Puri Gears Up for Temple Heritage Corridor Project Inauguration

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Puri Gears Up for Temple Heritage Corridor Project Inauguration

| Updated: January 15, 2024 13:23

Puri, the holy city of Odisha, is all set to witness the grand opening of the temple heritage corridor project on January 17. The project, also known as Sreemandir Parikrama Prakalpa, aims to beautify and preserve the surroundings of the 12th-century Jagannath Temple, one of the most revered shrines in India.

The inauguration ceremony will be attended by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who will walk through the corridor and address the devotees from a podium at Utterparswa Mutt. The event will also feature cultural performances and traditional blowing of conch shells.

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has invited representatives from 90 religious shrines and institutions across the country to join the mega function. The SJTA has also arranged for a three-day yagna, or fire ritual, to mark the occasion. The yagna will be performed by priests at the site where an ‘Akhand Deepa’, or eternal lamp, will be placed on January 15.

The yagna was initiated by Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb, the titular king of Puri and the chief servitor of the temple. Deb invited the priests in the traditional way with betel nuts at his palace ‘Sri Nahar’ on Friday. The rituals of ‘Ankuropan’ and ‘Ankur Puja’ were conducted on Saturday, followed by ‘Yajna Adhibas’ on Sunday.

As the temple town expects a heavy rush of around five lakh devotees on January 17, security has been tightened in and around Puri. A five-layer security arrangement has been put in place, with more than 44 platoons of police and 45 police officers deployed to ensure law and order, traffic management, and smooth ‘darshan’ of the deity. Special security coverage will be provided to the VVIPs, while a strict vigil will be kept across the coastal town, the temple, and the beach area. The security measures are similar to those taken during the annual rath Yatra, or chariot festival, of the temple.

The temple heritage corridor project, which was launched in 2019, involves the demolition of old and dilapidated structures around the temple and the construction of new facilities for the devotees, such as toilets, cloakrooms, drinking water kiosks, and resting places. The project also aims to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the temple complex by creating gardens, parks, and sculptures. The project is expected to cost around Rs 700 crore and cover an area of 66 acres.

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