President Ram Nath Kovind on 18 March 2018 released commemorative coins in denominations of ₹10 and ₹1000 on Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebar festival. The President, who is visiting Odisha, released the coins during the centenary celebration of Rastriya Sanskrit Sansthan in Puri.
Addressing a function held on the occasion, Mr. Kovind described the pilgrim town of Puri as the ‘Vidya Nagri’ (education hub) for its connection with knowledge and science since ancient times. Puri was one of the four ‘dhams’ for Hindus, where the saints and spiritual leaders like Adi Shankaracharya, Ramanuj, Chaitanya and Guru Nanak visited and established their mutts to be in services of Lord Jagannath.
Puri is also called the ‘Kashi’ of eastern region in India. Adi Shankaracharya chose Puri to establish his ‘peeth’ This is the place where Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya and Nimbarkacharya had visited. It is told that Guru Nanak, Santh Kabir and Chaityanya Mahaprabhu also made their visits to Puri.
Puri is the integrated place of various thoughts and schools of religion, Mr. Kovind said. Stating that Lord Jagannath temple is the centre for art and culture, the President said the Lord’s Rath Yatra has a significant place in the hearts of Indians.