Pratap Nagari for many was simply another village tucked between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack on NH-5. But a Jain heritage museum here, with at least 12 sculptures and statues of Jain Tirthankaras dating back to ninth and 10th century AD, is set to change the fortune of the place. It has now found itself in the tourism map of the State.
Pratap Nagari'srich reserve of Jain heritage first came to light in 1972 when a number of sculptures were recovered during excavation of the Kakatpur Canal. The sculptures were kept near the village shrine.
Between 1992 and 1994, one Purushottam Rout of the village also came across a few more stone sculptures and statues while ploughing the field. The sculptures were housed in the village Bhagabat tungi. Of different sizes and dimensions, the sculptures mainly depict the Tirthankara figures.
The Risabhanath and Parswanath sculptures found in the collection indicate the practice of worship of two Tirthankaras in this part of the country.
There are three stone idols of Risabhanath, two Risabhanath with 24 Tirthankaras, three Parswanath with Astagrahas, one Risabhanath with Astagraha, one Parswanath, one Gomedha with Ambica and one broken sculpture in the collection that have been put on display at the museum, which was inaugurated here recently.
The proposal for preservation of Jain heritage at Rs 2.5 crore for 38 sites across the state was submitted to the Centre, of which Rs 28 lakh was sanctioned in 2002. Work on seven projects ? Panchgaon and Bagalpur in Khurda district, Hatidiha in Jajpur, Ghasipura and Padasingidi in Keonjhar, Jamunda at Koraput and Pratap Nagari in Cuttack district were taken up.
The Pratap Nagari Jain heritage museum, constructed at a cost of Rs 10.78 lakh, was inaugurated by Culture Minister Damodar Rout. It has been jointly set up by the State Archaeology Department and the Orissa Branch of All India Digambar Jain Mahasabha (AIDJM).