BHUBANESWAR: At Jayadev Vatika on the foothills of the twin Khandagiri and Udaygiri, legendary poet Jayadev’s epic Geeta Govinda is being engraved on the rock. Breathing life into the inanimate art form are a team of ten artistes whose deft hands are carving out the chapters of the poet’s masterpiece which dwells on the divine relationship between Lord Krishna and Radha.
From ‘Samodadamodarah’ to ‘Supritapitambarah’, the 12 chapters (sarga) of the Sanskrit classic are being etched on the rock by award-winning stone carvers who have previously worked at Lalitgiri, the famous Buddhist site in Jajpur district.
A visitors’ paradise, the theme park is now being developed by the Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC) as a true tribute to the Sanskrit poet.
When Jayadev Vatika was conceptualised and developed more than a decade ago, all it had were rare groves which found mention in Geeta Govinda. Later, the Corporation beautified the theme park with plantations of native species and landscaping.
However, the ongoing work is all set to take the park a few notches higher and make it an ideal tourist attraction in the Capital.
“We provided copies of the pictorial descriptions of the ‘sargas’ to 10 sculptors who prepared their sketches and began the carving work about two months ago,” Bhubaneswar Divisional Manager of OFDC Rudra Mani Sahu said. Three State award winning sculptors Bipin Maharana, Parikshti Maharana and Nimai Maharana are leading the team which is carrying out the rock carvings.
By now, almost 90 per cent of the work has been completed and the OFDC is hopeful of throwing it open to public by the first half of January. A “dream project” of the Corporation, about ` six lakh has been sanctioned for the work which also included landscaping.
In its background will be an artificial stream cascading from a height of 300 feet. “Once completed, it will be visible to tourists right from the entrance point,” Sahu said. The OFDC, which is spending close to `12 lakh on these two projects, is hopeful that the theme park’s name will now be justified.
Spread over a sprawling 100 acre, Jayadev Vatika is home to over 350 species of herbs, shrubs, trees, creepers, climbers and medicinal plants some of which are on the verge of extinction. It is also unique for holding a dense cover of native species such as ‘Saal’, ‘Piasal’, ‘Sishu’ which one can see only in forests such as Barbara and Daspalla.