31 December 2019
Puri: Pilgrim town Puri is all decked up to usher in the New Year.
The Shree Jagannath Temple will open at 1 AM on New Year's day for devotees to have a darshan of the Lords.
"There is no problem in the 'niti kanti' (rituals) of the Mahaprabhu. It's running smooth. We are targeting to get the 'dwarphita niti' (opening of the doors of the Shree Jagannath Temple) anytime between 1 AM to 2 PM tomorrow so that all rituals are conducted in time because there will be heavy rush tomorrow," informed Dr. Krishan Kumar, Chief Administrator, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).
Like every year elaborate arrangements have been made to facilitate darshan of the Lords by the devotees who visit in lakhs to seek the blessings of Lord Jagannath on the New Year.
Puri administration is expecting at least 10 lakh to 12 lakh visitors on the day, special arrangements have been put in place to ensure timely conduct of rituals in the 12th-century shrine besides, smooth ‘darshan’ of the deities for devotees.
These facilities/amenities/arrangements will remain in place till May. These will be dismantled for Rath Yatra to facilitate the Lord's nine-day sojourn to his birth place-the Gundicha Temple and will be later reassembled after the event.
"Elaborate arrangements are being made by the Odisha government and the Temple administration for the devotees visiting the Temple for New Year. The new queue system has started from today, we are testing it to find out if it has lacunae. If at all there are any lacunae, it will be rectified tonight so that people visiting the temple in large numbers tomorrow will have a smooth and seamless darshan of the Mahaprabhu," stated Kumar briefing reporters here today.
"As you can hear music is being played and arrangements have been put in place for the old and the infirm pilgrims to take rest. We are trying to improve all other facilities. Work on the shoe stand is underway and it will be inaugurated tomorrow. These arrangements will remain in place till May. Only during Rath Yatra these arrangements will be dismantled and will be put in place once the Yatra is over," he added.
All structures located within 75-metre radius of the Temple from the Lions Gate side have been demolished by the district administration and the entire area has been beautifully decorated with colourful tiles, ornamental plants, flowers and ‘jhoti’.
The old steel barricades at Lions Gate or Simha Dwara have been replaced with new ones and a huge canopy raised on Badadanda (the Grand Road).
Barricades have been raised for one-km-long stretch from Market Square to Lions Gate to regulate crowd movement.
The entire barricaded area and Grand Road has been put under CCTV surveillance.