Baripada: Even though the state government spends crores of rupees for preservation and development of different places of worship across Odisha, the famous ‘Merumatha’ in Mayurbhanj district which belongs to Mahima cult calls for development amid administrative apathy.
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The state government has already accorded Merumatha the status of a tourist place in Mayurbhanj. The Mahima shrine is located at Sirsha area under Saraskana block in the district. This neglected tourist destination which is located amidst greenery and scenic beauty has failed to attract visitors from within and outside the state.
The Subarnarekha River flows near Merumatha.
A visitor can reach the shrine after travelling nearly 12 kilometres from block headquarters and around 40 kilometres from the district headquarters at Baripada town. There is a forest cover on 56 acres of land.
In 1990, around 20 acres of land earlier owned by the Merumatha was ceded to the state government for developing a research centre of medicinal plants here. Over 500 medicinal plants were planted in the research centre premises, of which about 300 plants have died, owing to improper maintenance and lackadaisical attitude of district officials.
The district tourism officer (DTO) had earlier proposed an expenditure of Rs 1.41 crore towards development and beautification of the Mahima shrine. The proposal had included construction of drinking water stands, toilets, lighting, a congregation hall and a park. Nothing, meanwhile, has moved much.
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