For the occasion of the Samaleswari Temple Area Management and Local Economy Initiatives (SAMALEI) project's inauguration in Sambalpur, the Odisha government has proclaimed January 27 as a holiday for all state schools and universities.
As per a report by Kalinga TV, this was done to promote public engagement in the event. Since this is also the fourth Saturday of the month, government offices will not be open on this day.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will introduce the Samaleswari Temple Area Management and Local Economy Initiatives (SAMALEI) on January 27. The first rituals started on January 22 and will end on January 26 with a Kalash Yatra led by women from the city. The sacred bath of the Goddess will be made from the water collected during the Yatra.
Chief Minister Patnaik unveiled the Rs 200 crore SAMALEI project, a rehabilitation plan for the Goddess Samaleswari shrine in Sambalpur, on February 17, 2021. Media reports claim that the state government invested more than Rs 200 crore in this massive project.
The developments include housing projects for temple servants and a 30-meter-wide road that links the temple zone with the Mahanadi bank. It is expected that the walkway will facilitate the presiding Goddess's daily Mahanadi alati rites. According to the government's proposal, a 108-acre area would be developed around the temple to enhance the surroundings and visitors' overall experience.
The reconstruction includes the creation of a heritage corridor, the development of the Mahanadi riverside spanning around 40 acres, the upgrading and peripheral growth of the temple, and modern facilities. The project includes parking spaces, concession areas, and restrooms near the temple in addition to four heritage gates on the four sides of the temple to serve the needs of the vast number of tourists and devotees who visit the shrine every day.