Qadam-e-Rasool, one of the oldest monuments of the Millennium City, is set for a massive renovation exercise with State Tourism and Culture Department earmarking over Rs 1.5 crore for restoration of main mosque.Tourism Secretary SP Thakur accompanied by senior officials of Department and Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) on Sunday visited the 18th century shrine to make an on-the-spot assessment of its condition.
The restoration and preservation work on the Mughal era edifice will be undertaken by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) and IDCO. Work on the project would commence soon after the monsoon.
The project would involve complete renovation of the holy shrine including the main mosque, where the footprint of Prophet Mohammad is preserved, the adjoining shrines, the pond as well as the boundary walls and gate, Director, Tourism, Manoranjan Patnaik told mediapersons.
One of the most important monuments, Qadam-E-Rasool, literally meaning footprint of the Holy Prophet, was built by the then deputy Nizam of Odisha Nawab Shujauddin Mohammad Khan around the first quarter of 1700. The holy relic, according to historians, was brought from Najab in Arabia and first placed in Rasulpur before being shifted to the grand monument constructed in its honour.
It has been one of the marvels in Odishan-Islamic architecture and is revered by both the Muslims and Hindus. Spanning over half a square mile, the mosque had a shining golden dome replete with minarets and marble floors. The holy relic is placed in the centre of the main dome with a reservoir encircling it. The shrine also houses a graveyard where tombs of important Islamic personalities are found.
While the team of officials voiced necessity of immediate repair and restoration works as the monument structure has developed serious cracks and leakages, the CMC has been entrusted with the job of alleviating the sanitation and drainage problems hogging it.
“We will be spending Rs 25 lakh on establishing a proper drainage system around the shrine to do away with the problems of waterlogging,” Mayor Soumendra Ghosh said.