SAMBALPUR: Renovation of the historical monument Rani Bakhri (Queen’s Palace) in the city is on the verge of completion. The revamp of the heritage building was started in July, 2016 by adopting traditional method.
Informing this, Member of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Sambalpur Chapter Deepak Panda said renovation work of the monument is almost completed. He informed that while the motif inside the palace will be painted, the existing paintings will be restored. Work on motif and restoration of paintings will begin shortly. Besides, the lighting work is also underway. Renovation work will be completed by end of March, Panda said.
The INTACH, which is executing the work, has fallen back on traditional technique for restoration work and is using materials like lime, gum of Bael (wood apple), Ritha (wash nut) and jaggery. A paste is being prepared by using traditional grinder, locally called ‘Ghana’, by mixing lime, gum of Bael, Ritha and jaggery in specified proportion. The plastering is being done by using the paste.
The old plaster of the historical structure has been removed and fresh plastering undertaken. All the renovation work has been carried out without affecting the original structure of the historical monument, Panda said. The estimated cost for renovation is `1 crore which has been sanctioned by the State Government.
The three-storey palace, which was built by 5th King of Sambalpur Baliyar Singh in 1650, was lying neglected since long. It is said that Rajasthani miniature paintings adorned the walls giving the palace a majestic look. However, water seepage from the roof has erased the beautiful paintings from the walls.
Panda said there is a proposal for development of an art and photo gallery inside the Rani Bakhri. Works of renowned painters and pictures clicked by eminent photographers of the region will be displayed at the gallery. Moreover, works of budding painters will also be exhibited but will be changed at regular intervals to ensure a keen interest among the visitors, he added.