Gajapati Maharaj, the current titular King of Puri, performed the 'Shilanyas' ceremony for the Puri Heritage Corridor Project. The foundation stone was laid for the 800 crore project in the presence of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, who inaugurated the function. The CM has a vital goal of transforming the holy city of Puri into a World Heritage CIty. CM Patnaik also took to Twitter and said:
"Today is a historic day for all Jagannath Bhakts all over the world and sacred day for the people of Odisha."
The occasion was celebrated virtually, making the hashtag #PuriHeritageCorridor go trending on Twitter. Patnaik's official Twitter handle, CMO Odisha has posted a live inaugural video of the ceremony.
Jagannath Temple Puri: The 12th-Century Shrine
Puri is considered one of the holiest places in the World. Puri's Jagannath Temple is well-known for the Rath Yatra conducted annually. The temple was built in the 12th century AD by King Ananta Varman Chodaganga Deva. In 1230 AD, the work was completed by Anangabheema Deva III and Deities were installed. The temple has many peculiarities, some of which are listed by the Times of India.
The flag at the top of the temple floats in the opposite direction of the wind. The Sudarshan Chakra fitted on top stands facing a person irrespective of their position. Birds or planes don't fly above the temple as well. During the time of Rath Yatra, Shree Jagannath Temple stood tall, attracting millions of people worldwide.
Why Is Puri Heritage Corridor Project Important?
Under Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's leadership, the Government of Odisha unveiled the idea of transforming the holy city into a World Heritage City in December 2019. Puri Heritage Corridor Project, also known as the Puri Srimandir Parikrama Project, is an essential step towards this goal. According to Newsroom Odisha, the project entails the development of the 75 meters corridor around the Jagannath Temple with amenities and infrastructure. It also includes redeveloping the area around the temple for tourists and pilgrims.
Shree Jagannath Temple Administration building redevelopment, a 600-capacity Srimandir reception centre, Shree Jagannath cultural centre that would include the Raghunandan library, integrated command, and control centre, Badadanda heritage landscape, Srimandir amenities improvement and many more facilities are also included in the project. All this will change the city's face as a whole, making it one of the most remarkable changes that happened to the town to date.