Puri, Jan 16 (PTI) A large number of devotees from across Odisha and the country on Tuesday started arriving at this seaside pilgrim town on Tuesday, a day ahead of the much-awaited grand opening of the 'Srimandir Parikrama Prakalpa' (SPP) or Jagannath Temple heritage corridor project.
The entire pilgrim town has been beautifully adorned with flowers, decorative lights, and graffiti, presenting a spectacular look.
The 'Maha Yagna' which started on Makar Sankranti Day entered the second day on Tuesday and will culminate on Wednesday afternoon with Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb scheduled to offer 'Purna Ahuti' (final pouring of ghee on the havan fire) between 1.30 and 2.30 pm. Soon after that, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will dedicate the project for devotees.
Brahmins and Vedic scholars are chanting different Vedas at different gates of the 12th-century Jagannath Temple. The Rig Veda is chanted at the Singh Dwar (lion gate or the main entrance), Yajur Veda at the southern gate, Sama Veda at the western gate and Atharva Veda at the northern gate.
To witness this event and have a darshan of Lord Jagannath on this occasion, a large number of devotees thronged the temple. Starting from the early morning, the devotees made a beeline on the Grand Road to visit the 12th-century shrine.
Chairman 5T (transformational) initiative and Nabin Odisha, V K Pandian, Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena and DGP in-charge Arun Sarangi visited Puri on Monday and reviewed the preparedness and security arrangements made for the inauguration of the Parikrama Project.
Pandian held a review meeting with district administration, senior servitors of the temple and other senior officials on Monday evening and sought cooperation from all for the success of the January 17 event.
Sri Setu (bridge), Shri Jagannath Ballav Parking, Shri Marg (road) and other projects are almost ready, Jena said.
The invited guests from outside the state will start arriving in Puri on Tuesday. Accommodation for them has been arranged for their stay in different hotels and other facilities, he said.
The chief secretary said the Sri Setu on the way to Puri will be opened to the public after its inauguration by the chief minister on the day.
The DGP said 80 platoons (one platoon comprises 30 personnel) of police force will be deployed for the inauguration of the heritage corridor project.
Besides, around 100 supervisory officers, 250 sub-inspector and ASI rank officials will also be engaged in security duty, he said.
A four-layer security deployment will be in place. All associated arrangements have been made from traffic arrangements to security for VIPs, security of devotees, smooth darshan by devotees, etc, the DGP told reporters.
He said that four bomb disposal teams, anti-sabotage teams, and three canine squads have been deployed to search for suspected objects and sanitize the area.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government has planned to make arrangements for 10,000 people from different parts of the state to daily visit the Jagannath temple Puri for a period of a month from January 22.
In a letter, state Panchayati Raj secretary S K Lohani asked all district collectors to ensure smooth movement of the devotees to Puri. He asked the collectors to make requisitions for an adequate number of buses for the movement of devotees while elaborate plans have been made at the transit camps for their comfortable stay.
The Rs 800-crore project will ensure expansive, unobstructed corridors around the Meghanada Pacheri (outer wall) of the Jagannath temple and will provide the devotees excellent visual connection with the 12th-century shrine.
It will also provide amenities to the pilgrims and strengthen the safety and security of the temple and devotees.
The project is one component of a massive initiative worth over Rs 4,000 crore to transform Puri into a world heritage city, another official said. PTI BBM AAM RG