Puri: Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Friday visited Puri Shree Mandir and paid obeisance to Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Shubhadra amid tight security. Bhandari spent around 20 minutes inside the temple.
The President reached the ‘Singhadwar’ of the temple at around 10:35 am. Collector Aravind Agarwal, Srimandir administrator (Rituals) Pradip Das, Temple Adminsitrator (Development) Prasanna Hota, Chhatisha Nyog Nayak (head of the apex priest’s body) Janardhan Pattajoshi Mahapatra and a few other priests received Bhandari at the shrine.
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) laid red carpets near the shrine entrance to welcome the visiting dignitary.
The President was escorted into the temple around 10:40 am after a brief halt on a makeshift podium near ‘Singhadwar’.
Sources in SJTA said that Bhandari reached the Sanctum Sanctorum after climbing the famed ‘Baishi Pahachha’ (22 steps) and passing through Nata Mandir.
She also visited the temples of Goddess Mahalaxmi and Goddess Bimala on Shree Mandir premises.
The Shri Mandir administration offered Khandua Pata, a painting of Lord Jagannath and Prasad to the visiting leader. Bhandari also signed the visitor’s book before leaving the shrine.
She thanked the Centre, state government and SJTA for giving her an opportunity to visit Shree Mandir and wished all round development of all Indians. While speaking to the media, Bhandari said that she will try to strengthen the bond between the two countries.
She also spent some time on the beach before leaving for Bhubaneswar.