Reported by Chinmaay Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 8:
With the Odisha government expecting around 20 lakh devotees to Alarnath temple near Bramhagiri during the 45-day long hibernation (anasara) of the sibling trio of Jagannath temple in Puri during the Nabakalebara next year, the government has asked the eight concerned departments to come up with their plans for development of the religious shrine and its periphery within one month.
“The government has decided to go for infrastructure development of the peripheral areas of the shrine and renovation of the temple in view over the expected confluence of around 20 lakh people during the 45 days maha narasara of the Trinity. The departments concerned have been asked to prepare their budget estimates for the infrastructure development of the area,” said Brahmagiri MLA and Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma after coming out of a meeting chaired by the chief secretary.
He said while the Puri-Satapada national highway will be widened, parking, lighting, drainage facilities will be created in the area. The chief secretary would personally visit the shrine to oversee the work, he added.
The Trinity will remain in hibernation during the Nabakalebar scheduled to be held in July 2015. The government expects a congregation of around 50 lakh people during the Nabakalebar in Puri.
Thousands of visitors usually seek blessings of the deities at the Alarnath, a 13th century shrine.
Known for its unique idol of a four-armed standing Vishnu made of black chlorite, the Alarnath temple has become the place to visit during the hibernation or anasara of the sibling trio of Jagannath temple who are said to fall sick after a lavish bath on Debasnana Purnima.
The pilgrims not only gather to get a view of the presiding deity, but also get a taste of the famous khiri (rice porridge) here.
Residents of Brahmagiri believe that the Alarnath temple became the devotional destination during this period ever since saint Chaitnaya visited it after he missed the view of Lord Jagannath in Puri during anasara.
The temple is believed to have been named after the Alwar royal dynasty of Rajasthan.
It is believed that the shrine was established by one of the Alwar rulers. Hence, it has been named as Alwarnath, which later became Alarnath. The khiri prepared here is in great demand throughout the year and also has an interesting legend behind it.