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Jagannath Temple Heritage Corridor Project

Context:

Recently, The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said that a sculpture of a lion, which possibly dates back to the Ganga dynasty, was found during excavation for the controversial heritage corridor project around the 12th century Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha.

  • This is the third such lion sculpture found during the excavation work. The Odisha government’s ambitious temple corridor project in Puri has become a subject of intense political controversy in the State.

Relevance:

GS I- Art and Architecture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the controversy?
  2. About Shree Jagannath temple
  3. Architecture of Jagannath temple

What is the controversy?

  • The Puri Heritage Corridor Project is a ₹3,200 crore redevelopment project of the the 800-year-old Jagannath temple in Puri by the Odisha government to create an international heritage site.
  • In February, when the Odisha Bridge and Construction Corporation (OBBC) started excavation work within 75 metres of the temple to build public amenities, experts objected to the use of heavy machinery for digging, citing the possibility of an adverse impact on the 12th century temple.
  • The ASI later observed that there was “every possibility that the OBCC during the excavation or soil removal might have destroyed the archaeological remains of the heritage site”.
  • Special Correspondent

About Shree Jagannath temple

  • The Shree Jagannath Temple of Puri is an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a form of Vishnu, 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 King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva, first 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. These gave their name to the English term Juggernaut.
  • Unlike the stone and metal icons found in most Hindu temples, the image of Jagannath is made of wood and is ceremoniously replaced every twelve or nineteen years by an exact replica.

Architecture of Jagannath temple

  • The Temple of Jagannath at Puri is one of the major Hindu temples in India.
  • The temple is built in the Kalinga style of architecture, with the Pancharatha (Five chariots) type consisting of two anurathas, two konakas and one ratha. Jagannath temple is a pancharatha with well-developed pagas. ‘Gajasimhas’ (elephant lions) carved in recesses of the pagas, the ‘Jhampasimhas’ (Jumping lions) are also placed properly.
  • The perfect pancharatha temple developed into a Nagara-rekha temple.
  • The temple is built on an elevated platform, as compared to Lingaraja temple and other temples belonging to this type.
  • This is the first temple in the history of Kalingaan temple architecture where all the chambers like Jagamohana, Bhogamandapa and Natyamandapa were built along with the main temple.
  • There are miniature shrines on the three outer sides of the main temple.

-Source: The Hindu

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