Elaborate arrangements made for Karthik Purnima
CUTTACK: Nearly four lakh devotees visited the famous Shiva shrine of Dhabaleswar on the outskirts of the city here during the past two days to offer puja. The temple located in the patha of river Mahanadi saw a heavy footfall on Monday as it was the last auspicious day of the holy month of Kartika.
“Equally, over two lakh devotees thronged the temple from the early hours of Tuesday on the occasion of ‘Bada Osha’ to offer puja while many devotees spent Monday night in the patha to be part of Tuesday’s celebrations”, said Cuttack rural Superintendent of Police Niranjan Swain. Even as there was a heavy clamour to get the famous ‘Gaja Bhog’, the holy prasad of Baba Dhabaleswar, no untoward incident has yet been reported from anywhere till Tuesday evening, Swain added.
“The celebrations at the famous shrine are going on smoothly till date and we hope the five-day panchuka (the last five days of Kartika) would pass off peacefully with Kartika Purnima celebrations on Thursday”, said Sub-Collector Rajesh Patil, IAS.
Fourteen platoons of armed police, about a hundred home guards, 45 officers, four inspectors, two DSPs and one additional Superintendent of Police are overseeing the law and order near the temple under the supervision of Cuttack (rural) Superintendent of Police.
Expecting that there would be heavy gathering at the temple on the occasion, the local administration had made elaborate arrangements for the benefit of the devotees.
The entire temple premises has been covered with vitrified tiles to give it spotless look, informed the Sub-Collector and added that the temple has been whitewashed with weather coating paints.
“Adequate lighting arrangements have been made for illuminating the temple with flashlights while each street and the suspension bridge over the river leading to the temple have been provided with lights”, Patil said.
In view of the stampede-like situation near the temple in 2006, the administration came up with permanent barricading at many places, which helped in smooth movement of devotees, say the visitors.