NMA urged to withdraw Draft Heritage Bye-laws for Lingaraj Temple

Temple Authority asks NMA to withdraw Draft Heritage Bye-laws for Lingaraj Temple

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TNI Bureau:  The Shree Lingaraj Temple Authority has written to the National Monuments Authority (NMA) seeking withdrawal of the draft notification of heritage bye-laws framed for Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar.

In a letter to the NMA, the Shree Lingaraj Temple Authority requested it to immediately withdraw the draft notification to protect the interest of the Lord, Sevaks & devotees at large.

“It was to get the technical know-how of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for conservation of the ancient built structure, the trustees of Lord Lingaraj Temple Trust Board entered into an agreement with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on 10th February 1958. The agreement restricts & codifies duties and responsibilities of ASI vis-a-vis Temple Trust. The bare reading of agreement indicates that the importance of Lord Lingaraj Temple as one of the Shiva Pitha for hindus all over the world was given due consideration, when the Trust Board agreed to involve ASi in certain conservation works of ancient built structures,” the Shree Lingaraj Temple Authority wrote in the letter.

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“It is also important to note that everyday very large number of Hindu devotees from across India and abroad visit Bhubaneswar for Darshan of Lingaraj Mahaprabhu. It is a very vey special occasion of Maha Shivaratri Day that the Shaiva Hindu Devotees throughout the world wait to see the Mahadeep on the Temple to of Lord Lingaraj Temple through e-media and there after used to take food. It is a statutory duty & responsibility of Lord Lingaraj Temple Management to make arrangements for amenities and facilities for them. It is a statutory duty & responsibility of Temple Management to make arrangements for amenities & facilities for them”, the letter said.

“Large numbers of habitations (Sahis) which are more than millennium old also exist around the Temple. These habitations are of mainly Sevayats families, who have been rendering services to the Lord since time immemorial. As they are likely to be severely and adversely affected by an intervention of the authorities like this draft notification, they must be consulted before any process to restrict their rights is undertaken by National Monument Authority (NMA). This is also important as any adverse impact on Sevayats have a direct bearing on continuity of Niti Kanti (rituals) of Lord Lingaraj,” the official mentioned in the letter.

“Recently, the State Government has acquired lands & properties for strengthening safety & security of the centuries old Shrine also beautification of the peripheral areas for the projects under Ekamra Development Plan. This project will also provide pilgrims with facilities such as drinking water, cloak rooms and Queue Management System. These properties have been acquired by the State Government through negotiations and most of the people have come forward to contribute their lands & properties for the purpose of this project. This was possible because of the deep religious & spiritual connection with Lord Lingaraj of the people who owned these properties. These people agreed to part away with their ancestral properties for the comforts of millions of devotees who visit Bhubaneswar to catch a glimpse of Lord Lingaraj at Lingaraj Temple,” the Temple authority mentioned.

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