Archive for the 'Historical places' Category

Several sites in the Bhubaneswar-Puri heritage corridor to be developed; I did not know some of them

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Bhubaneswar-Pipli- Konark, Bhubaneswar-Puri, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Khordha, Puri, Sishupalgarh Bhubaneswar, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar Comments Off on Several sites in the Bhubaneswar-Puri heritage corridor to be developed; I did not know some of them

Following are excerpts from an excellent article by Bibhuti Barik in Telegraph.

The proposed corridor will include nine places linked to Jagannath Dham and the rich tradition of Odia art, craft, architecture and rural lifestyle.

… “We want to touch a part of Odisha’s essence through this heritage corridor. It will start from places in the neighbourhood of the capital, such as Sisupalgarh, Gangotri Nagar, Dhauli, Pipili, Danda Mukundapur, Dasia Bauri Peetha, Sakhigopal, Danda Sahi and Raghurajpur. While the first two places can be tagged together as they are near the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, Danda Mukundapur, Dasia Bauri Peetha, Sakhigopal and Danda Sahi need special emphasis so that the travellers can get to know about them and their historical links,” said a senior official of the state tourism and culture department.

The department’s principal secretary Ashok Tripathy said: “… we are going to put an extra emphasis on the rural sector. The heritage corridor will be the first effort towards the initiative. We are going to give the travellers a feel of not only the rural Odisha, but also the essence of our cultural traditions attached to it, in the form of crafts, dance forms, saga of Lord Jagannath and the folklores linked to the holy city and its temples.”

While Sisupalgarh is one of the unique fort settlements in the world and dates back to the Mauryan-era, Gangotri Nagar is fast becoming a small but beautiful settlement of national award winning artists in patta chitra and stone carving.

But after visiting the two places, one can move up to Dhauli where apart from the famous peace pagoda a sculpture garden is already in the pipeline.

While Pipili represents a nice cooperation between Muslims and Hindus with its appliqué work, the state culture and tourism department is also planning a project to attract tourists near the diversion of NH-203 which is under renovation.

… Danda Mukundapur is famous for poet Bhakta Salbeg, a Muslim follower in love with Lord Jagannath. There is a place where Bhakta Dasia, a devotee of Lord Jagannath from the weaver community was born and proved that through love and devotion one can conquer the Lord. It is said that the image of the Trinity once appeared in a sacred pond near Dasia’s house when some priests came calling to realise Dasia’s tale. The lush green surroundings, including the paddy fields, coconut and banana plantations recreate another Kerala inside Odisha.

Sakhigopal also has the sacred Sakhigopinath temple which, according to legend, is a shrine describing the Lord’s love for his follower. Sakhigopal is the major work place of the famous five friends or Panchasakha — Gopabandhu, Acharya Harihara, Nilakantha, Krupasindhu and Godabarish.

The last two places — Danda Sahi and Raghurajpur — are famous for patta chitra. However, while the latter became famous with proper patronage and promotion, Danda Sahi is yet to get prominence that it deserves. Raghurajpur has already become a model village with traditional studios of the artists, Gotipua dance recitals, cultural exchanges between the foreign tourists or artists and local talents.

The Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri ancient Buddhist knowledge center in Odisha; has been compared with Nalanda in the art history and archaeology literature

APPEAL to readers, CENTER & ODISHA, Historical places, Jajpur, Kalinganagar- Chandikhol- Paradip, Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri, Odisha history, Universities: existing and upcoming Comments Off on The Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri ancient Buddhist knowledge center in Odisha; has been compared with Nalanda in the art history and archaeology literature

(Appeal to readers: I would appreciate any additional pointers to literature where the knowledge center aspects of the Odisha buddhist monuments have been discussed and/or they have been compared with the well-known buddhist sites in India such as Nalanda, Bodhgaya, Sanchi, etc.)

We all have read about Nalanda and Taxila as ancient learning centers and they are often referred to the as precursor of the present day universities. In Odisha the yet to be identified Puspagiri mahavihara as well as the Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri  have been compared with Nalanda in the art history and Buddhist literature. Following are some slides (in facebook) which compiles that information. In these slides we quote extensively from Mrs. Debala Mitra’s two books. Mrs. Mitra was the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (1975-1983) [Page 448 of this book] and has written extensively on various Monuments of India.


The above slides do not have any pictures. As is mentioned in some of the slides, the Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri Mahaviharas are also comparable to Bodhgaya in certain respects and one slide mentioned how none of the monasteries in Nalanda can compare with the embellishment in one of the monastery found in Ratnagiri. The following pictures, again from facebook, gives one the idea of what has been found in Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri and the beauty and significance of them.

In 2010 the Indian Parliament passed the Nalanda International University Bill. This university is in the making now and this wikipedia page has information on it. We hope that some day more people in Odisha and India will know about Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri and a similar university (perhaps called Puspagiri University, the yet to be identified Mahavihara about which Hiuen Tsang wrote glowingly) will be established in Odisha. Towards that effort some background information has been compiled in a facebook page and a facebook account. Following is a glimpse of the information that has been collected.

Multiple funding sources to help further develop various tourist attractions and infrastructure in the coastal areas

Berhampur- Gopalpur- Chhatrapur, Bhadrakh, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Bhubaneswar-Pipli- Konark, Bhubaneswar-Puri, Business Standard, Central govt. schemes, Chandaka, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Dhamara- Chandbali- Bhitarakanika, Ganjam, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Heritage sites, Historical places, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Khordha, Konark, Lord Jagannath, Nandan Kanan, Odisha govt. action, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Puri, Puri, Puri - Konark, Raghurajpur, Shamuka Beach project, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Telegraph, Temples, Tourist promotion Comments Off on Multiple funding sources to help further develop various tourist attractions and infrastructure in the coastal areas

Following is from a report in Telegraph.

The capital will soon have a mega-tourist circuit for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 8.14 crore.

The proposed tourist circuit envisages, among others things, renovation of two major roads in Old Town area, construction of a ‘parikrama’ around Lingaraj temple, soft-lighting for eight protected monuments and two tourism interpretation centres.

While the tourism department is trying to revive Ekamreswar, the miniature temple of Lord Lingaraj near Lingaraj police station, a dedicated road corridor will be constructed to link Puri, the Old Town area and Khandagiri via Dhauli.

Moreover, a 3,000-seater amphitheatre will be constructed opposite Madhusudan Park at Pokhariput.

… Samal spoke to reporters after the heritage walk, which was held today as part of World Tourism Day function.

The circuit will aim at facilitating various cultures as the city is perhaps the only one place in the region where three major religions — Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism — have their presence and the Daya riverbed is linked to the transformation of Emperor Ashok from Chandashok to Dharmashok.

… While the mega circuit will be part of the development of the ambitious Bhubaneswar-Puri-Chilika tourism sector, the Old Town area of the city will have a 40-feet road near the temple connecting Kotitirtheswar Lane and a proposed three-acre parking site.

Later, the same road will be extended up to Kedar Gouri temple. These two roads, in turn, will provide a better corridor so that tourist vehicles can pass through the areas smoothly. Similarly, a ‘parikrama’ or circular road will be planned around the Lingaraj temple.

“Apart from providing better connectivity to the Old Town area, the side walls of various buildings and structures will be decorated with tiles of red laterite stones. The concept has already been adopted in various western cities and states such as Rajasthan. …

The mega circuit will also emphasise on infrastructure development to connect various sites of Buddhist and Jain religious interests. Other than central assistance, there is also a plan to develop a road connecting Gangua nullah (through its right embankment) to the historical Kapileswar village. Another road will link Ganesh Ghat near Dhauli Peace Pagoda with the Jatni Kapilaprasad Road.

According to the pre-feasibility report, the state government will spend more than Rs 30 crore on the two proposed roads.

“These two roads will connect Dhauli with Khandagiri and the travellers and tour operators need not take the longer Cuttack-Puri Road via Rasulgarh to reach the historical Jain sites. Even nature lovers visiting places such as Deras in Chandaka or Nandankanan Zoological Park can take this road in future,’’ said the MLA.

“The state government has also asked the Bhubaneswar Development Authority to construct an amphitheatre opposite Madhusudan Park in Pokhariput. This will resemble the amphitheatre at the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya near Rabindra Mandap,’’ he said.

Sources at the public works department said: “There is a plan to construct a flyover over the railway level crossing at Pokhariput for Rs 42 crore. While the state government will share Rs 22 crore, the rest will come from the railways. Once the flyover is commissioned, the road from Dhauli to Khandagiri will become a vital link to various religious centre.’’

Under the mega tourism circuit, temples such as Lingaraj, Rajarani, Mukteswar, Rameswar, Parsurameswar, Lakshmaneswar, Bharateswar and Satrughneswar will be illuminated with light emitting diode based ‘dynamic lighting system’ for which Rs 3.98 crore will be utilised. The project will be executed by the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation.

Hinting at the development of two interpretation centres near the Lingaraj temple, Samal said: “While one will be constructed on the premises of Sibatirtha Mutt, the other one will come up near the employees’ colony.’’

On the proposed tourist interpretation centre near Khandagiri-Udaygiri caves, he said the project would be completed within two or three months time.

Following is from a report in Business Standard.

The Orissa government has decided to promote heritage tourism at eight locations along the coast line with an investment of Rs 7.41 crore in the next five years.

Based on archeological, architectural, sculptural and historical importance, the selected structures, identified by the state archeology department, would be taken up under the World Bank funded Rs 227.64-crore Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project.

… The structures identified to get a face lift under the scheme included Potagarh (Buried Fort), located on the bank of river Rushikulya in Ganjam town which stands as a mute witness to the vicissitudes of history in Orissa.

Apart from historic Potagarh, the British Cemetery near Ganjam town, Bhaba Kundaleswar temple of Manikapatna, Baliharichandi temple near Puri, Hariharadeva temple, Nairi, Bateswara temple, Kantiagada (Ganjam), Jagannath temple, Pentha and Jamboo Colonial Building, Kendrapara will be refurbished under the scheme.

Preservation of ancient monuments under the project will include their protection, structural conservation, chemical conservation, landscaping and maintainance from time to time.

… The officials of the Gujarat and West Bengal projects along with a World Bank team visited various places including Ganjam and Kendrapada districts in the state recently to review the implementation of the project. Project Director of ICZM (Orissa) AK Pattnaik briefed the team about various steps taken under the project and their progress. The scheme, whose tenure spans from 2010 to 2015, is being implemented in two coastal stretches: Paradeep to Dhamara and Gopalpur to Chilika.

Road between Khandagiri and Udaygiri to be diverted; many improvements planned for this 2nd century BC site

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Historical places, Khordha, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Telegraph Comments Off on Road between Khandagiri and Udaygiri to be diverted; many improvements planned for this 2nd century BC site

For all these years a major road passed between Khanadagiri and Udaygiri sites with various shops along the road. See picture below.

Finally the government has a plan to close this road and create the right ambiance for such a historic site. Following are excerpts from a report in Telegraph.

The state government has decided to close a road that passes through the historic Khandagiri and Udaygiri caves to vehicular traffic in a bid to bolster tourism and beautify the environs of the twin hills.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) took the first step in this regard by identifying 24 shops near the hills.

These have been asked to shift behind the Udayagiri hills where a vending zone is coming up.

Priyadarshi Mohapatra, deputy municipal commissioner, said: “The state government plans to give a distinct touch to the historic monuments in the 2nd Century BC Khandagiri-Udayagiri caves. For that, the historic sites is expected to be visible from a distance and not get hidden under an unplanned growth of shops and vendors.”

There is a ‘panthanivas’ and a public convenience centre, but the other areas are either used for unplanned parking of heavy vehicles or have been encroached upon by vendors and shop owners.

“Today we initiated the process to find out the genuine shop owners so that they can be relocated behind the Udayagiri hills in front of the proposed tourism information centre, which is being developed by the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation,” Mohapatra added.

…“Once the space in front of Khandagiri-Udayagiri with 33 caves is clear of the congestion, tourists will enjoy their stay in the caves.

“They would have more recreation facilities once the beautification drive takes place in sync with the architecture of the hills,” said a tourism official of the state government.

… The tourism complex near Khandagiri-Udayagiri caves will house a quality interpretation centre with a food court serving an array of Oriya cuisine, public convenience, souvenir centre, audio-visual facility and entertainment and independent parking space.

This will serve as a cultural hub so that tourists coming to the city, especially to the cave sites and Jayadev Vatika, will have a detailed knowledge about the cultural tradition of the state.

Besides the interpretation centre, a common facilitation centre for handicrafts development will also be included in the compound to promote artisans in stone, brass and bell metals, fibre art, applique, terracotta and pattachitra work.


ASI plans a new museum at Lalitgiri; one exists at Ratnagiri

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Following is from

The Buddhist relics found during an excavation at Lalitgiri in Orissa are proposed to be housed in a museum. The Excavated Buddhist Site, Lalitgiri was notified as Centrally Protected in the year 1937. The site has been extensively excavated by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) during the year 1985-1992. The remains of a massive Stupa including a relic caskets consisting of four containers made of Khondalite, Steatite, Silver and Gold containing corporal remains have been recovered during the excavation, besides other important structure and archeological remains. At present, the relic caskets are in the safe custody of Superintending Archaeologist, Bhubaneswar Circle, ASI, Bhubaneswar, Orissa. Further, In order to set up a site museum at Lalitgiri the site has been inspected and preparation of detailed drawing (Plan, Elevation, Design) of the proposed museum building have been initiated by the Bhubaneswar Circle, ASI.

The relic –caskets containing Buddhist bone relics would be housed and displayed for the public under adequate security and surveillance

Note that a similar museum exists at Ratnagiri. See

In the facebook note we have collected various links about Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri, Udaygiri and Langudi hills. We are trying to find out  what archaeologists and historians think regarding the  existence of ancient Buddhist Universities in Odisha. The information about Madhavapura Mahavihara (in Udaygiri) at looks interesting in that regard.

Deveopment plans related to Dhauligiri: Dharitri

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Tourist interpretation centre under construction near Khandagiri-Udayagiri

Historical places, Khordha, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar 2 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from a report in Telegraph by Bibhuti Barik:

A tourist interpretation centre is under construction near the Khandagiri-Udayagiri caves, to showcase the tourism potential of the golden triangle, which includes Konark, Puri, Bhubaneswar and other tourist places around the capital.

The centre will have a crafts village, a food court with an array of Orissa cuisine, a public convenience centre, a souvenir centre, an entertainment centre with audio-visual facility, and a parking space.

It will serve as a cultural hub and help the tourists to get information on the tourist spots of the state.

… “The interpretation centre, which will be ready within three months, will help to attract tourists to the site. In future, it will also serve as a one-stop shop for tourists visiting Orissa. The centre, which is under construction near the Khandagiri-Udayagiri caves, will be like the other state tourist interpretation centers in Rajasthan, Haryana or Delhi,’’ the tourism director added.

… Anil Tripathy, executive engineer of the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation Limited (OTDC), who is in charge of the construction of the centre, said “the parking space will help in accommodating 50 buses at a time and the open-air theatre will have seating arrangements for 300 people. There will also be six halls for use on occasions.’’

“The 5,000 square metre built up area of the centre can also be used to organise cultural events like Kharavela Mahotsav, the annual extravaganza near the Khandagiri-Udayagiri caves. The inner and outer circles of the structure with wide balconies have beautiful sandstone pillars that have been built by artisans at the site. The walls of the centre are also made of matching water-proof laterite stones,’’ Tripathy added.

The tourist interpretation centre, which is estimated at a budget of Rs 61.83 lakh, is part of a Rs 296.03 lakh central government project for the development of Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves.

Plans to develop Sishupalgarh as an Archaeological park

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, CENTER & ODISHA, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Khordha, Odisha govt. action, Sishupalgarh Bhubaneswar, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar 2 Comments »

Following is a from an article in

The Government of Odisha and JSL Stainless Ltd. has jointly taken up a detailed Archaeological study for preservation of the 700 years old ancient Sisupalgarh site. 

The old fortified city is to be developed into an Archaeological park and have it woven among the other well known tourist places of Odisha.

The details of this project will be taken up either on a PPP mode or on a JV mode with ASI, the decision will be taken by the Government of Odisha. 

The preliminary estimation of the project is about Rs.170crores which includes reviving the entire ancient archaeological area with construction of public utility services, parking area, a museum, light & sound, ticket counter, plantation etc. 

The idea basically is to preserve and turn it into one of the world’s great historical monument of the country, said Mr.Mohanty, Resident Director JSL.

Just outside Bhubaneswar, around 2,000 years ago, stood one of old India’s biggest cities: Sandeep Mishra in TOI

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Heritage sites, Historical places, Khordha, Sishupalgarh Bhubaneswar, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar Comments Off on Just outside Bhubaneswar, around 2,000 years ago, stood one of old India’s biggest cities: Sandeep Mishra in TOI

Following is from Sandeep Mishra’s recent article in TOI on recent excavations in Sishupalgarh adjacent to Bhubaneswar.

Just outside Bhubaneswar, around 2,000 years ago, stood one of old India’s biggest cities. When they chanced upon Sisupalgarh, excavators could only gape in astonishment at its modern ways 

Sisupalgarh sounds like a happening settlement by historic standards: a sprawling urban settlement that housed 20,000-25,000 people, street-linking gateways, pillared meeting halls, water storage systems and disposable vessels for daily use. In one of the richest hauls for archaeologists in the country in recent times, a 12-member Indo-American expert team discovered the remains of a city from the early historic period in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar two years ago. 

The team, comprising representatives from Deccan College, Pune, and the University of California, in collaboration with the ASI, had conducted surface excavations at the fortified site first reported by Prof B Lal in 1948. Fresh excavation was restarted in 2005 to learn more about this mystery city. A large quantity of debris, including household pottery and terracotta ornaments, were discovered during the exercise. 

Enthused over the findings, the head archaeologist of the excavation, Monica L Smith from the University of California, had then told TOI: "This is the most visible standing architectural monument discovered in the country so far. It is a huge city existing about 2,000 years ago." The pillars were possibly part of a gigantic structure and used for public gatherings. According to an archaeologist from Deccan College, Pune, R K Mohanty, a city could be known from its walls. "When it has such well-built walls and such a big expanse, it means it was a very important city," he says. Explaining the importance of the ancient city, Mohanaty says Sisupalgarh has four gateways and could have housed a large number of people (compare this to the 10,000 Athens could manage). From photographs taken through geophysical research methods, the team had found that a huge urban setup, a much larger area than could possibly be excavated, had existed at the site. "The findings were mind-boggling. The lifestyle of the people then could be more advanced than present-day life," Smith had said. "Potteries found are polished and have ownership marks. The huge number of cups and bowls suggest people then practiced a use and throw system." 

It is hard to say what sent Sisupalgarh into terminal decline. The data and findings when they will be made available to scholars could lead to a conclusive answer.

Read more: A city bigger than Athens? – India – The Times of India

Monuments of Orissa

Buddhist site, Heritage sites, Historical places, Konark, Monuments, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Tourist promotion Comments Off on Monuments of Orissa

Following are links from

Site Index, Part X: East India, before 1000

Maurya (323-185 BC)
Dhauli –
Ashoka’s Rock Edict (3)

Chedi (2d century BC – 1st century AD)
Udayagiri (Khandagiri) – Jain Cave Temples (8)

Orissan dynasties, 8th – 12th century
Ratnagiri – Buddhist Monastery (12)
Udayagiri – Buddhist Monastery (5)
Bhubaneshwar – Hindu Temples (31)

Site Index, Part XI: East India, 900-1400

Somavamshi (9th – early 11th century)
Hirapur –
Chaunsath Yogini Temple (9)

Eastern Ganga (10th – 14th century)
Konarak – Surya Temple (12) has a good collection of articles on Orissa spots

Chandipur, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Heritage sites, Hills and hill stations, Historical places, Konark, Mahanadi tourism, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Nature spots, Puri, Similpal, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Temples, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion, Travelogue 1 Comment »

Their page on Orissa is at The list of sites in Orissa that they cover are:

Beautiful picture of Shanti Stupa in Dhauli (outskirts of Bhubaneswar) : From Samaja Sunday magazine back cover

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Excavation at Sishupalgarh

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Update: Times of India also writes about it with headlines "2,500 years ago, a city bigger than Athens in Orissa" and "Lost city had all urban amenities." See also this Telegraph report.

Following is an excerpt from a report in Hindu.

Researchers involved in excavation at the ancient city of Sisupalgarh on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar have come across a number of artefacts and structures that throw light on the existence of a flourishing urban life during the pre-historic period.


The geophysical research showed large-scale patterns of subsurface architecture such as streets, which were visible linking the gateways in the interior of the site, and a large ancient perimeter area around the pillar zone, said R.K. Mohanty of the Pune-based Deccan College and Monica L. Smith of the University of California here on Thursday.

These researchers, with the help of students from different universities and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), began their work in 2000, about 50 years after the first excavation.

After several deep trenches, they have now exposed 18 previously unknown pillars and several associated structures on a mound within the fortification wall.

Sisupalgarh was absolutely visible through naked eyes as well as from the space and this could be one of its kinds of cultural heritage in the whole of eastern India, the researchers claimed.

“It seemed to be a large city, which could have been governed under one ruler. The ancient population inhabiting the place was estimated to be 25,000,” said Mr. Mohanty, an archaeologist.

“The civilisation could have lasted for more than 1,000 years between 3rd BC and 3rd AD,” he said.

Researchers worked on the place adjacent to a “majestic gate” excavated by Prof B.B. Lal in 1950. They found house foundations of laterite block architecture. The habitation areas also contained very large quantities of household pottery such as bowls and jars along with other household artefacts such as iron nails and terracotta ornaments including bangles, finger rings, pendants and ear spools.

Pointing out that the latest debris deposits and pillars indicated that it was meant for public use, Ms. Smith said the ancient artisans at Sisupalgarh were manufacturing potteries massively and those were in rapid use.

“It suggested that the people, animals and trash were closely integrated in the crowded space of the city. …

Bhubaneswar to get designation of heritage city?

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Following is an excerpt from a Pragativadi report.

The capital city of the state, Bhubaneswar, is the oldest city of the world that grew up 5000 years ago.

This historic evidence, unearthed by the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) in its survey report, was submitted to the Orissa government on Thursday.

The report that has proposed the state government to take necessary measures by writing a letter to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to declare Bhubaneswar as a heritage city, has been accepted in principle by the government. …

The survey report states that the state capital city traces its history to the 4th Century BC, when it was the capital of the Kalinga empire.

In the 7th Century BC, the city became the capital of the Sailodbhava kings under whose reign it had witnessed a golden era.

In the next 500 years, during the reign of the Sailodbhava over 7,000 temples each of a unique design were built.

These temples are architectural wonders in terms of their decorations and hand carved designs.

This great architectural tradition, flourished till 17th Century.

Bhubaneswar is one of the richest cities in India where Lord Shiva is known as Tribhuvaneswara or Lord of the Three Worlds, from which the city derives its name. Bhubaneswar is also known as temple town and Cathedral city on account of its many temples in the extravagant Orissan style that are a true manifestation of the architectural potential of the people of this historic city.

Some of the temples of Bhubaneswar have stood witness to the history of this city that dates back to 25 centuries.

During the meeting, the INTACH representatives briefed the chief minister that about 199 temples Bhubaneswar and 239 in Puri were unprotected monuments.

The chief minister later directed the concerned officials to spend funds from the 12th Finance Commission (TFC) to preserve the monuments.

He also directed the officials to take steps for the protection of all maths near Jagannath Temple in Puri.

The archaeology department would remain in charge of the conservation of these temples and maths.

The meeting also decided to paint all the buildings near Bindusagar in a single colour.
All care would be taken to clear encroachers from the sides of historical monuments.

Urban haat at Konark

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Pioneer reports on this. Following are some excerpts.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday inaugurated an Urban Haat near the Sun Temple here. He said the Haat would act as a bridge between the handicraft industry and the tourists in the State as it aims to facilitate sale of handicraft products. …

The Urban Haat has been built over an area of four acres of land by the Orissa Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) at a cost of Rs 2.67 crore. It consists of 40 shops, an open-air theatre hall and two exhibition halls.

It primarily aims at marketing handicrafts made of cane and bamboo, appliqués, patta chitra and wooden products.

Periphery development around Konark and other culture related projects

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New Indian Express has a report on this. Following are some excerpts.

The Centre will invite global tender through the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for the preservation of the 13th century heritage Sun temple at Konark.

The Centre would release Rs 13 crore for the project as well as periphery development around the Sun temple.

the Centre has sanctioned Rs 1 crore for the renovation and development of the State museum at Bhubaneswar. Besides, Rs 92 lakh has also been earmarked for construction of the open theatre, Kalamandal, here.

The ASI, NCF, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Indian Oil Foundation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for five important monuments of India – Sun temple, Konark, Kanheri caves, Mumbai, Group of temples at Khajuraho, monuments at Hampi and Warangal Fort. The IOC has contributed Rs 25 crore for the project

Bindusagar tank area in old Bhubaneswar being revamped; construction of a medicinal plant garden

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Telegraph reports on this. Following are some excerpts.

artisans working on blocks of sandstone along the west banks of the sacred Bindusagar Tank. …

The area around the tank is being converted into a medicinal plant garden, with all the elements of Ekamra Kshetra in mind — a mythological garden. …

The garden, that would cost Rs 72 lakhs, would also have an amla tree (symbolising Parvati) and a bel symbolising Ganesha. The three would have their own pedestals with substructures on which medicinal herbs would be planted. …

The park would have two large pools in between the trees that would contain naturally-purified water seeping in through the earth from Bindusagar. …

… there would be a small platform for music to add to the holy ambience.

Artisans from Raghurajpur and Lalitgiri have been engaged to complete the work that is expected to be over by the next month.

We have used nothing except sandstone and laterite, …

… the boundary and retaining wall would bear exquisite carvings depicting the lord and his stay at the Ekamra Kshetra. …

Cities like Bhubaneswar are very important in terms of heritage, tourism and religion. Its our department’s responsibility to check that the temple city gets its historical and architectural glory back.