Puri: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday has inaugurated the 943 crore Sri Mandir Parikrama Prakalpa or Heritage corridor, built around the 12th century Sri Jagannath Temple.
The Chief Minister dedicated the Heritage Corridor in a mega cultural function amidst chanting of Jai Jagannath and Haribol by Sadhus and priests who converged in this abode of lord Jagannath to witness the unfolding of a rare event of the 21st century.
Patnaik dedicated the project in the presence of Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb and 5T Chairman V K Pandian. Later, the Puri King gave ‘Purna Ahuti’, concluding the three-day ‘Maha Yagna,’ which began on Makar Sankranti.
As per temple tradition 108 Shrotriya Brahmins were entrusted by the Gajapati to perform the Yajna to consecrate Parikrama. While dedicating the project, Naveen said it has been possible due to the blessings of Lord Jagannath.
The Chief Minister, the Gajapati King and several other dignitaries who included invited saints, priests from across the country, ministers, senior officials and sevayats went round the newly dedicated corridor.
A large number of Nam Sankeertan mandali, Odissi dancers, Medhas of Kalika, Durga, Dasanan, and Naga dancers lead the procession of Patnaik.
The CM also released a number of documentary videos on the project and felicitated all those who were involved in the Sri Mandir parikrama project. They included a daily labourer, a gardener, two masons, one JCB driver, one Pattachitra artist, a stone carver and two helpers.
Thousands of devotees braved the drizzling along the grand road, popularly known as Bada Danda to witness the religious ceremony of the corridor project which was later opened to the general public in the afternoon.
The entire programme was live telecasted at various places in Panchayats, Blocks and Districts. Homa Yagna was also organized at several places to take part in the mega cultural extravaganza.
The temple and the pilgrim town was decorated with flowers and illuminated to give a new transformed look on the occasion.
More than 80 platoons of police force deployed in and around Puri town to provide security today. Apart from CCTV surveillance, the police have engaged bomb disposal and anti-sabotage teams, as well as dog squads, in the area, DGP Arun Kumar Sarangi said.