Thousands of devotees including women and children visited the 12th century Shree Jagannath Temple here on Sunday to seek the blessings of the holy deities and begin their new year on a positive note.
Devotees across Odisha and other states were seen queuing outside the temple since early morning to have glimpse of the Holy Trinity and seek the blessings of Lord Jagannath.
Anticipating lakhs of devotees on New year, the Puri district administration had made elaborate security arrangements for the devotees to have a hassle-free darshan.
Puri police deployed more than 60 platoons of police and around 200 officers in and around the Jagannath temple to maintain law and order in the area.
As many tourists also visit the sea beach to have a bath before going to the temple, a large number of lifeguards were stationed at designated bathing points along the beach to prevent incidents of drowning, said Puri, SP, Kanwar Vishal Singh
The devotees waiting for hours were provided with water and other facilities by police.
"We sought blessings of Lord Jagannath on the first day of the New Year. May 2023 brings happiness and prosperity to all," said a devotee who visited the 12th century temple.
"Police have taken special measures to ensure that senior citizens and specially abled devotees get a darshan of Lord Jagannath," the SP said.
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wished people a Happy New Year on Sunday.
Through a video message the CM said: "I wish you all on the occasion of New Year. May the New Year be a happy, peaceful, and prosperous one for all. May it be a year of opportunities and possibilities. This is the only prayer before Mahaprabhu (Lord Jagannath)."
"I wish all of you a very very happy new year," he added.
-With PTI Input