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Odisha: Gajapati Maharaj of Puri performs Shilanyas of Heritage Corridor Project around Jagannath Temple in presence of CM Naveen Patnaik

The Heritage Corridor Project, named 'Parikrama Prakalpa' in Odia is a part of the Naveen Patnaik govt's efforts to transform the Temple town of Puri into a world-class heritage city. In an earlier drive, encroachments around the Temple were removed.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik is in Puri today to attend the inauguration and Shilanyas ceremony of the grand Heritage Corridor Project around the Sri Jagannath Temple. The project is planned to allow devotees to experience a ‘Parikrama’ of the massive Sri Jagannath Temple premises, around the Meghanad wall that surrounds the ancient 12th-century temple.

Stunning visuals of the Shilanyas ceremony were shared on social media by the official handle of the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration.

Gajapati Maharaj Sri Divyasingh Deva of Puri performed the Shilanyas ritual in the presence of priests, Sevayats and administrators of the Temple. Krishan Kumar, the chief administrator of the SJTA and Puri collector Samarth Verma were also present during the grand event.

The Surya Puja and other rituals that accompany Shilanyas and Bhumi Puja were performed in the hands of Gajapati Maharaj, as per Vedic rituals during the event.

Surya Puja during Shilanyas ceremony, image via SJTA, Puri
Visuals from the Shilanyas ceremony at Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri
CM Naveen Patnaik inspecting a model of the Srimandira Parikrama Project, image via SJTA, Puri

It is notable here that the Gajapati kings of Puri were the erstwhile rulers of Kalinga who ruled as the ‘servant’ of Lord Jagannath. He is considered the ‘First Devotee’ of Lord Jagannath.

Heritage Corridor Project

The Naveen Patnaik government’s push to remove encroachments around the Jagannath Temple was met with massive criticism and opposition from various quarters, including some religious bodies. Some old Mathas, that were situated near the main Temple premises were shifted to other locations after negotiations and compensations. The Odisha government has planned to widen the road in front of the Temple and carry out beautification projects around the Temple to protect the 12th-century structure and also to prepare better facilities for massive footfalls for devotees that the Temple sees on a regular basis.

After the encroachments were removed, the Jagannath Temple now bears a beautiful, stunning look with a lot of space to allow lakhs of devotees to witness the Ratha Yatra.

The Heritage Corridor Project, named ‘Parikrama Prakalpa’ in Odia is a part of the Naveen Patnaik govt’s efforts to transform the Temple town of Puri into a world-class heritage city.

 

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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