Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Apr 21:

Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari today visited century old Jagannath temple in Puri to pay obeisance to Trinity. She assured Odisha government to address Kasturi shortage issue.

She said that she will look into the matter and discuss with Nepal government for resolving the Kasturi crisis at Jagannath temple.

“I am so happy after the Darshan of Lord Jagannath. President Pranab Mukherjee invited me and I am so humbled by the arrangements made by the union and state governments.”

“I would take up the kasturi shortage issue with the Nepal government,” she told the media after paying obeisance to the deities.

Kasturi (musk), which is collected from a stag’s navel, is used in rituals at Jagannath temple in Puri. Nepal contributes the precious commodity for the services of Lord Jagannath since a long time.

The Nepal Royal family used to donate ‘kasturi’ free of cost. However, this source dried up after the fall of the monarchy.

Temple authorities prefer ‘kasturi’ from Nepal for its purity. Earlier, the Odisha government had urged the Centre to ensure procurement of Kasturi from Nepal.

Notably, the Nepal King, other than Puri Shankaracharya and Gajapati King of Odisha, is allowed to ascend the Ratna Vedi (the altar on which Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are placed).

Bhandari, who is on a two-day visit to Odisha as part of her maiden 5-day trip to India, visited the shrine this morning. She received a warm welcome from the servitors at main entrance of the temple.

She is also scheduled to visit the Sun Temple in Konark.

After arriving at Bhubaneswar airport yesterday, she had attended a Mission Shakti programme at Pokhariput and later visited Lingaraj temple.

(With IANS input)