Puri residents had moved the High Court alleging that the structural safety of the 800-year-old Jagannath Temple could be in jeopardy if land around the temple were dug up.


What are they alleging?

  • Residents also allege that the state government has insulted the devotees of Lord Jagannath by demolishing mutts, to clear roads to Shri Jagannath temple which were closely linked with different rituals of the 12th century shrine due to ongoing Parikrama Project.
  • The case is also taken up in the Supreme Court comes at a time when the Orissa High Court is already hearing a plea against construction by the state government along the Puri Jagannath temple.


What is the project?

  • Declaration — In November 2021, Odisha CM laid the foundation stone for the ₹800 crore Srimandir Parikrama Plan (or Jagannath Temple corridor project) in which the area within 75-metre perimeter of the Jagannath Temple was to be transformed into a heritage corridor to attract devotees from across the world.
  • Amenities — Modelled on the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project of Varanasi, the Srimandir Parikrama project was designed to have amenities for pilgrims such as cloak rooms, restrooms, , reception centre etc. giving the devotees an ‘aesthetically delightful’ experience.
  • Deadline — The project was aimed to be completed by May 2023 with dedicated shuttle cum emergency lane for accommodating police, fire and emergency vehicles and an integrated command and control centre also.
  • Implementation — The construction has been taken up by the Odisha Bridge and Construction Corporation (OBCC) under the state’s Works Department, while Tata Projects is running it on the ground.
  • In line with judgement — The project also took into account a 3-bench judgement of the Supreme Court in 2019 which suggested that 75-metre radius around the temple be cleared of all structures for safety, security and improvement of the temple.


About Jagannath Puri Temple –

  • The Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the “White Pagoda”.
  • The temple is believed to be constructed in the 12th century by King Anatavarman Chodaganga Deva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.
  • Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.
  • There are four gates to the temple- Eastern ‘Singhdwara’ which is the main gate with two crouching lions, Southern ‘Ashwadwara’, Western ‘Vyaghradwara and Northern ‘Hastidwara’. There is a carving of each form at each gate.
  • In front of the entrance stands the Aruna stambha or sun pillar, which was originally at the Sun Temple in Konark.