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Plan For Loknath, Alarnath

Bhubaneswar: Carrying forward the initiative of renovation and redevelopment of the religious monuments in the state, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today approved the proposed master plan for the improvement of Shree Loknath Temple in Puri and Shree Alarnath Peetha in Brahmagiri.

While Rs 28 crore has been earmarked for the development of Shree Loknath Temple, Rs 8 crore has been allocated for Shree Alarnath, said a release from the office of the Chief Minister, adding that the re-development of both the temples would be completed within one year.

Shree Loknath Temple is one of the most important Shiva Peethas of the state. According to Puranas, Lord  Sriramchandra came in search of Mother Sita and installed Lord Loknath here and worshiped. Shree Loknath is believed to be the custodian of the hall of jewels (Ratna Bhandar) of the Shree Jagannath temple.

According to the master plan approved for Shree Loknath temple, the inner and outer courtyards of the temple will be improved and various facilities will be put in place for the servitors and devotees. Apart from this, parking, modern road traffic system, improvement of the approach road and special parking will be arranged for the convenience of servitors at the western gate.

The old marble stones in the inner courtyard will be replaced with khondalite ones. The temple garden will be improved and landscaping will be done. Apart from this, the temple wall will be repaired along with lighting arrangements. Similarly, the master plan also includes widening of the outer square, repair of damaged areas, new roads, landscaping, lighting, building space and development of two mundan mandaps (Base for tonsuring). Since drainage is a major problem, specific measures will be taken to improve drainage for both inside and outside of the temple.

The pond of the temple, Parvati Sagara will also be  renovated with 267 meters of elevated wall around it, treatment of the water, improvement of steps, landscaping, lighting and sitting space for devotees. Arrangements will also be made for parking.

The 400 meter approach road leading to the temple will be improved and all four roads connected to the temple will be developed. The parking facility will also be improved.

Similarly, the famous Shree Alarnath temple of Brahmagiri will also be developed. Located 24 km from Puri and 25 km from Satapada, this temple is believed to have been built in the 15th and 16th centuries. Shri Alarnath is believed to be the spitting image of Shree Jagannath. Devotees go for Alarnath Darshan during the Anasar (quarantine period after the bath ceremony) of Shree Jagannath.

As per the master plan, the entire area will be developed and turned into an attractive tourist area with the development and beautification of its entry and exit points, local inner roads, Aruna Pillar, the Chandan Pond etc.

Its entrance will be widened to 40 feet wide and 18 feet high and Khondalite stones will be installed in it. The road leading to the temple will be made 40 feet wide with paver blocks and drains on both sides. Along with this, parking arrangements will be made for 2-wheeler and 4-wheeler vehicles. The area in front of the temple will be converted into a beautiful plaza by installing khondalite stones and paver blocks along with drains. Marble will be removed from all parts of the temple and khondalite stones will be installed. New wooden doors will be installed in place of old ones and landscaping will be done by beautifying Chandan Pokhari (Pond) and Tulsi shrubs near the temple.  Drainage system will be improved. Rs. 8 crores will be spent on the development of this shrine and it will take one year to complete the entire work, sources in CMO said.

Secretary to CM VK Pandian recently visited both Shree Loknath Temple and Shree Alarnath Temple and ordered the preparation of its master plan. The servitors of both the temples thanked the Chief Minister for the initiatives taken for improvement of the shrines and invited him to pay visit to these two important religious monuments of Odisha.  The Chief Minister said that he will visit both the temples soon.

Secretary of the Chief Minister Shree Pandian conducted the meeting. He briefed the meeting about the discussions he had with the servitors of both these temples during his visits there on the required improvement.