Bhubaneswar: A detailed discussion on the Ekamra Kshetra heritage plan was held today in a high level meeting presided over by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through video conferencing. The plan focuses on the development of about 66 acre land area around Lingaraj temple. Besides beautification of the area, a spiritual environment will be created through different facilities through this plan.
The highlight of the plan is that at least two lakh people would witness lifting up of the Mahadeepa during Shivarathri once the plan gets executed. Earlier, only 10 to 15 thousand people were able to witness the important ritual of lifting up of the Mahadeepa during Shivaratri to the pinnacle of the shrine.
Besides, one will be able to witness the famous Chandan Yatra of Lord Lingaraj that is observed in the famous Bindu Sagar from Rathakhala.
Besides Shivarathri, discussion was also held over solemnization of Ashokastami, Rath Yatra and other festivals of Lord Lingaraj in the meeting. The heritage plan will be instrumental on swift movement of pilgrims in and around the temple.
During the month of Shravana lakhs of devotees queue up in the temple to pour water on the idol. The plan also includes easy movement of these devotees.
The Bindusagar pond near Lingaraj temple has much importance as it is related to different festivals of Lord Lingaraj. The plan includes overall development of this pond. Besides, the Bindhyabasini, Bhawanishankar, Sukasari and Mohini temples will also be developed so that devotees can pay visit there.
As per records about 350 years ago there were only temples in between Rathagada and Bindu Sagar. There were no other permanent constructions in between. Hence, after 350 years Lingaraj temple and Bindu Sagar will get a new look under this plan.
Ekamra Yojana includes erection of facilities like orientation centre, parking, food plaza, Bhajan Mandap apart from renovation of ponds, drainage system of Kedargouri, drainage system, sewerage system etc.
After Puri Srimandira, Ekamra Kshetra Yojana is the second largest plan of Odisha government under the 5 T programme.
Steps will also be taken so that the festivals of Lord Lingaraj like Ashokastami, Rath Yatra and Sital Sasthi will get place in the national calendar. The Chief Minister has asked to finish the work within one year.
In the meeting minister Ekamra Bhubaneswar MLA Ashok Chandra Panda remained present and put forth his suggestion. Besides, chief secretary Asit Tripathy, development commissioner Suresh Mohapatra and many other senior officials were also present. CM’s 5 T secretary VK Pandian conducted the discussion.