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Samaleswari temple redevelopment work to boost tourism

 Phanindra Pradhan

Sambalpur, Jan 19:  Samaleswari temple, the abode of presiding deity of undivided Sambalpur district Goddess Samaleswari, will be developed on the lines of Shree Jagannath temple at Puri and Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar.

Addressing media after visiting the Samaleswari temple here on Tuesday, Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chairman of Western Odisha Development Council (WODC), Asit Tripathy said as per the direction of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, a high-level team comprising himself, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Secretary of 5T initiative VK Pandian, Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Works Department Krishan Kumar and Special Secretary to the Chief Minister, R Vineel Krishna visited the temple for redevelopment of the temple.

He said, under the redevelopment project, state-of-the-art amenities for pilgrims, improvement of access to the temple and riverfront improvement will be undertaken. This apart, steps would be taken to store water in the river Mahanadi, which flows along the temple, throughout the year, he said.

He further said, transformative improvement of the temple, which draws devotees from across the state besides Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, will be made like Shree Jagannath temple at Puri and Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar. The work on the redevelopment project will begin shortly and the redevelopment work will boost tourism, he said.

The people, who will be affected due to the redevelopment work, will be provided a good package, he added.

Earlier, a three-member expert team visited the temple to conduct preliminary survey for development of the shrine on January 30 last year.

Prior to this, Odisha Chief Minister visited the temple on January 21 last year and said that they would send an expert team to Samaleswari temple to assess what is required for the development of the shrine.

The Samaleswari temple, which is a 16th-century shrine, was constructed by Balram Dev, the first Chouhan king of Sambalpur. The temple, which has been constructed in proto-Nagra style, is a major tourist destination of the region. 

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