first, President later

Following the tradition, President Murmu, prior to entering the Srimandir, abided by all the rituals including washing her feet at the designated place and making an effort to touch the Aruna Stambha, the Sun Pillar, with reverence. She also followed all the religious practices that devotees usually adhere to inside the temple.  While taking the Baisi Pahancha (22 steps to the sanctum sanctorum), she touched all the steps with respect.  The temple and Chhatisha Nijog presented a pattachitra art of the Trinity to the President during the visit.

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik presents a painting to the President | Express

Beach visit for Sand sculpture

The President also visited Puri beach to witness the sculpture of Lord Jagannath created by eminent sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik. She was accompanied by Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.


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