Every Odia who knows the struggle behind formation of Swatantra Odisha. Pradesh and its contribution to national freedom struggle very well knows about Utkal Mani Pandit Gopabandhu Das.
Recently I had got the opportunity to have a go to the birthplace of Utkal Mani, i.e., the village of Suendo. Having visited this area couple of years ago, this time it was a very refreshing experience for me. After the recent development under 5T initiative of Odisha govt, there has been complete revamp and beautification of the village.Irrespective of the changes or development, the Saga of Suando behind the effort for Independence remains same.
Suando situated on the bank of river Bhargavi falls panchayat of Dasvidyadharpur of Satyabadi block in the district of Puri. Along with Suando, Satyabadi has its fair share behind Independence struggle, from where the great Leaders “Pancha Sakhas had their participation Still today in the Suando village there is the native house of Gopabandhu Das where he was born (Entudishala). The ancestral house contains living rooms, courtyard and kitchen room. and having earthen chullahs, which are well connected to the struggle of freedom. There is sweet smell of the hardest struggle and the feeling for sovereignty in every particle. The walls covered with earth characterised by drawing of ‘jhoti’resembels about its true Odia patronage.
Thereafter I visited the Utkalmani’s memorial museum situated at the end of the Village The museum attributes to every story that Gopabandhu Das incarnates for the Motherland. In the compound there is a huge 15 ft. statue of Gopabandhu Das surrounded by scenic. beautiful garden. The museum building constitutes of different parts showing the efforts of Pandit ji from social, judicial, educational and Independence point of view. There are various statues of Utkalmani in different positions compounding from the day of imprisonment in jail, to the moment of writing of prose and poetries. There is also the moment of Pandit ji’s support to judicial victims and teaching to young one under the banyan tree.
The museum also has the boat used by Gopabandhu to help people during flood times. It contains various portraits showing about Utkalmani’s free spirit of helping to poor peoples and struggle for freedom movement. The Village also comprises of a big pong and shiva temple connected. as line of past to freedom struggle memories.
Written by Bibekananda Mishra, 3rd Year