Bhubaneswar, December 5 (LocalWire): The state government has decided to beautify the surroundings of 11th century Lord Lingaraj temple here.
The famous Shaivite shrine, protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), is a magnificent medieval era temple intertwined with the history and legacy of the bustling capital city.
The temple attracts a large number of tourists and it has become imperative to improve the area surrounding the temple and to create tourist-friendly ambiance, a senior government official said, adding that the government is working on a comprehensive project to give a facelift to the temple area.
Accordingly, all permanent structures within 40-metre radius of the compound wall of the 11th-century shrine will be demolished as it has been done within the 75-metre radius of Maghanad prachir in Puri Jagannath temple.
Among other permanent structures, the Lingaraj police station and the temple office are coming within the 40-metre no construction zones and these will be relocated to other sites, the officer stated.
The roads leading to the temple are currently quite narrow, which will be widened to provide for hassle-free vehicular movement after the eviction process is completed.
The project also includes building public parking spaces.
The officer, however, refused to share further details and specify the date when the demolition drive will be launched.
The ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010 prohibits building within 100 metres of the notified limits of a protected monument.
Sources reveal that over 37.049 acres of temple land has presently been encroached upon or has been unlawfully alienated to private ownership through forged Record of Rights (ROR) and the temple administration is locked in a series of civil cases for reclaiming the land.