BHUBANESWAR: Former bureaucrat Raja Parija, known for his passion for Odisha’s historical and cultural heritage and uninterrupted mission to document it, has added another feather to his well-decorated cap. After authoring many books on Odisha’s heritage, its glorious past, monuments, weaves and traditions, Parija is now out with his new book ‘Lighthouses of Odisha - Beacons of Tourism’. Released recently, the book documents each of the six existing lighthouses of Odisha and their role in enriching the Indian maritime tradition.
“Since time immemorial, ancient Kalinga and now Odisha, had the reputation as the greatest maritime power in the Asian subcontinent. It served as a gateway to the eastern coast of India for overseas trade. And the lighthouses played an important role in enriching the Indian maritime tradition,” said the Cuttack-based writer who retired as the director of ST and SC Development department.
It gives an insight into their historical background along with beautiful photographs that will keep readers engaged. Prior to joining the state government, Parija was a freelance photographer. The book, Parija said, took him two years of research and travel along the 480-km of Odisha’s coastline. He visited all the lighthouses and other archaeological excavations involving maritime heritage sites of the state. ‘Lighthouses of Odisha - Beacons of Tourism’ is the eighth book of Parija who has been documenting Odisha’s heritage since 2015.
“When it comes to readership in the art, culture and heritage genre, it has always been limited. My books are aimed at passing on information about Odisha’s rich culture to future generations. These books are also for those who know the subjects and want to widen the horizon in that domain,” said the author whose passion towards art and craft motivates him to keep writing about them.Parija is currently working on another book on Buddhist legacy of the state.