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India

As Charles Becomes King, Odisha Village He Visited In 1980 Celebrates

Haripur village came alive with yajnas and chants as a large number of people assembled at Gopinath temple on Saturday to offer prayers.

King Charles III was just 32 when he had visited Haripur. (Photo: File)

Bhubaneswar: Residents of a quaint village in Odisha’s Puri district, 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, located around 60 km from Odisha’s state capital, came alive with yajnas and chants as a large number of people assembled at Gopinath temple on Saturday to offer prayers. The new king, then a prince, was just 32 when he had visited Haripur to get a feel of village life, said a district official.

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

Another villager, Chittaranjan Panda, said he was just 12 years old when the crown prince visited Haripur. “People still talk about his visit in 1980, reminisce fondly how he had interacted with locals, spending 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, Das said.

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