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Ancient temple affected by sea erosion to be relocated

Statesman News Service | Kendrapara |

The centuries-old Hindu temple in sea-erosion-affected Satabhaya gram panchayat in Odisha’s Kendrapara district is set for a ‘new address’ on 20 April.

The deity will be relocated at the Bagapatia rehabilitation colony for the sea-erosion- affected people, said officials.

Side by side with the shifting the people from the vulnerable area to a safer resettlement colony, the Panchuvarahi deity will be relocated from the temple to ensure the safety of the presiding deity of the sea-battered villages.

The deity will be taken out in a grand procession on April 20 from the temple to the newly built one at the Bagapatia resettlement colony, which is about 8Km from Satabhaya.

Special rituals will be performed as per religious tradition of the place. The deity will be installed at the colony with further rituals, said Shibendra Narayan Bhanjadeo, the erstwhile scion of Rajkanika.

The shifting of the deity is being done after administration accorded consent to it, he said.

As the sea is striding rapidly towards the Panchuvarahi temple nestled along the idyllic shoreline of Satabhaya coast, the Shakthi cult shrine had to be safeguarded.

Though priesthood is considered an exclusive right of males elsewhere, women perform puja rituals at the Panchuvarahi shrine. Residents of Satabhaya village are happy with the ‘unconventional’ practice.

The practice will also be followed at the new temple, which dates back to a long time, he added.

Meanwhile forsaking emotional bonding with their ancestral village, people from sea-erosion-hit pockets of Kendrapara district have begun heading towards their new address.

Constantly experiencing the travails and sufferings of seeing their houses gobbled up by mighty Bay of Bengal, majority of 571 identified families have left for good their homeland in Satabhaya to get resettled in Bagapatia resettlement colony.

The seaside village which was once abuzz with human activities now wears the look of ghost hamlet.

Odisha’s first ever rehabilitation project colony for the sea erosion affected people is now in full swing in Bagapatia village under Rajnagar tehsil.

The proposed colony is situated around eight KM from the sea-erosion-hit Satabhaya cluster of villages.