Kendrapara, Aug 14 (UNI) The Orissa government has planned to relocate the 1200 year-old Panchubarahi at Satabhaya in Kendrapara district, facing constant threat of sea erosion.
District Magistrate Sisirkanta Panda said the temple would be relocated at a place where 483 families of Satabhaya and Kanhupur villages would be rehabilitated.
Mr Panda said the state government had planned to relocate the ancient temple under the rehabilitation project meant for the two sea erosion prone villages after tidal waves ingressed into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple at regular intervals recently.
'' If steps are not taken now then there is every possibility that the temple would be lost in the Bay of Bengal forever,'' the District Magistrate said.
Official sources said the state government had planned to entrust the Archeology department to relocate the temple at one of the four alternative locations identified by the government, to rehabiliate the villagers of Satabhaya and Kahnupur.
'' If everything goes as per plan, then the Panchubarahai temple would be the first shrine in the state to be relocated to save it from sea erosion,'' sources said.
Males are debarred from entering into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple while the deities were taking bath and only a female member of the tribal 'SABAR caste' has got the exclusive right to perform the daily rituals.
Built by the Bahumakar dynasty in the Satabhaya village the temple was located three km away from the Bay of Bengal a decade ago. But due to the erratic behaviour of the sea, the temple is now only some feet away from the Bay of Bengal.
The villagers who have unflinching faith in the power of the deity believe no calamity can harm them till Ma Panchubarai was there.
UNI XC-BD KK DB1818