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Cyclone FANI: Puri Sri Mandir’s holy flag replaced with smaller one in Odisha

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Puri: In view of the very severe cyclonic storm FANI, which is likely to hit Puri district on May 3, the holy Patitapaban Bana attached to the Nilachakra atop Sri Mandir was replaced with a smaller flag today.

The decision was made by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) for safety of Nilachakra (blue wheel made of metals).

As the cyclonic storm is likely to hit south of Puri with wind speed of 175-178 kmph gusting upto 205 kmph, the temple authorities decided to shorten the length of the Patitapaban Bana to protect the Nilachakra and the centuries old shrine.

The Chunara servitors have been asked to tie the smaller flag to the Nilachakra from May 1 till 5, said the SJTA Chief Administrator Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra.

The temple administration is taking all sorts of precautionary measures for uninterrupted services of Lord Jagannath during the possible natural disaster.

The cyclonic storm FANI, which is now centred 680 km away from Puri and 430 km away from Visakhapatnam coast in Bay of Bengal, is likely to make landfall near Balukhand of Puri district early in the evening on May 3.