Conservation work in 300-yr-old Baldevjew temple

Kendrapara: Odisha government has decided to undertake conservation measures in the famous Lord Baldevjew temple, a 300-year-old shrine which developed cracks and suffered erosion, officials sources said today.

Permission has been accorded for a refurbishment project under the heritage protection plan and conservation work would start by the end of monsoon season.

Last month, a panel of technical experts and archaeologists had inspected the weak structures of Baldevjew temple which dates back to the reign of the Mahrattas.

The medieval temple will be spruced up soon under the Centre-funded heritage conservation grants, the sources said.

Since the past two years, cracks had developed at strategic spots of the temple though there is no immediate threat of a cave-in, the sources said.

"A four-member team had made an on the spot assessment of the damaged structures. Experts have suggested in favour of technical refurbishment. The conservation work of the temple will be carried out at the earliest," said Aswini Kumar Satapathy, curator of state archaeology department.

The department has sanctioned Rs 30 lakh from Central grants toward conservation of this heritage site.

The `dadhi naitu` (summit structure) of the main temple and other parts where cracks had developed will be repaired with limestone plaster. Arrangement would be also made so that it can withstand corrosion.

The temple was built in 1707 during the Mahratta subedar rule in this part of the state. It is a four-way structure and is devoid of architectural design.

The Mahratta style of temple building was mostly simple without intricate stone carvings. These are cracks and fissure in the structure. Non-maintenance is taking its toll on the temple. Nothing has been done as yet to plug the crack, said Nrusingha Charan Patri, a servitor.