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It’s a temple with a difference – a shrine dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi at Bhatra on the outskirts of this city that has a life-size bronze statue of the father of the nation.

Amidst tiny plastic tricolours, volunteers have been working overtime for the Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday.

“We expect a big crowd and school children are rehearsing patriotic songs,” a young man said as the temple was cleaned up on Tuesday.

The occasions, he said, on which people throng this shrine to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi are Independence Day and Republic Day.

in Orissa, Gandhi is still worshipped as god by hundreds of people at a temple where they lighted incense sticks, offered flowers and sang devotional songs before his idol to mark the event.

Exclusively dedicated to Gandhi, the Gandhi temple – as it is called – is located at Bhatra village in Sambalpur district, some 350 km from the state capital of Bhubaneswar

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