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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/Puri, Jan 1:

Scores of devotees today thronged the temples across Odisha to seek blessing of the presiding deities on the New Year day with a hope of prosperity and happiness in their lives.

Jagannath Temple Puri

Among all places, Puri was the hot destination for revelers, devotees and tourists. Tourists from various parts of the country visited the pilgrim town to usher in the New Year. Majority of them visited the 12th century shrine to offer prayers to begin the year.

In view of the huge rush on the occasion, the pahada at the temple was lifted at 1 am to allow visitors to pay obeisance to the deities. Similar was the scene at Changrabhaga where lakhs of people took plunge in the sea and witnessed the first sun rise of the year.

“Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place to avoid any inconvenience to people. Special arrangements have been made for darshan of the deities of Sri Mandir from Bahara Bedha,” IG (Central Range) Soumendra Priyadarshi said.

The adjoining tourist spots like Satapada, Bali Harchandi, Ram Chandi were also seen packed with picnickers as today being a holiday.

Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur, was agog with activity as people mainly from western part of the state visited the temple to offer their prayers. Reports said that scores of people also visited Manikeswari temple in Bhawanipatna to seek blessings of the goddess.

People also visited several temples, including Lord Lingaraj temple, in capital city this morning.