Bhubaneswar: Secretary to Chief Minister ( Transformation and Initiatives) V K Pandian visited Lingaraj and Mukteshwar temples in the Odisha capital in the pre-dawn hours of Friday.
While he was at Lingaraj Temple to review the ongoing work under Ekamra Khetra Yojana for revival and preservation of heritage value and grandeur of the 11th century shrine and its surroundings on 66 acre land, the visit to Mukteshwar has triggered speculation about something similar being planned for this “Gem of Odisha architecture”.
The most important feature of this 10th century Shiva shrine is the torana, or the arched gateway, dating back to about 900 CE. It shows the influence of Buddhist architecture.
Works Secretary Krishan Kumar and Bhubaneswar Development Authority Vice Chairman Prem Chandra Chaudhary had accompanied Pandian to these two temples.
After the positive response to beautification project of Jagannath Temple in Puri, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced a package for revival and preservation of Lingaraj Temple. On December 29, he had announced Rs 5 crore for the new building of Ekamra Sanskrutik Prakashani Bhajan Mandap and Lingaraj Research Centre near Lingaraj Entry plaza. The enforcement squad of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) had demolished Bhajan Mandap and Lingaraj Research Centre during the eviction drive around Lingaraj temple for security of the shrine and beautification of its periphery.
A day later, the Chief Minister had unveiled the draft architecture of Shree Jagannath Heritage Corridor in Puri. To develop the Pilgrim Town into a World Heritage City, the State Cabinet has already approved Rs3,208 crore under the ABADHA scheme.