Puri, Nov 12: Lakhs of devotees observing the month long Kartik brata took a holy dip in Mahodadhi and offered prayers to rising sun in the wee hours today.
Those who could not make it to Mahodadhi they bathed in Parvati sagar, Markanda, Swetsganga and Indradyumna the other four holy water bodies of srikshetra and offered prayers to Trinity in the Lord Jaganath temple. Soon after they took bath they flocked into Sri Jagannath temple and offered prayers to the Trinity in the sanctum sanctorum and witnessed Rajrajeswar vesha, one of the four famous Sunaveshas of the deities.
The temple administration had rescheduled the daily nitees and rituals of deities to facilitate more devotees to have darshan of Sunsvesha. Temple door was opened much ahead of it's normal time.
After observance of Mangal Arati, abakash, mailum, Suryapuja , rosahoma and offering of Gopal bhog servitors dressed lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra in Suna vesh.
Administration had made adequate arrangements so that elderly devotees could have darshan and get Mahaprasad.
While taking bath the devotees sailed tiny paper boats in water bodies to mark the Boita Bandan ceremony recounting glorious maritime past of the state. Similar Boitabandan festival were also organised at Chandrabhaga beach (near Konark), Jahaniapeer beach (Astaranga) and at Chilika. Hundreds of life guards and fire services personnel were deployed along the sea beach and other holy water bodies to prevent drowning while police personnel were placed in and around Sri Jagannath temple for smooth conduct of the ritual.
The beach and streets were illuminated. Temple Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar, District Magistrate Balwant Singh and Superintendent of Police Umashankar Dash were present. Temple cooks worked hard to prepare huge quantities of bhog for offering to deities which were consumed by devotees.
About three thousand devotees observing Kartik brata at government expenses were smoothly escorted for bath and darshan of deitiesl and offered mahaprasad. Though the brat was concluded this evening they would depart for their villages tomorrow morning informed an officer incharge of their affairs. Traffic police had a tough time in regulating the vehicular traffic. (UNI)