Archive for the 'Temples' Category

Some tourism infrastructure involving Lingaraj temple and vicinity in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Khordha, NURM, JNNURM, Odisha govt. action, Roads, highways and Bus stands, Telegraph, Temples Comments Off on Some tourism infrastructure involving Lingaraj temple and vicinity in Bhubaneswar

Following is from a report by Bibhuti Barik in Telegraph.

The state government is planning to build a new road from Lingaraj Temple to Kotiteertheswar Temple at a cost of around Rs 2 crore, to ease traffic pressure in the area. The 410-metre two-lane road will come with a three-acre parking area.

The project, which is to be taken up jointly by the tourism department and the roads and building division of the public works department (PWD), will also help provide a clearer view of the 11th century Lingaraj temple as shops and roadside vendors in front of the shrine will be relocated along the new road.

… the dilapidated Lingaraj Market Complex … will be demolished to clear the area for the laying of the road which will run along the Devi Padahara pond, behind Ananta Vasudev Temple and the farm lands on the side of natural drainage channel No. 7 near Kotiteertheswar Lane. The private land near the temple, which is owned by businessmen and the Lingaraj Temple Trust, will also be acquired to speed up the road project.

… “The state tourism department has already given Rs 30 lakh to the PWD and the rest — Rs 1.69 crore — will be provided by them from their plan budget. All the displaced traders and vendors will be rehabilitated.”

… the two-lane road would have facilities such as footpath and accompanying drains. However, the parking lot would be built by the tourism department, as it is not included in the road project.

The road would later be extended up to Taleswar Mahadev to improve the communication between Kedar Gouri and Lingaraj Temple.

Tourism department sources added that Old Town would soon have a mega tourist circuit, for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 8.14 crore. The proposed circuit envisages, among others things, renovation of two major roads, 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, Old Town and Khandagiri via Dhauli. An amphitheatre will also be built opposite Madhusudan Park at Pokhariput with a capacity to accommodate 3,000 people.

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.

Nrusinghanatha and Harishankar Temples in Gandhamardana Hills

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Following is from the site

Located in the sacred Gandhamardan Hills, which according to legends, Hanuman carried on his shoulders from the Himalayas as described in the ancient epic Ramayana, the temple at Nrusinghanath is an important pilgrimage site. It is also an exceedingly fascinating and beautifully  located temple and is worth the journey to this rather remote spot.

The present temple, located at the source of the Papaharini stream, is a 14th century structure built on a more ancient site. The four pillars within the Jagmohana suggest that the earlier temple was built in the 9th century. The beautiful doorframes have been dated to the 11th century.

The site of the temple is unique. Stone steps wind up the hillside behind the temple, leading past a  waterfall, and eventually curving under the falls to a spot where some beautiful, and very well- preserved relief sculptures are found. The climb to the carvings and return journey will take about an hour. Since shoes are not permitted on these sanctified pilgrimage steps, those with tender feet should take along a pair of heavy socks for the climb.

On the opposite slope of the hill on which the temple is located, is the Harishankar Temple. Between the two temples there is a 16 km. plateau, littered with Buddhist ruins that scholars feel may be the remains of the ancient university of Parimalagiri, referred to by the seventh-century Chinese traveler Hiuen T’sang as ‘Po-lo-mo-lo-ki-li’. The trek along this plateau is a long one, but for the serious student of history, it is an unforgettable experience.

Following is from

he Harishankar Falls is located in Balangir, on the Southern slope of the Gandhamardhan hills. The waters of the Harishankar Falls gushes down the slopes in a series of captivating waterfalls that creates an out of the world scene.

At a distance of about 81 Kilometers is located the pilgrimage site of Harishankar. This locations is encapsulated in the charm of nature and is the shrine of the dual Hindu deity, Hari and Shankar. A very holy place for both the Vaishnavs and the Shaivites, Harishankar is the popular pilgrimage spot. The Harishankar Falls is a part of this pious place and the water of the Harishankar Falls cascades down to the granite floor of the shrines. The Harishankar Falls also acts as a natural shower for the pilgrims.

The site has some beautiful pictures of the area.

Youtube videos of the 13 Orissa sites in NDTV’s shortlist of 7 Wonders of India

Angul, Anugul- Talcher - Saranga- Nalconagar, Bhitarakanika, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Heritage sites, Keonjhar, Konark, Lakes, Nandan Kanan, Puri, Raghurajpur, Rural artisan villages, Sambalpur, Sambaplur- Burla- Bargarh- Chipilima, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Sundergarh, Temples, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion, Turtle nesting sites, Waterfalls 1 Comment »

The NDTV site of the 13 Orissa sites is at The youtube videos below are from The descriptions below and the pictures are from the NDTV sites and the youtube sites.

EIGHT Sites near Bhubaneswar:

A 64 Yogini Tantrik Site

Located in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
The Sixty Four Yoginis temple at Hirapur is a circular enclosure with a narrow doorway to the eastern side. The diameter of the enclosure is 7.62 meters or 25 feet and height of the wall on the paved floor inside is 1.87 metres or 6 feet 2 inches. Yogini was considered sacred, hence this temple was created. Inside the temple there are 60 niches and in every niche there is a figure of a Yogini. All the Yogini images stand and are carved on black chlorite stone.

Nandan Kanan National Park

Located in Chandaka Forests, 20km from Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.
The park is spread in about 4 of area, while the wildlife
sanctuary is spread in around 5 sq. km. The park is home to more than 75 species of mammals and reptiles.The Nandan Kanan National park houses the very first captive gharial breeding centre of the country. Nandan Kanan justifies its literal meaning i.e. "Garden of Pleasure".

Lingaraja Bhubaneshwar Temple

Located in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
The Lingaraja temple is located in a spacious courtyard covering
over 250000 sq feet and is bounded by fortified walls. Its tower rises up to 180 feet and is elaborately carved. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Lingam here is unique which is a harihara lingam -half Shiva and half Vishnu.
Built by Yayati Kesari in the 7th century. This temple is dedicated to Tribhubaneshwar or the Lord of Three Worlds. The Lingaraja temple is about 1000 years old.

Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves

The caves are located atop the twin hills known as Udayagiri
(meaning the hill of the sunrise) and Khandagiri (meaning the
broken hill) which rise abruptly from the coastal plain, about 6km
West of Bhubaneswar, separated by a highway. Udaygiri caves are approximately 135 ft high and Khandagiri caves are 118 ft high.
The main attraction of these caves consists of its stupendous carvings. Of all the caves in Udaygiri, the largest one is the Rani Gumpha or the Queens Cave. The origin of the rock cut caves of Udaygiri and Khandagiri dates back to the 2nd century BC.
The caves are reminiscent of influence of Buddhism and Jainism in Orissa. The inscription and carvings on the walls show that they once served as Jain Monasteries.


Raghurajpur Craftsman Village

Located 14 kms from Puri in Orissa. The village is inhabited by artisans producing sheer poetry on pieces of treated cloth, dried palm leaf or paper. The Villages runs from east to west with houses arranged in two neat rows facing each other. In the centre runs a line of small temples. The village has a community of artisans who produce different verities of handicraft items like pata paintings, palm leaf
engravings, stone carvings, wooden toys and mask, wood carving, wooden toys, cow-dung toys, tusser paintings, etc. 


Puri Beach

Located on Shores of Bay of Bengal, at a mere distance of 35 kms from the Sun Temple and 65 kms from Bhubaneshwar. Pilgrims from all over India visit Puri to take a dip in the holy water of the rolling waves which is considered religious. It is renowned for the sand sculptures created particularly by the internationally famed Sudarshan Patnaik. Puri is the abode of Lord Jagannath and considered one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage destinations. The beach is a festive place where people come to relax and be entertained. It serves as the venue of the Puri Beach Festival.



Sun Temple, Konark

Situated at a distance from the famous religious and tourist centre of Puri (35 Km.) and the capital city of Bhubaneswar (65 Km). The entire temple was designed in the shape of a colossal chariot with seven horses and twenty four wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. The Sun Temple of Konark marks the highest point of achievement of Kalinga architecture depicting the grace, the joy and the rhythm of
life all it`s wondrous variety. It was built by King Raja Narasinghs Deva-I of the Ganga Dynasty in the thirteenth century. It is a temple to Surya, the sun God.



Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake (also called Chilka lake) is a brackish water coastal lake in India`s Orissa state, south of the mouth of the Mantei River.
The area of the lake varies from 1165 km sq. in the monsoon season to 906 km sq. in the dry season, and is studded with numerous small islands. The lake is an important habitat and breeding ground for both
resident and migratory and aquatic birds, most notably flamingoes.
The lake was formed due to the silting action of the Mantei River
which drains into the northern end of the lake, and the northerly
currents in the Bay of Bengal, which have formed a sandbar along the eastern shore leading to the formation of a shallow lagoon.
The main attractions inside the lake are Kalijai Island, Honeymoon Island, Breakfast Island, Birds Island, Nalabana (Island of Reeds) and Parikud Island.


The Other Five sites in Orissa:

Olive Ridley Sea Turtles

Found in the Indian Ocean along the Bay of Bengal is Orissa. Average weight of the turtles is just over 100 lb (up to 50 kgs). They have a high-domed shell, with a carapace length of only 30 inches (70 cms). Olive Ridleys are omnivorous, feeding on crabs, shrimp, rock lobsters, sea grasses, snails, fish, sessile, pelagic tunocates and small invertebrates. The Orissa coast is one of the three sites worldwide where mass nesting of the olive ridley turtle occurs. This sea turtle is especially known for its mass nesting when several thousand turtles migrate to the breeding ground to mate and nest simultaneously. Hindu mythology worships sea turtles as an incarnation of one their gods. Over the past five years, sea turtles have suffered mass mortality along the Orissa coast due to death by drowning as incidental catch in trawl- fishing nets. About 5000 to 10,000 dead turtles have been washed ashore each year, a total of over 100,000 in the last ten years.


Sitabinji Caves

Situated on River Sita, 30 km from Keonjhar.  The structure is like a half opened umbrella. It depicts a royal procession.
It has gained prominence for the ancient fresco painting on a rock shelter called “Ravan Chhaya”.

Khandadhar Waterfalls (youtube videos)

Khandadhar Waterfall is located amidst the forest of Sundergarh  (specific location is Nandapani). The Khandadhar Falls is categorized as a horsetail waterfall. The falls appear to be located on a smaller watercourse, though are said to be perennial.
During the monsoon months the water from the Koprani Nala, a rivulet, overflows and it drops down as a fall from a height of 800 feet.
This waterfall because of its height is visible from a distance of about 5 kilometres.

Hirakud River Dam (youtube videos)

Located 15 km from Sambalpur, Orissa. The Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 km from Sambalpur in the state of Orissa in India. The dam regulates the flow of the Mahanadi River and produces hydroelectricity through several hydroelectric plants. Hirakund dam is about 4.8 km long, bordered by earthen dykes on its left as well as right. Built in 1956, the dam is the world`s largest earthen dam. The dam helps control floods in the Mahanadi delta and irrigates 7,500,000 hectares of land. Hirakud dam was the first post- independence river valley project in India.

Sleeping Vishnu Temple

The sleeping statue of Lord Vishnu is situated in Bhimkund, at a distance of about 28 kilometres from Talcher. The sleeping image of Vishnu at Bhimkund is second only to Gomateswar (Karnataka) in size. It has the honour of being the largest sleeping image in India.
In spite of its magnanimity, image contains a natural softness. The period of its creation is believed to be 8th-9th century AD.

Beautiful Kalahandi: Samaja

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Toursim potential of Cuttack: two articles and a picture from Samaja

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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:

Narayani: Samaja

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Odagaon (Nayagarh district) Raghunathji temple and festivals: Samaja

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Chandaneswar pitha near Jaleswar: Samaja

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Railway station catering to Sarala bound tourists demanded: Samaja

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Innovative schemes planned by the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation

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Following is an excerpt from a report in Travel Biz Monitor.

“We have adopted this system from places like London and Berlin. Instead of a conducted tour within and outside the city, we will introduce tailor-made sight-seeing options.” The state plans to operate five coaches at a time, covering a minimum of 12-13 destinations. There will be a minimum of 10-15 minutes between each coach’s departure, in order to provide the traveller with ultimate flexibility. One day’s ticket will be issued for travellers who want to enjoy the destinations of their preference.

Conducted city tours were an important revenue-generator for Orissa Tourism. However, they have been converted into the coach service to cater to a growing demand for tailor-made packages, around the globe. “As we have started catering to a large number of international tourists, we had to resort to made-to-order services,” adds Rath.

With an aim to garner additional global business, Orissa Tourism also plans to appoint STPOs across the world, to promote Orissa as an international tourist destination. Rath claims that Orissa Tourism already employs a large number of travel agents and tour operators to sell Orissa packages. However, it is now looking to appoint non-resident Oriyas to promote the state’s tourism.

The STPO scheme will be launched on an experimental basis to garner additional employment opportunities. “We believe that the Oriya community spread all over the world will be instrumental in adding that personal touch to our state’s tourism. Although, the STPOs will not be on a payroll basis, commission against the volume of business generated will be attractive,” says Rath.

Shiva temples in Orissa: Samaja

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Tourist spots along Mahanadi: Samaja

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Times UK travelogue on Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark and Gopalpur-on-Sea

Beaches, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Khordha, Konark, Puri, Temples, Travelogue 1 Comment »

Following are some excerpts from it.

Gopalpur, with its grand views of sunrise over the Bay of Bengal, is the final destination of the week my wife Clare and I are spending in Orissa, one of India’s least-visited states. It rises to densely forested hills from coastal paddy fields fringed with palm trees and ponds of hyacinths. It feels remote, but has good transport connections with Calcutta and Madras and would suit visitors ready to move on from the Indian “starter pack” of Kerala and the Delhi-Agra-Jaipur Golden Triangle.

Its fame rests on its temples. As our train from Calcutta pulls in at Bhubaneswar, the state capital, I read that the city has about 500 of them. This is not necessarily good news. Over 15 Indian trips, many long afternoons of padding across warm temple floors have left me “templed out”. So what a pleasant surprise Bhubaneswar’s temples will turn out to be.

The city, with its broad avenues and plush hotels – notably the elegant Trident Hilton – has little of the hustle and bustle of a state capital. Its parks, gardens and languid cyclists give it the easygoing charm of small-town India.

Leaning temple in Huma (32 kms from Sambalpur): article in Samaja

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Samaja article on Chamunda and Shakti pithas in Jajpur

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Nirmaljhar: Samaja weekend article

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Tourist bus to Sakhigopal: Dharitri

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Central funds for development of Nrusinghanath and Harishankar temples

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Following is an excerpt from a report in Pragativadi on this.

The Centre has sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the development of Nrusinghanath and Harishankar temples, the two famous tourist and pilgrimage destinations of Orissa.

According to official sources, Rs 2.32 crore and Rs 2.62 crore have been sanctioned for Nrusinghanath and Harishankar temples respectively.

Besides, Rs 1.28 crore has been sanctioned for the 64-Yogini Pitha of Ranipur-Jharial. The Central funds will be used for beautifying the pilgrimage spots, making arrangements for bathing at the local fountain, construction of a rest house for the tourists and setting up new markets, the sources added.

Several positive articles on Orissa in out-of-state newspapers and magazines

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  1. Deecan Herald, Bangalore  On Puri and Raghuraj pur. Excerpts: “There you have 752 ovens,” he said and grinned at me. I got more attentive to the building and to what the panda (priest) had been saying about the famous Jagannath Temple of Puri in Orissa. “We have 400 cooks and 200 helpers and four to five lakhs of earthen handis of prasadam are cooked every day, consisting of ghee-rice, khichdi, different vegetable preparations and a host of sweetmeats,” he added. We were still at the stepped courtyard that leads to the Pidha deul (outer sanctum) of the temple.

    There seemed to be a preoccupation with food, I thought. And Dasarathji soon explained why. “Lord Vishnu wakes up in Dwarka in the west, meditates in Badrinath in the north and then takes his bath at Rameswaram in the south,” he said. I now understood the bathing ritual at Rameswaram I had witnessed there some years ago. Dasarathji continued, “Then the Lord comes here, to Puri, to have His food.”

  2. on the aftermath of the 1999 super-cyclone. Excerpts: The figures speak for themselves. Practically every family that lost their home received money to construct a concrete house. Some 221 healthcare units were built or restored along with nearly a thousand km of road, 500 agro-service centres, 2,555 lift-irrigation facilities, 8,890 primary schools and 1,149 high school buildings. …                                                                                                                                                                                               "We’ve trained people from each coastal village in rescue operations and first aid. They form the backbone of the shelters and we hold refresher courses for them once in three months," OSDMA MD Nikunja K. Sundaray told Outlook. In addition, the agency has drawn on personnel from the state armed police to form the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), which has platoon-strength units stationed in five coastal locations. Four hundred communication posts, equipped with VHF sets and satellite phones, are strung out along the coast to provide early warnings.

    The agency proved its mettle on September 13, when a tsunami warning sounded in the early evening. "Within a few minutes, people in all the coastal districts were alerted," Sundaray said. "And within two hours, we had evacuated lakhs of people to safer places, including the cyclone shelters." In fact, the UNDP was so impressed that it is now studying their response mechanism as a model for other countries. On its own initiative, the OSDMA is offering disaster management consultancy to other states.

    Orissa received thousands of crores of rupees in aid after the cyclone.Amazingly, not a single allegation of corruption or irregularities in distribution of relief has surfaced. Baijayant (Jay) Panda, the BJD MP, recalls that immediately after coming to power in early 2000, CM Naveen Patnaik drew up guidelines to ensure that "relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction had to be efficient and transparent, without any bias and corruption," and that all such projects were strictly monitored. "We’ve evolved a set of clear benchmarks and ‘best practices’ that are now being emulated by other states," he told Outlook. Even Opposition leaders in Orissa concede the remarkable achievements of the government’s relief and rehab efforts, which have shown that a gust of ill wind can be harnessed to blow some good.

  3. on Bhubaneswar and the accessibility of Orissa government. Excerpts: Orissa’s rulers and administrators have maintained Bhubaneswar’s ethos, unlike in West Bengal where we have defiled, destroyed or made ugly even what we inherited from the British. Bhubaneswar is not congested, and never will be, since building regulations are strictly implemented unlike in Kolkata where politicians sponsor slums and unauthorized colonies that have made this city not only an urban mess, but one of the ugliest in the world.

    Bhubaneswar was devastated just eight years ago by the super-cyclone; the city not only displays no signs of that, but has learnt from that experience and adopted a number of measures to cope with such calamities in future. Kolkata would have wallowed in that misery for decades and used it to justify its miserable state.

    Clean & Efficient

    There’s an air of efficiency to everything in Bhubaneswar. On a visit to the state secretariat there, I couldn’t help comparing it to our Writers’ Building. A well-manicured, lush garden greets visitors, unlike the chaos that reigns supreme outside Writers’. Inside, I was surprised by the absence of any crowds. There were no pot-bellied cops lounging around, no pan-chewing hangers-on, no parasitic touts, no babus scurrying around with bulky files, no peons chatting in the corridors and loud crowds waiting to gain entry to meet ministers and bureaucrats. Even the Chief Minister’s Secretariat looked uncluttered, free of fixers and the babus all seemed to be working.

    I’m told that after coming to power in 2000, Naveen Patnaik brought about this sea change. Touts, fixers and other undesirables were banned entry. Visitors’ entry was streamlined and ministers and bureaucrats asked to devote time to meet people instead of keeping them waiting. The administration was made extremely responsive, efficient, transparent, and largely honest. The number of cops on duty at the secretariat was sharply reduced to the bare minimum. All employees were asked to be courteous and helpful and turn up for work smartly.

    The secretariat building is simple, but clean and well-maintained, sans all those employees’ union posters, betel-leaf stains, dust, cobwebs and garbage that predominates Writers’. Overall, the seat of governance in Orissa is a pleasant place and emits a positive aura that not only puts visitors at ease, but also conveys the impression that works gets done. It does, and I found that out first-hand.

    Accessible To All

    Having encountered, quite frustratingly, Bengal’s politicians and bureaucrats for the past few years, meeting their Orissa counterparts was like inhaling a breath of fresh air. I sought, and got, appointments with top bureaucrats at very short notices. In Kolkata, everyone would have made me wait for days and in only very rare cases would have agreed to meet me. It is quite easy to meet Ministers and the Chief Minister or to talk to them over the phone, unlike in Bengal where ministers and bureaucrats make themselves inaccessible.

2 crores for Taratarini: Samaja

Ganjam, Temples Comments Off on 2 crores for Taratarini: Samaja

Update: has a nice article on this. Following is an excerpt.

The temple of Taratarini, the twin Goddesses, is situated on the top of a blue capped hill of Purusottampur, only 32 KM from Berhampur.


A business standard article on monsoon tourism talks about Goa, Kerala and Orissa

Arts village, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chilika, Puri, Raghurajpur, Temples, Tourist promotion Comments Off on A business standard article on monsoon tourism talks about Goa, Kerala and Orissa

A business standard article on monsoon tourism talks about Goa, Kerala and Orissa. Following is what it says about Orissa.

The monsoon at one of the most underestimated destinations in India, Orissa, is a surprise. The destination is wonderful, but unfortunately it’s just not sold very well yet. You can get a three night, four day Bhubaneswar and Puri package from Thomas Cook for Rs 12,950 onwards per couple, not including the airfare.

The trip includes visits to Khandagiri, Dhaulagiri and Udaygiri in Bhubaneswar as well as many temples, including the world-famous Lingaraj and the Mukteshwar temples. You would also be taken to Kalijai island, about three hours from Bhubaneswar, and then, on the way to Puri, you can check out the applique work at Pipli village.

Puri is famous for the Jagannath Puri temple, with its fabulous annual procession. Close to Puri is an interesting artisans’ village called Raghurajpur. The village is famous for Patta Chitra work (paintings on palm leaves). In Orissa you get an opportunity to view dolphins in the Chilka Lake. After you are through with the Sun Temple at Konark, don’t forget to pick a few Sambhalpuri sarees.