‘588th Coronation day ceremony of Gajapati Kapilendra Deva celebrated

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Bhubaneswar:  The 588th  Coronation day of the Great Suryavamsi King Gajapati Kapilendra Deva  was celebrated at  Cuttack and  Bhubaneswar by different cultural groups. The event was commemorated at Kapali Mutt near Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar and the Bada Thakura Temple of Gopinathpur Sasana village at Jagatpur Block of Cuttack jointly by the Rediscover Lost Heritage (RLH Group), Maa Jageswari Club, Silver City Cuttack (SCC) Public Charitable Trust & Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Bhubaneswar Chapter. The groups had started celebrating of the coronation since the last year.

Speaking on the occasion, Deepak Kumar Nayak, Heritage Researcher & Founder Member of RLH group said that Gajapati Kapilendra Deva was undoubtedly the greatest King from Odisha after Mahameghavahana Aira Kharavela. He established the large Odia Kingdom that spanned over a vast region from  the Ganga  in North  to Kaveri  in South. As per available historical information,  his  coronation took place on the 29th  of June  1435 CE. Unfortunately, Indian history has not given  due credit and accolades that this great emperor deserves. Historic places having connection with Gajapati Kapilendra Deva’s reign have been selected to celebrate this historic day.

According to local lore, the Gajapati’s coronation happened at the Papanasini Temple. An image depicting a royal procession is fixed at wall of Kapali Mutt which contains an Odia inscription mentioning name of ‘Kapileswara Deba Raja’ (Kapilendra Deva)  and his 17th regnal year.  Similarly, at the Bada Thakura Temple in Gopinathpur Sasana village of Cuttack, a stone inscription containing 30 lines written in Odia sheds light on the Digbijaya (military) glory of the celebrated emperor. This Sasana village had been established by Gopinath Mahapatra, a warrior minister of Kapilendra Deva. The temple had been demolished during the Moghul invasion.

Anil Dhir, the Convenor of INTACH Bhubaneswar Chapter has said that Odishan history text books need a revamp in showcasing Odia pride and contributions of medieval era Gajapati Kings. History curriculum should give more focus on highlighting the success and contributions of Gajapati kings like Narasingha Deva, Kapilendra Deva, Mukunda Deva, Ramachandra Deva I etc. The places where the commemorations were held are in an extremely pathetic and neglected state.  Both the inscription slabs are exposed to weathering and that have already eroded to a great extent.

Dr. Biswajit Mohanty was surprised that the work on renovating the   demolished temple at Gopinathpur was started by the State Archaeology Department, but surprisingly it was stopped mid-way. The State Archaeology Department should work actively for the proper conservation of these two historic sites related to the great emperor, Mohanty  said.

Akash Pattanayak, the President of Silver City Cuttack Public Charitable Trust  and  Prafulla Kumar Swain,  member of Maa Jageswari Club have demanded for the erection of statues of Gajapati Kapilendra Deva both at  Cuttack  and  Bhubaneswar as the sign of Odia pride and glory.

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