Government Committed to Preserve the Cultural Heritage of Puri: Balwant Singh

Puri: With the transformation process of Puri into a World Heritage City going on in full speed, the government of Odisha has assured that the cultural heritage of Puri and all the associated institutions will be preserved and given a new look. This comes after questions were raised on the preservation of the age old heritage amidst the demolition process going on.

Puri is a religious and cultural center of India and more than 9 centuries of history is associated with this. Along with this, there are numerous institutions that have been part and parcel of the Jagannath Cult. While they have been come up near to the Lord Jagannath Temple, the condition of most of the structures are precarious and need to be demolished to pave way for new structures. One among the important institutions is the Emar Matha established by Ramanujacharya in the 16th century.

The Raghunandan Library, situated inside the Emar Matha in Puri, is one of the oldest libraries of Odisha and boasts of a rich collection of cultural and religious books. It was established in 1921 by the then Mahanta of the Emar Matha in the name of his guru Raghunandan. It has a treasure trove of invaluable books dating back to many centuries. Also, Palm leaf manuscripts, copper plates, Odia, Hindi, and Bangla books constitute the more than 5000 items housed in the library. Now the priority is to relocate the and preserve the books, documents and palm leaf manuscripts.

Raghunandan Library old books being preserved scientifically by a technical team of the State Archives and State Library.

The administration has successfully moved the books to a safer place while the building is being demolished. The Odisha State Archives has also been roped in to help in the process of preserving the books. The district collector Balwant Singh has said that all the heritage associated with the Emar Matha and Raghunandan Library will be preserved. The Library will be again set up in a new building and it will be a world class library. He has said that the books will be digitized. In the last two days all the belongings of the library were shifted to a government building and the 24 big almirahs were also shifted.

The Emar Matha along with the Raghunandan Library is being demolished by the administration after it has been declared unsafe by the Executive Officer, Puri Municipality.

The eviction drives carried out near the Jagannath Temple to demolish unsafe and unauthorized structure of EMAR Matha.

The main deity and Gaddi will be preserved.

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