Devotees throng Puri for month long 'Kartik Brata'
Lakhs of devotees mostly old and widows have thronged this pilgrim city to observe the month-long Kartik Brata which began today.
During the month the people spend most of their time in chanting 'kartik mahatmya' a religious text.
The devotees take one vegetarian meal a day (most of them depend on mahaprasad) and worship the holy Basil tree as the image of the lord.
The temple administration had rescheduled timins of rituals of the deities to facilitate devotees to have their darshan.
Huge quantities of Mahaprasad being cooked daily in special bhogs (offerings) to provide mahaprasad to a large number of devotees throughout the month.
The last five days of the month, popularly called as Panchuka, are likely to draw more devotees who are unable to observe the month-long brata.
These five days of the Kartik month are considered the holiest days.
During the period, Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra used to take five different new Veshas on each day.
The brata would be concluded on the 'kartik purnima day' with devotees taking a holy bath in Pancha teerth before offering prayers to Lord Jagannath in the temple.