Mumbai, Dec 31 (Aryavarth) The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd (MSRDC) will be tasked with the ambitious plans to restore, develop and preserve several ancient temples, Jyotirlingas and Shaktipeeths, as announced last month by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, official sources said here on Thursday.
“This will be a mega-project encompassing several old temples across the state, besides pilgrimage places which attract religious tourists from India and abroad, with multiple stakeholders involved in the activity,” said a senior MSRDC official, preferring anonymity.
The refurbishment would include a proper face-lift, overall beautification of the temple precincts on the lines of some other prominent places of worship seen world over, besides improving the facilities and amenities for the pilgrims and tourists thronging there.
The state is blessed with five Jyotirlingas — at Trimbakeshwar in Nashik, Grishneshwar in Aurangabad, Parli-Vaijnath in Beed, Aundha Nagnath in Hingoli and Bhimashankar in Pune.
There are four important Shaktipeeths in the state — Mahalaxmi Temple in Kolhapur, Renuka Temple in Nanded, Tuljapur Temple in Osmanabad, and Saptashrungi Temple in Nashik, the last one which got the country’s first Funicular Rail in March this year.
Other revered temples include the Lord Shiva Temple in Ambernath (Thane), Khandoba Temple in Jejuri (Pune), Ekvira Devi Temple in Lonavala (Pune), Parshuram Temple at Chiplun (Ratnagiri), Shri Vitthal Rukmini Temple in Pandharpur (Solapur).
While some temples fall within the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India, others come under the state’s Directorate of Archaeology and Museums and all are considered important from the heritage point of view.
Under the temples renovation head, the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress Maha Vikas Aghadi has allocated Rs 101 crore for the next fiscal which would be included in the next state budget 2021-2022.
A high-level 9-member committee headed by Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar will take the comprehensive plan forward, identify various temples, the kind of works required at each place of worship, and consult experts in architecture, archaeology and religious leaders, to implement it in a timebound manner, said the official.