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Lokanarkavu temple development project gets nod

By Staff Reporter

Kozhikode

The State government has given administrative sanction to the revised plan for the development of Lokanarkavu temple in Vadakara with an aim to improve its tourism potential. The project named “Pilgrim Tourism Development at Lokanarkavu temple” was earlier part of the Thalassery Heritage project and the estimated cost was Rs.3.6 crore. However, more amenities were later included under the project and a revised estimate of Rs. 4.5 crore was submitted before the State government, which was approved recently.

Kuttiady MLA K.P. Kunhammed Kutty Master recently questioned the progress of the project in the Legislative Assembly to which Minister for Tourism P.A. Mohammed Riyas responded assuring complete support for the project.

The project includes a thorough renovation of the 1,500-year-old temple, which enjoys a special place in the 'Vadakkan Pattu' (Ballads of North Kerala). According to the ballads, Thacholi Othenan, a famed warrior of the region, used to be a regular visitor at the temple and a staunch devotee of Lokanarkavilamma (the deity of the temple, Goddess Durga). There are references of the temple in most stories that come under Vadakkan Pattu, the themes of which are mostly exploits of the warriors, trained in Kalaripayattu. Till date, students of Kalaripayattu worship at the temple before their first public performance.

Hence, the development of a Kalari (where students are trained in the martial art form) on the temple premises is one of the major parts of the project. Besides, renovation of the temple yards, a rest house with 12 rooms for the pilgrims, toilet blocks and other amenities intended to increase the aesthetic appeal of the temple are part of the project. This includes new traditional stone lamps (kalvilakku), compound walls, ornamental lighting and improved electrification.

The MLA said that the project will be a boost to the tourism sector in North Kerala.

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