Get ready to step into 'home' for Pandavs - State archaeology spends lakhs to beautify and restore protected caves
|The Panchu Pandav caves in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati|
Bhubaneswar, April 11: State archaeology has almost completed beautification and restoration of the Panchu Pandav caves near Pandav Nagar here.
The monument, which dates back to 5th-6th century, is one of the 218 protected monuments of the state. The work, which was taken up in October 2012, would complete within a few months.
Legend says that the five Pandav brothers had stayed here during their exile and there are five caves.
As Bhubaneswar was a Shaiva centre, a small Shiv temple is located in one of the caves near the entrance. Priest Baburam Dash, who has been looking after the shrine for the last 10 years, said: “Earlier, the entire area used to wallow in neglect. Even the local people were reluctant to come here to see the caves. After the beautification work by the state archaeology, people are showing interest to visit it.”
“We have an old heritage well near the first cave from which water is taken out for everyday use. However, there is a serious water scarcity on the cave premises during the summer. The civic authorities should take steps to supply pipe water to the monument site,’’ he said.
Pandav Nagar, the nearby residential colony developed by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority in 1988, is named after the caves.
But, there is no signage on the main approach roads from the Pandav Nagar end.
“Odisha Tourism has placed a signage near the temple in 2012. But, signage should be there both on the Badagada Brit Colony and Pandav Nagar ends so that people coming to the site can reach there easily,’’ said Sukadev Majhi, a resident of Pandav Nagar.
Superintending archaeologist (in-charge) of state archaeology B.P. Ray said there was an estimate of Rs 29.72 lakh for construction of a parikrama (boundary wall) of the area, flooring of the cave areas with laterite stones, concrete floors over the caves to protect them from onslaught of weather, drainage and construction of an attractive entrance.
“If there is any surplus funds then we can go for landscaping,” he said.
“Once the landscaping plan is taken up, there will be a pump house to ensure better water supply to the monument site,’’ Ray said.