Suryakant Jena

A string of Vedic rituals on Monday set the stage for the commencement of work on the much-awaited Heritage Corridor (Srimandir Parikrama) project of Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri.

A three-day Maha Yagnya for the ground-breaking ceremony of the project kicked off today in the presence of hosts of servitors and pundits under a luxurious mandap set up at the North-east corner (Aishanya Kona) of the temple premises. 

Earlier on Sunday, Puri Gajapati Dibya Singha Deb helmed the Gua Teka ritual along with the nitis of Ankura Ropan and Adhibas Bidhi. 

A spiritual atmosphere prevailed around the 12th-century shrine with the initiation of the Yagnya rituals at around 2.30 pm today. The Vedic nitis will continue for three days and culminate with the Purnahuti on Wednesday. 

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to lay the brick-work for the project in the presence of Jagadguru Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati, Puri Gajapati, members of the servitor community and devotees. 

Several land donors and voluntary organisations will be felicitated during the occasion, informed Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra after reviewing arrangements for the event. 

Shree Jagannath Temple Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar informed the media that the general darshan will however not be affected due to the restrictions in view of the stone-laying ceremony. 

However, devotees will be allowed entry and exit from the temple through the Singha Dwara only for a period of two hours during the Purnahuti and Stone-laying nitis. 

As per official reports, the ambitious Heritage Corridor project, pegged at a whopping Rs 331.28 crore, will be constructed by the Tatas (company). In the first phase, structures of religious and historical importance like Languli Mutt, Badachhata Mutt and Chhauni Mutt will be revamped with new Kalingan style of architecture.