Lakhs of Widows throng Puri to observe ''Kartik Brata''

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Puri, Oct 25 (UNI) Lakhs of devotees, mostly old and widows, have thronged this pilgrim city to observe the month long Kartik brata, which began from today.

The devotees took bath early in the morning and rush to Jagannath temple to witness ''Mangal arati''.

They spend most of their time in chanting kartik mahatmya, a religious text and take one vegetarian meal a day (most of them depend on ''mahaprasad'' and worship the holy ''Basil'' tree as the image of the lord.

Almost all the families in the city had devotee visitors, who observed the brata. As usual the temple administration had rescheduled the daily ''nitees and rituals'' to facilitate devotees to have darshan of the three presiding deities of Jagannath Temple.

Huge quantity of Mahaprasad being cooked daily in special bhogs (offerings) to provide mahaprasad to a large number of devotees round the month.

The past five days of the month would draw more devotees, who usually visit the temple to observe ''Panchuka'' considered to be the holiest days of the month.

The lords used to take five different new Veshas(attire) on each day. The brata would conclude on the ''Kartik purnima'' day with devotees observing the holy bath in Pancha teerth before the darshan of the lord Jagannath.

UNI

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