SAMBALPUR: Samaleswari temple, the abode of the presiding deity of undivided Sambalpur district, was reopened to the public on Monday. The 16th century shrine was closed on April 11 for repair and renovation work. During this 18-day period, the Goddess was being worshipped as Bhubaneswari whose idol finds place in the ‘Bedha’ (periphery of the temple) as ‘Parswa Debata’. It is for the first time after 1990 when the temple had to be closed for 18 days for repair and renovation.
After concerns were raised over safety of the shrine, a three-member team from the State Archaeological department visited the temple in July last year to assess the situation. It was found that rodents inside the temple had choked the drainage system which discharges water from the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine.
Moreover, the rodents had dug the soil from under the Bedha which produced a noise when devotees walked around the sanctum sanctorum. Subsequently, the team had suggested to carry out repair work for safety of the temple.
President of Samaleswari Temple Trust Board Sanjaya Baboo said the drainage was improved and pipes were freshly laid for easy and safe passage of water from the temple. Wire mesh has been fitted at the mouth of the pipes to ensure that rodents do not damage it anymore.
He said cracks were noticed after cleaning the marbles around the sanctum sanctorum. The marbles were removed and the wall was given traditional treatment with chemicals to prevent corrosion and damage. Besides, cobwebs which had covered the ‘Sikhara’ were also cleaned and the entire work was done under supervision of Conservation Engineer of Archaeology department Prasanna Kumar Sahu.
Ruins of Shiva temple found
Jharsuguda: A team of INTACH recovered ancient idols during renovation of a water body in Adapada village under Lakhanpur block of the district on Sunday. The ruins of a Stupa besides parts of a temple and some idols were found after excavation. An idol of Brushaba and Shiva Linga were also recovered. The INTACH team, comprising Sambalpur Chapter convenor Tarini Panda and members Deepak Panda, Pramod Mishra and Gopinath Mishra, believes that a Shiva temple existed near the water body. While further excavation of the place would reveal the mystery, more than 10 such ruins have been recovered from the place.