Bhubaneswar, Jan 1 :
Millions of people in Odisha began the New Year Wednesday by offering prayers at different temples, while for many it was the day out at their nearest picnic spots.
People started thronging the 12th century Jagannath temple in the beach town of Puri, about 56 km from here. The number who offered prayers at the temple soared to more than half a million by afternoon.
“The administration has made elaborate arrangements to facilitate devotees,” Jagannath temple’s public relation officer Laxmidhar Pujapanda told IANS.
Many devotees after the worship preferred to enjoy at the beach.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik along with his ministers, and senior bureaucrats also visited the temple.
Long queues were also observed at the 11th century Lingraj temple here.
Large numbers of people also visited different picnic spots including Sikharchandi and Barunai in the district of Khurda. Many visited famous Chilika Lake, and enjoyed the boat ride to mark the first day of the New Year.