INTACH’s Jagannath Sadak report unveiled


Kolkata, October 22, 2017: 
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), West
Bengal and Odisha Chapters  released the
“Listing and Documenting the Monuments of the Jagganath Sadak in West Bengal” on
Sunday here at the Indian Museum.
The project was flagged off by the West Bengal Governor in
November 2015. INTACH had earlier undertaken and completed the Listing of the
Monuments of the Old Jagannath Sadak in the Odisha stretch and the report was
released at Bhubaneswar in July 2014. The report had listed 200 Monuments of
the old road, starting from Jaleswar to Puri.
The West Bengal Report was released by the Chairman of
INTACH Maj. Gen. L.K.Gupta along with Dr. Rajesh Purohit, the Director of the
Indian Museum.  Speaking on the occasion,
Amiya Bhusan Tripathy, State Convener of INTACH Odisha, said that the relevance
and importance of this ancient road has not been highlighted. He said that the
heritage of this pilgrim road and its importance in spreading the Cult of
Jagannath all over the country has been overlooked in history.
Nearly 400 monuments have been listed in the three volume
report which includes 400 maps and 1000 photographs.
Tripathy said that the listing did not have only Hindu
temples, but seven Mosques, four Gurudwaras and six Churches too have been
listed as they had associational significance with the Old Sadak and its
INTACH West Bengal State convenor G.N.Kapur said that
efforts will be made to conserve and preserve the remnants of the Old Sadak in
West Bengal.
The Director of the Indian Museum emphasized on the rich
heritage of Eastern India especially Bengal and Odisha and the manner in which
they were intertwined. He lauded the efforts of INTACH in producing the report
and said that it was an empirical study. The Chairman of INTACH, Maj. Gen
L.K.Gupta stressed the need of documenting both the tangible and intangible
heritage of the country. He said that INTACH has been accorded the status as a
Centre of Excellence and spoke of its role in conservation and preservation of
heritage sites all over the country. The need of the hour was creating
awareness about heritage and culture, which INTACH is actively promoting by its
outreach programmes and its various chapters all over the country.
Anil Dhir, the Co-ordinator of the Project, gave a vivid
talk on the project and the various aspects of the synthesis of the Bengal and
Odishan cultures. He spoke of the relevance of Sri Chaitanya and the Guadiya Vaishnavites
in the making of the road and the various Mutts that are scattered all over the
Old Sadak. The visits of many holy saints including Guru Nanak, Namdev,
Ramananda, Tulsidas, Mahdava Acharya and Kabir have left behind indelible
traces on the old road. While preparing the report many old travel accounts of
the Persian, Arabic, English, French and Dutch travelers were discovered.
Besides being a Pilgrim trail, the road was also an important trade route with
various amenities for the travelers.
Of the 512 Kms of the original road, only 168 kms is still
intact, the rest of it has been encroached upon by the highway and the

Dhir said that unlike Odisha, West Bengal had three
different roads, all of which culminated at Dantan on the Odisha border.
Different routes were taken by Guru Nanak and Sri Chaitanya, while the sea
route from Tamluk, the ancient Tamralipti too was prominent.

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