Bhubaneswar: The Kalijai temple in Chilika Lake which attracts thousands of pilgrims from far and wide everyday will soon get a facelift as Chilika Development Authority (CDA) has prepared a blueprint for refurbishment of the historical shrine.
The decision was taken to develop and promote the temple as a major tourist destination. A whopping Rs 40 crore has been sanctioned under Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) for the purpose.
The preliminary work for renovation has already begun. The temple and its periphery have remained neglected for long even as the visitors have expressed concern over its restoration. The temple and shops around the tourist destination will also be made world class. “We have planned to modernise the market complex near the temple and servitors’ houses,” said Sasmita Lenka, additional chief executive of CDA.
Apart from it, drinking water facilities and construction of toilets for the tourists are also a part of the blueprint. The picnickers will not have to struggle to find a place to party as special altars will be constructed for them, she pointed out.
Lenka further informed that the ferry boats engaged in transporting devotees to the temple will be decorated with multiple colours and price tag for various categories will be put up.
The plan also includes a special peacock and deer park near the lake to attract more visitors. Measures will also be taken for conservation of butterflies of various species found around the salt water lake. In a bid to attract more tourists to the lagoon, plans are afoot to set up a garden which would display some rare butterflies and local species, she said.