Odisha Village Prays For King Charles III, Recalls His Visit 4 Decades Ago

Bhubaneswar: Residents of a quaint village in Odisha, where King Charles III had visited some four decades ago, have organised a prayer session for Britain’s new monarch at a local temple, wishing for his good health and long life.

Haripur village in Puri district, located around 60 km from Bhubaneswar, came alive with yajnas and chants as a large number of people assembled at Gopinath temple on Saturday to offer prayers, reports said on Sunday.

The new king, then a prince, was just 32 when he had visited Haripur to get a feel of village life, sources said.

He was treated as a state guest with then chief minister J B Patnaik ensuring that he is well looked after, they said.

During his visit, Charles enjoyed sipping on coconut water. He took interest in the practice of coconut plucking and basket weaving. He had also visited fields to watch paddy harvesting, Sanjay Pati, one of the elderly residents of the village, was quoted by PTI as saying.

Another villager, Chittaranjan Panda, said he was just 12 years old when the crown prince had visited Haripur.

“People still talk about his visit in 1980, reminisce fondly how he had interacted with locals, spent time with them. When the locals found out that he has taken to the throne, they came together and jointly decided to hold a prayer session for the new king,” Panda added.

Archaeologist Harischandra Das also recalled that King Charles was amazed to witness the sculptures and intricate work at the Sun Temple of Konark. He had also taken a tour of Mukteshwar temple in Bhubaneswar, a 10th-century shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, he added.

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