Puri: Lakhs of devotees thronged the pilgrim city here to observe a month- long Kartik Brata which began from Monday. The devotees mostly old and widows took bath early in the morning and visited the Jagannath temple to witness Mangala Arati. Every year, the devotees congregate here for observing the rituals in large number.
They chant lines from Kartik Mahatmya and take one vegetarian meal a day. Most of them take Mahaprasad from the temple kitchen and worship the holy Basil tree.
As usual, the temple administration has rescheduled the daily rituals of the deities to facilitate devotees to have darshan and say their prayers. Huge quantities of Mahaprasad are being cooked daily keeping in view its rising demand these days.
The last five days of the month would draw more devotees for Panchuka. The days are considered the holiest of the month. The deities in the temple would take five new Veshas, one each day. The Brata would conclude on the Kartik Purnima.