The Jagannath Temple in Puri will remain shut for devotees for 3 hours on February 11 to facilitate Nepal’s erstwhile king Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev’s visit to the shrine for a special puja.
The temple will remain out of bounds for devotees from 9.30 am. The last king of Nepal is scheduled to visit Odisha for six days from February 7. He had last visited the temple in 2003.
As per the age-old tradition, the royal family members of Nepal are given special privilege at the Puri shrine and allowed to ascend the Ratna Vedi (the holy altar on which Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are placed) and offer prayers. Temple’s chief administrator Pradeep Jena said the Nepal Naresh will spend nearly one hour inside the temple.
He has a special seva and rituals in the three important shrines of Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri, Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar and Sakhigopal Temple.
There are deep spiritual ties between Odisha and Nepal. Adi Shankaracharya had established the rituals and practices in both Jagannath and Pashupatinath temples and Nepal, which comes under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Puri Shankaracharya’s Govardhan Math.