By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, November 25, 2021: In a historic move, Odisha has began an ambitious Rs 800 crore Shree Mandira Parikrama Project to make Puri a world heritage site sooner than later. This is the biggest redevelopment project of temple surroundings in centuries.

The project is part of the state government’s Rs 3,200-crore Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture Scheme that aims to develop Puri as a World Class Heritage City.

The project will create an unobstructed 75-metre corridor around the Meghanada Pacheri (outer wall of the Shree Jagannath Temple). The corridor will also provide amenities for devotees and strengthen security, the state government said.

The project proposes to divide the Shree Jagannath Heritage Corridor abutting Meghanada Pacheri into nine zones on the western, northern, and sides. The seven-metre green buffer zone adjacent to Meghanada Pacheri comprises a five-metre terraced landscape. The remaining section, accessible by staff members, includes a two-metre hardscape area abutting Meghanada Pacheri.

The deities’ ceremonial procession will be conducted in the 10-metre ‘Antar (inner) Pradakshina’ – pedestrian-only path – all year round. The general public will also use it for ‘parikrama’ (clockwise circumambulation).

A 14-metre landscape zone with a garden of local varieties of shrubs and trees important in Jagannatha culture will also come up. Trees will also line the eight-metre outer circumambulation path. There will also be a 10-metre public convenience zone comprising drinking water fountains, restrooms, and information-cum-donation kiosks.

The project also proposes a queue management facility that can handle 6,000 people, along with security checking facility. Efforts are also being made to redevelop ‘matha’ temples within the 75-metre Shree Jagannath Heritage Corridor. These ‘matha’ temples will be redeveloped in the Kalingan style in general and specific ‘matha’ traditions.

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