By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, April 1, 2018: Union Petroleum & Natural Gas, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday inaugurated a state-of-the-art interpretation and tourist facilitation centre at the Sun Temple at Konark to coincide with the Utkal Divas celebrations in Odisha.

The centre at the Unesco World Heritage site costing Rs 45 crore showcases the unique architectural features of the temple, around 65 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

Pradhan hailed the Indian Oil Foundation for developing the visitor-friendly infrastructure and associated facilities at the temple during his address to the gathering. He also complimented Padma Vibhushan Raghunath Mahapatra for recreating the sculptural wealth of the sun temple at the interpretation centre for the benefit of both domestic and foreign visitors.

Pradhan said the Konark Sun Temple is Odisha’s pride and it is important that the world is made aware of this architectural marvel, for which the Interpretation Centre is a step in that direction. Modern amenities that have been developed at the temple complex would attract more tourists in future, he hoped.

Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and Unesco representative in India, said the interpretation centre will not only educate tourists about the temple’s rich history but also throw light on the natural and cultural heritage of Odisha.

Built in the 13th century, the Konark temple was conceived as a gigantic chariot of the Sun god, with 12 pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses.

Chairman, Indian Oil Sanjiv Singh, in his welcome address, said that Indian Oil is proud to do its bit for the protection, preservation and promotion of Indian’s glorious cultural heritage and its heritage monuments.

Billed as an architectural marvel of Eastern India and an exceptional symbol of India’s glorious cultural heritage, the Sun Temple of Konark in Odisha is one of the important tourist attractions in the region.

The sprawling Main Avenue leading from the outer ring road to the Sun Temple has been beautified with artistic landscaping. Elegant water bodies have been developed along the way, with well-manicured gardens, water-bodies, paved roads, ample streetlights and high-mast towers adding a touch of class to the entire setting.

To make a visit to Konark comfortable, IOF has developed an extensive Main Parking Area for tourist buses spread across five acres. This facility has space for 60 buses and modern washroom facilities have also been made available here alongside relaxation facilities and snacks counters for the bus drivers and others.

A drop-off point has also been developed closer to the temple. Here, parking facilities for cars, 3-wheelers and 2-wheelers is provided alongside Toilet Blocks, Waiting Lounge, Water Points, Snacks Counter, Rain Shelter & Landscaping.

The IndianOil Foundation is currently developing tourist-friendly infrastructure facilities at five more heritage sites in India. They are the Khajuraho group of temples in Madhya Pradesh, Kolhua near Vaishali in Bihar and Kanheri Caves in Maharashtra (both of them being highly acclaimed Buddhist sites), and Bhoganandishwara Temple (Nandi Hills) in Karnataka. Two new projects have been identified, that is, Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan and Dholavira in Gujarat.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of