Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at the 11th century Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar on Sunday morning. He assured the sevayats to return to the shrine in the year 2020 if the situation permits.
Shrine servitor Kamalakanta Badu, who performed Puja for Modi in the Lingaraj temple, claimed the prime minister prayed for electoral triumph of BJP in 2019 elections in Odisha. “I performed the special Puja for Modiji and wished him luck. I also prayed the deity to bring BJP to power in Odisha and other states in the coming polls,” said Badu.
Accompanied by officers and security personnel, the PM arrived at the temple at around 8.45 am. He climbed up the 22 steps and prayed at ‘Sana Ganesha’ temple before entering the sanctum sanctorum. Inside, he offered Bael leaves, flowers, water, milk and coconut water to the presiding deity.
After stepping out of the sanctum sanctorum, the PM visited the spot where ‘Chalanti Pratima’ of Lord Lingaraj is placed and then went to the Jagannath temple, Parvati temple, Bhubaneswari temple and Laxmi Narayana temple within the premises.
PM Modi interacted with sevayats and enquired about different aspects of the famous shrine. He expressed happiness over the cleanliness of the shrine. However, he questioned the sevayats if the temple is cleaned throughout the year or has it been cleaned in wake of his visit.
While the Brahman Nijog of the temple offered Kotha Bhoga of Lord Lingaraj that included ‘arisha pitha’, ‘khachura’, ‘sedua’ and ‘nadigunda in a palm leaf basket apart from the famous Kora Khai to the PM, the temple trust presented a photograph of Damodar Vesha of Lord Lingaraj (usually seen during Shivaratri and Kartik month rituals) and a Pata Uttari (shawl) to Modi.
As a cheering crowd waited outside, the PM walked quite a distance barefoot waving at the people, then went upto the barricade to reciprocate as the crowd shouted “Modi, Modi” before proceeding to Janata Maidan, to attend the second day’s proceedings of BJP’s national executive meeting.