Puri Heritage Corridor Project

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    • The Odisha government is expected to soon lay the foundation stone of the Puri heritage corridor, which is being developed at a cost of Rs 800 crore.

    What is the Puri Heritage Corridor Project?

    • Conceived in 2016, the Puri Heritage Corridor Project was unveiled in December 2019 to transform the holy town of Puri into an international place of heritage.
      • Heritage corridor to be divided into nine zones.
    • The project includes redeveloping major portions of the holy town and in the vicinity of the Jagannath temple for visitors and tourists.
      • The project will include Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) building redevelopment, a 600-capacity Srimandir reception centre, Jagannath cultural centre including Raghunandan library.

    Significance

    • Odia sentiments: It will touch upon the spiritual side of the citizens invoking the ‘odia sentiments’.
      • The greatest identity of the Odia community is Lord Jagannath. He is the symbol of Odia esteem and pride.
    • Prayer of millions of devotees: Visiting the Jagannath Temple once in a lifetime and getting a glimpse of the Lord is the only prayer of millions of devotees.
    • Fine architecture: It is a marvel in itself as its fine architecture, sculptures and history covers the history of the State for centuries.
    • Political motive: The constant push towards temple beautification and infrastructural development also points at a strategy to face the increasing presence of the BJP in the state which focuses on religious and cultural spheres.
    • Enlist shrine in UNESCO World Heritage list: The Puri Vikash Parishad has urged UNESCO to enlist the 12th century shrine in its World Heritage list as it fulfils all parameters.
      • The 65-metre high shrine is  a true reflection of Kalinga art, sculpture and culture and is one of the four dhamas (holy places) of Hindu religion.

    Jagannath Temple, Puri

    • The Jagannath Temple is an important Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath, a form of Sri Krishna in Puri in the state of Odisha on the eastern coast of India.
    • The present temple was rebuilt from the 10th century onwards, on the site of an earlier temple, and begun by Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva, the first king of the Eastern Ganga dynasty.
    • The Puri temple is famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three principal deities are pulled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars.
    • It is also called the “White Pagoda”. This temple is part of Char Dham pilgrimages (Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri, Rameswaram).
    • The temple is sacred to all Hindus, and especially in those of the Vaishnava traditions. Many great Vaishnava saints, such as Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbarkacharya, Vallabhacharya and Ramananda were closely associated with the temple.

    Source: IE