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Birthplace of Odisha’s reformer Utkalmani gets makeover for tourists

The birth place of Odisha's leading social reformer, Utkalmani is undergoing a makeover to become a world-class tourist destination (Pics. Courtesy Twitter/@SujeetKOfficial)

The birthplace of the well-known social worker, reformer, journalist, political activist and poet, Gopabandhu Das popularly known as Utkalmani, Suando village, is undergoing redevelopment and will be ready for tourists in three weeks.

Talking about the project, officials informed the media that the comprehensive development plan is nearing completion. The plan includes renovation of Utkalmani’s ancestral house, setting up of a memorial museum showcasing his life and times, and development of several public amenities, all of which are aimed to attract visitors.

The museum will house several objects that were used by Utkalmani, his books and rare photographs.

Suando village, where Utkalmani was born

Apart from this the village is being beautified and it will now have a Shiva temple, a park, children’s playground, pond, canteen, shopping complex at the Bhargavi river bank.

To facilitate tourists, a reception centre and an information centre have been set up on the main road to the village.

There are plans to introduce water sports in the Bhargavi river which flows through the village. This will be an added attraction for the visitors. Samartha Verma, Collector of Puri said: “We have sent a proposal in this regard to the State Government which is pending approval.” Among the activities planned to be included in the water sports are kitesurfing, water skiing, water scooter rides, kayaking, canoeing and boating.

In 2021, the Odisha Government had earmarked Rs. 25.25 crore for turning Suando into a heritage village. The redeveloped village will be inaugurated by the State Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik.