Bhubaneswar, April 13:
People across Odisha on Wednesday thronged various temples and special puja was conducted at the famed Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri on the occasion of Maha Vishuba Sankranti, which heralds the Odia New Year.
Vishuba Sankranti or Pana Sankranti is the beginning of the Odia New Year and marks the day when the new Odiya almanac comes into effect.
The believers and the devout also performed special puja on the occasion that is also celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Hanuman.
People marked the advent of the New Year by drinking “pana” or a sweet-sour drink made with raw mango and sugar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik greeted the people of Odisha on Maha Vishuba Sankranti.
“On Maha Vishuba Sankranti I extend my good wishes to all Odia people. I pray for an exceptional year ahead, filled with happiness & success,” tweeted Modi.
“Extend my greetings and best wishes on Maha Vishuba Sankranti and Odia New Year,” tweeted Patnaik.
Leaders from across the political spectrum, including union ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Narasingh Mishra, Congress state unit president Prasad Harichandan and BJP state president Basanta Panda also wished the people of Odisha well on the New Year.
Coincidentally, capital city Bhubaneswar also celebrated its 68th Foundation Day on Wednesday.
The first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had laid the foundation stone of the city on April 13, 1948. World renowned German architect and urban planner Otto Koenigsberger designed the city’s first master plan in 1948 for a population of 40,000. (IANS)