Puri: In a rare gesture that has scripted history, President Droupadi Murmu after arriving in Puri today, threw VVIP protocols to the wind and walked on the Bada Danda to visit the Shri Mandir for Lord Jagannath’s darshan. The visuals, where the President is seen walking like a commoner from the Medical Chhak towards the temple on the Bada Danda while greeting devotees along the way, has won millions of hearts.
Following the customary traditions, the President, like a proud Odia first touched the Aruna Stambha (Sun Pillar) and sought blessings before heading towards the Singhadwara (Lion gateway) of the Jagannath temple. She then washed her feet and entered the 12th century shrine while touching all 22 steps of the temple as a sign of her devotion to the deities.
After assuming the office of President of India, Droupadi Murmu is on two-day visit to Odisha starting from today. She reached Bhubaneswar airport in a special flight and flew to Puri after receiving guard of honour at the airport. As per her schedule in the pilgrim town, After having the darshan of Lord Jagannath and other deities at Srimandir, she will visit Puri Raj Bhawan, where Mahaprasad will be served to her.
Jagannath temple administrator (development) Ajay Jena said the President after offering prayer to deties at sanctum sanctorum, will also visit Maa Bimala and Mahalaxmi temples on premises of the Jagannath Temple. The devotees will be prohibited from entering the temple during the visit of the President to the temple, officials said. More than 25 platoons of police force have been deployed for security arrangements of the President in the pilgrim town. About 100 police officers have been deployed at different locations for the visit of the President, said Puri SP, K.V. Singh.