Bhubaneswar: About two lakh devotees will be able to witness the Mahashivratri at Lingaraj Temple in the Odisha capital after the development of Ekamra Kshetra Heritage.
This was revealed at a high-level review meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik via video conferencing on Monday.
Prior to the launching of the new scheme, about 10,000-15,000 devotees used to witness the lifting of Mahadeep (earthen lamp) atop the temple during Mahashivratri.
The Chief Minister directed the officials to complete the beautification work around the 11th-century shrine under the Ekamra Kshetra Heritage Plan within a year.
Apart from the renovation of the heritage ponds, Kedaragouri pond and the drainage system, the scheme implemented on a 66-acre land around the shrine will have various facilities like orientation centre, parking, food plaza and the Bhajan mandap.
With the unique architecture of the Lingaraj Temple, the state government is on a mission mode to place Bhubaneswar on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with the beautification of the Ekamra Kshetra.
The meeting also discussed the inclusion of Mahashivratri, Ashokastami, Rath Yatra and Shitala Sasthi festivals in the national calendar of festivals.
Among others, Ekamra Bhubaneswar MLA Ashok Chandra Panda, Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy and Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra were present at the meeting, which was conducted by the 5T Secretary VK Pandian.