Special Lingaraj Temple Act to be presented in the State Assembly

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced that the State Government will soon bring a special law for the management of Lingaraj temple similar to that of Shri Jagannath Temple Act. Patnaik declared the same after taking an on-location review of the Ekamra Kshetra heritage project that includes all-round expansion and beautification of the boundary of the 11th-century temple.

After his inspection, the Chief Minister tweeted, “I thank the people who donated land for the ongoing infrastructure works around Lingaraj Temple and for their unflinching support to preserve Odisha’s glorious heritage for the future generation. Their continued support will transform the area around the iconic Utkal architecture.” He further said, “I am very pleased to see how the work is progressing here. Soon, there will be special Act for Lingaraj Temple like we have for the Srimandir at Puri”. The beautification of Lingaraj temple and its periphery is likely to draw more pilgrims and tourists.

It is anticipated that the Lingaraj Temple Managing Committee would take control of the temple from the Odisha Hindu Religious Act once the law is passed. The Lingaraj Temple Managing Committee will then be in charge of full-time administration to look after the day-to-day affairs of the shrine. Once the State Cabinet approves the Lingaraj Temple draft, a Bill will be brought to the Assembly.

In December 2019, the Chief Minister had announced the Ekamra Kshetra heritage project. The project design includes extensive development of the Lingaraj temple and its border spanning 66-acre land. Aside from beautification, there will be widespread upgradation of infrastructure and conveniences for devotees and tourists. Once the project is complete, approximately two lakh devotees will be able to witness the Mahadeepa ceremony on Maha Shivaratri alongside lakhs of Kaudias who visit the temple during ‘Shravan’.

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