Panel moots temple circuit
Cuttack: A tourism circuit to promote Jagannath culture will become a reality if the Justice Bimal Prasad Das Commission's suggestion to promote places linked to the Puri temple is implemented.
The single-member panel made the suggestion in an interim report to the state government on Thursday.
Apart from being a vibrant sea resort, Puri is the most important place of pilgrimage for the devotees of lord Jagannath. To make pilgrims and tourists aware about the Jagannath culture, the panel has suggested a Puri temple circuit, highly placed sources told The Telegraph.
"The interim report addresses the terms of reference set by the government expecting the commission to suggest measures to be taken for widespread propagation of Shri Jagannath culture," Justice Bimal Prasad Das said.
The interim report primarily deals with matters like propagation of Jagannath culture. It has compiled a list of places in Odisha for being developed into tourist destinations for inclusion in a tourism circuit.
Based on research, the report has included names of several places that have links to the Puri temple.
The Patali Srikhetra in Sonepur region has found place in the list as it is widely believed that the idols of the Puri temple were kept hidden in the caves of Trikut hill for 144 years during the invasion of Raktabahu, a Yavana king in the 7th century.
Similarly, the Baldevjew Temple at Ichhapur in Kendrapada district has Lord Balabhadra as the main god.
Another place in the proposed circuit is the Jagannath temple at Gadakujanga in Jagatsinghpur district where legend says that the Brahma (soul) of Lord Jagannath used to be worshipped during the 15th century, the sources said.
The one-man commission of inquiry was appointed on July 23 last year following a hue and cry over the attack on Puri district collector and delay in conducting the rituals of lord Jagannath on the Niladri Bije day on July 17.