Odisha government will set up a 108-feet statue of Lord Buddha at Neulpur hill, 3 km from Chandikhol in Jajpur district at a cost of Rs 15 crore. While the statue will be one of the country’s tallest Buddha statues, it is the first of its kind in Odisha.
The district administration of Jajpur has handed over around 85 acres of Government land at the Neulapur Hill to the State Tourism Department to build it. “The state tourism department recently invited tenders to build the statue, for which three construction companies filed their tenders to build the statue and develop the areas at the cost of about Rs 15 to Rs 20 crores. The authorities will soon select one of the construction companies for this project. The initial project cost was estimated at Rs 14 crores,” said district tourist officer Prasant Kumar Patnaik.
Tourism secretary Mona Sharma carried out an inspection of the Neulpur hilltop, where an 108-feet statue of Lord Buddha is being erected by the state tourism department to attract visitors. She also visited the Buddhist caves located in Neulpur hill and inspected its conservation works.
The statue will be clearly visible to motorists on NH-5, which connects Kolkata and Chennai. It will be nearly 10 km from Haridaspur railway station in Jajpur district.
“The statue will add to the list of attractions in the area, as Lalitgiri, Udaygiri and Ratnagiri are all located about 6-7 kilometres from Neulapur,” Patnaik said, adding that the government is preparing an ambitious plan to develop Buddhist sites in and around Jajpur to attract more foreign and domestic travellers.
Jajpur district has a special place on the World Buddhist spots. In fact, the government has recognised Jajpur as one of the most important Buddhist centers in the state and started developing them as Tourism spots, added Patnaik.
Sources said the 108-feet Buddha statue in sitting position would have the three basic features following scriptures – a throne, lotus and the main statue. It will weigh about 80 tonnes.