Bhubaneswar, Aug 10: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has cleaned weeds from the ancient Papanasini Kunda (pond) located near the Lingaraj temple in the Old Town area of the capital city of Odisha.
The ASI took up the weed cleansing drive following a report published in leading Odia daily Prameya and on its English portal prameyanews.com on August 6.
The holy Papanasini pond has lost its significance turning into a stinking pond with algae floating over its dirty green water and devotees are hesitating to take bath in it, the Prameya had reported talking with the temple administration.
The Papanasini pond of the 11th century, situated at the Badheibanka Chhak, is protected as a heritage site by the ASI.
The remnants of the offerings to Lord Lingaraj (a mixture of water, milk, honey, ghee, etc.) were being drained into the pond through a special channel. It is believed that devotees get rid of their sins and diseases taking a dip in the pond.
Due to lack of maintenance the drainage system has been lying defunct, following which the pond has lost its significance.
After the de-weeding, people have started taking dips in the pond and urged the ASI to repair the special channel so that the pond will get back its importance with remnants of the offerings to Lord Lingaraj in its water.
The weed cleaning work of the Papanasini pond, along with some other ponds, is going on. After weed cleaning from all heritage ponds, we will consider taking further initiatives, said ASI superintendent Arun Mallick.