INTACH seeks heritage status for oldest railway station of Odisha at Paralakhemund
Established in 1899, the railway station was the first dedicated railway line as well as the first royal railway station of Odisha
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has sought heritage status for Odisha’s first railway station at Paralakhemund while opposing the move by the Indian Railways of demolishing it.
In a letter to railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, INTACH, Odisha chapter convener, AB Tripathy urged him to consider the heritage and historical relevance of the station urging him to set up a museum and a photo gallery.
“It is still in a very good state and does not need much restoration work. This old station should be given a heritage tag and preserved as it is. Many of the wayside stations of the PLR (Parlakimedi Light Railway), including the bridges, culverts and other facilities should be preserved as heritage structures. The goods shed at Paralakhemundi station is a unique heritage structure which needs preservation. Many other artefacts, including signalling equipment, electrical equipment, scales, uniforms, insignias, German silver cutlery and Royal embellishments should be kept at the Paralakhemundi station by creating a museum. A statue of Maharaja should be put up in front of the new station building. It is not only of importance to Odisha, being the first railway station of the state, but is an important railway landmark of the nation,” Tripathy said.
The new building being built is on a raised platform and is being constructed on the design of the royal palace of Paralakhemundi overshadowing the existing heritage structure.
Established in 1899, the railway station was the first dedicated railway line as well as the first royal railway station of Odisha.
The section was established by Goura Chandra Gajapati of Paralakhemundi and was known as Parlakimedi Light Railway (PLR).
INTACH suggested that railways should consider running a new train from Baripada to Paralakhemundi which will be a fitting tribute to Maharaja Goura Chandra Gajapati and Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanj Deo of Mayurbhanj.
It said Paralakhemundi railway station should be included in the Ramayana Circuit due to the Mahendragiri hills in the vicinity.