Puri, March 22: President Ram Nath Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind on Monday visited Shree Jagannath Temple here and offered prayers to the Holy Trinity. The President also donated Rs 1 lakh to the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) for the development of the 12th century shrine.
Upon reaching at Talbania Helipad in an IAF helicopter in his second visit to the religious town as the President at around 9 AM, Kovind and his wife drove straight to the Singha Dwar (Lion’s Gate) where Puri Gajapati Maharaj Divyasingh Deb welcomed him to the temple.
Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief administrator of Dr Krishan Kumar, Puri Collector Samarth Verma and Kovind’s family servitor Narayan Gochhikar escort Kovind inside shrine.
Later, Kovind along with his wife offered worships in the sanctum sandstorm and spent around 40 minutes on the temple premises. After having darshan, Kovind handed over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to the temple administration. Servitors presented him with a photo of the Trinity in Nagarjuna Besha.
During his visit the temple premise has been cleared of all devotees.
Odisha Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also accompanied the President. The pilgrim town has come under thick security blanket with the deployment of 40 platoons of forces along with 250 officers and 13 senior cops.
All the makeshift shops and stalls from Medical Square to the temple along the Bada Danda (Grand Road) remained closed till the departure of the President.
After concluding his darshan at the Shree Mandir, the President visited the Konark Sun Temple at 10.55 AM.
Kovind will return Bhubaneswar from Konark helipad in the afternoon and leave for Delhi.