Keeping his promise to his wife, man build Rs 8 cr worth temple for Maa Santoshi in Odisha’s Jajpur

The temple, which was completed recently this year, not only houses Maa Santoshi but has other deities as well including Shiva, Ganesh, Hanuman and Navagraha. 

Jajpur: They say promises are meant to be broken. But no so for Khetrabasi Lenka who, keeping his word after making a promise to his wife, managed to erect an 8 crore worth temple dedicated to Maa Santoshi in Odisha’s Jajpur district. Hailing from Jagatsingpur district of Odisha, Lenka, who is a renowned industrialist in Hyderabad, left no stone unturned to make his wife’s dream a reality and channeled all his efforts to honour her devotion towards Maa Santoshi. The temple, which was completed recently this year, not only houses Maa Santoshi but has other deities as well including Shiva, Ganesh, Hanuman and Navagraha.

Standing tall in Chikana village of Binjharpur tehsil of the district, the ornate and intricately carved 64 ft structure is not just a religious place for locals now but stand testimony to Lenka’s commitment towards his marriage and better half. Spread across 3 acre land, the shrine, erected on the lines of Dravida or South Indian temple architecture, showcases fine craftsmanship from workers pooled from various places.

For Lenka’s wife Baijayanti, joy knows no bounds. Little did she know that an innocuous sharing of her childhood desire with her husband, would one day be a reality.

As per her account, when Baijayanti was Class 6, she used to visit her neighbour to pray to Maa Santoshi as there was no place to pray at her home. But one fine day, much to Baijayanti’s agony, someone threw the deity’s photo away. While she was heartbroken, she yearned for a place of her own to pray. However, things have a way of working out. When she got married to Lenka in 1992, she shared this experience and expressed her desire to have a space where she can worship Maa Santoshi. Moved after hearing her account, Lenka promised that he would fulfill her wish. And 31 years later, he actually did.

As per reports, the bhoomi pujan of the temple was carried out on March 10 in 2008 on the occasion of the birthday of the couple’s daughter. While work went on in full flow till 2014, it slowed down after that, However, the structure was finally completed recently. Sources say around 30-40 workers were hired from Tamil Nadu to build the temple. Not just that, locals were also included in the work along with marble workers from Rajasthan and labourers from Andhra Pradesh who painted the shrine.

Lenka shared that he initially had a budget of Rs 30 lakh for the temple but he managed to spend upto Rs 8 crores only due to blessings of Maa Santoshi.

Sharing her happiness, Baijayanti said she could not have asked for more. “Men buy jewelry and a lot of other gifts for their spouses. But my husband gave me the best gift I could have ever imagined. This temple is my biggest ornament, my prized possession,” she added.

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