As Charles becomes new king, Odisha village he visited 40 years ago celebrates with prayer session

About forty years ago, King Charles III visited a picturesque village in the Puri district of Odisha. After his recent appointment as the new British monarch, villagers held a prayer session for him at a local temple, wishing him good health and long life.

The village of Haripur is located about 60 kilometers from the state capital, Bhubaneshwar, and came alive with chanting and yajnas on Saturday (September 10) as large numbers of villagers gathered at the village’s Gopinath temple to offer prayers, reported NDTV.

King Charles III visited Haripur about 4 decades ago

Britain’s new king, then a prince, was just 32 when he traveled to Haripur to experience and get a feel for village life, a district official has said. Prince Charles was treated as a state guest with then Chief Minister JB Patnaik ensuring he was well taken care of, the official said.

Archaeologist Harischandra Das recalled that King Charles was amazed to witness the intricate carvings and work at the Temple of the Sun in the town of Konark in Puri district. He had also visited the 10th century shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Mukteshwar Temple in the state capital, Das said.

Villagers remember 40-year visit

“During his visit, Charles enjoyed sipping coconut water. He became interested in the practice of coconut picking and basket weaving. He had also visited fields to observe the paddy harvest” , recalls one of the oldest villagers, Sanjay Pati.

Another village resident, Chittaranjan Panda, recalled that he was only 12 when the Crown Prince visited his village.

People still talk about his visit in 1980, remember fondly how he interacted with the locals, spent time with them. When the locals found out he had ascended the throne, they gathered and jointly decided to hold a prayer session for the new king,” Panda says.

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