Bhubaneswar, Sept 10 (LocalWire): Researchers have sought for the conservation of Emar monastery in Sakhigopal even as the government embarked on a drive to demolish the century-old mutts located within 75-metre radius of Meghanad Prachir, the compound wall of the 12th century Shree Jagannath Temple.
The Emar Mutt in Puri, regarded as the state’s oldest monastery has been bulldozed to the ground despite protests by seers and heritage lovers.
The small township of Sakhigopal near Puri is home to another Emar Mutt, bearing the signature of British architecture.
‘It is in a bad shape due to lack of maintenance and the government needs to conserve it. The historic monastery should not go the Puri Emar mutt way,’ said researcher Anil Dhit.
The building has turned unsafe. No alteration has been made to the original structure except one arch that has been walled in.
The beams of the wooden roof have caved in. Vegetation is growing from crevasses. However, it can easily be restored, the original solid brickwork and lime plaster can be reworked and a few iron beams can replace the wooden beams.
The monastery at Sakhigopal dates back to 1860.
Flowers, tulsi and fruits for the daily prasad at Sakhigopal temple were provided from its orchard and gardens, which had hundred of coconut trees. A thick grove of coconut trees surrounded the building on three sides.
The symbols of Lord Vishnu are depicted at the entrance of the mutt.
The Sankha, Chakra and Padma are inscribed under the flag post.
It functioned as the extension of the Puri mutt till 1920.
Pilgrims who travelled by trains used the mutt for stopover.
Post independence, it was used by the temple authorities and was converted as the land settlement office till 1972, after which it was declared unsafe.
Since then it has been abandoned and remains unoccupied.
It is presently owned by the Satyabadi Gopinath Endowment Trust, according to the researchers.