MVA govt outlines details of temple restoration project

Maharashtra govt chalks out project details to restore old temples

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will personally oversee the implementation of the project

Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple in Nashik. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Days after formally announcing a plan to restore and preserve ancient temples and create facilities around them which include the Jyotirlingas and Shaktipeeths, the Maharashtra government has started chalking out the finer details.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDCL) will be the nodal agency for the massive project.

A professional photographer, wildlife and nature lover, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will personally oversee the implementation.

“It is going to be a big project and multiple stakeholders are involved,” MSRDC vice chairman and managing director Radheyshyam Mopalwar told DH, adding that facilities around temple complexes will be increased.

Maharashtra is home to five Jyotirlingas – Trimbakeshwar temple (Nashik), Bhimashankar temple (Pune), Grishneshwar temple (Aurangabad), Parli Vaijnath temple (Beed) and Aundha Nagnath temple (Hingoli). There are also four Shaktipeeths in the state – Mahalaxmi temple (Kolhapur), Tuljapur temple (Osmanabad), Saptashrungi temple (Nashik) and Renuka temple (Nanded).

Read | Maharashtra unveils temple restoration plan

Besides these, there are several other temples like the temples of Lord Shiva in Ambernath, Khandoba in Jejuri in Pune, Ekvira Devi temple in Lonavala in Pune, Parshuram temple at Chiplun in Ratnagiri, Shri Vitthal Rukmini temple in Pandharpur in Solapur.

As part of the temple's restoration initiative, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance government has earmarked Rs 101-crore for the financial year 2021-22 which would be included in next year’s annual budget.

The government has also set up a nine-member committee headed by Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar to take the plan forward.

“The Maharashtra government is in the process of preparing a comprehensive plan for the project, we would be meeting experts in the field of archaeology, architecture and so on,” he said.

Some of these temples are under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Maharashtra government's Directorate of Archaeology and Museums and are of immense heritage importance.