By Odisha Story Bureau, Bhubaneswar:
Union Petroleum and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will inaugurate the world-class tourist facilitation centre and an interpretation centre at Konark on Utkal Divas (1 April 2018).
The Indian Oil Foundation has developed the interpretation centre and the tourist facilitation centre at the Unesco World Heritage Site of famous Sun Temple at a cost of Rs. 45 crore.
The tourist facilitation centre has adequate parking bays for buses, cars and two-wheelers of the visiting tourists, driver’s facility block and ample public amenities like cafeteria, toilets and drinking water.
The main avenue leading to the temple from outer ring road has been developed and has water bodies and suitable landscaping.
The interpretation centre has been designed to be user-friendly and interactive, with multiple exhibits and multimedia displays.
Having five galleries depicting the history, culture and architecture of Odisha, the centre also features galleries dedicated to the many Sun temples in India and across the world.
Touch-screen kiosks and multimedia depictions, together with sculptures, scale models and artefacts in the five galleries make for fabulous viewing.
There is a 60-seater auditorium with state-of-the-art audio-visual and acoustic systems to be inaugurated by Pradhan. Animated films depicting the origin and history of the Sun Temple at Konark will be one of its main attractions.
An Architecture Marvel of Eastern India and A symbol of India’s heritage, Konark Sun Temple, commonly known as Konark is situated in the eastern state of Odisha, India and is one of the eminent tourist attractions. Konark houses a massive temple dedicated to the Sun God. The word ‘Konark’ is a combination of two words ‘Kona’ and ‘Arka’. ‘Kona’ means ‘Corner’ and ‘Arka’ means ‘Sun’, so when combines it becomes ‘Sun of the Corner’. Konark Sun Temple is situated on the north eastern corner of Puri and is dedicated to Sun God. Konark is also known as Arka khetra. There are three images of the Sun God at three different sides of the temple, positioned in proper direction to catch the rays of the sun at morning, noon and evening.
Sun Temple of Konark, built in the middle of 13th century, is a massive conception of artistic magnificence and engineering dexterity. King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of the Ganga dynasty had built this temple, with the help of 1200 artisans within a period of 12 years (1243-1255 A.D.). Since the ruler used to worship the Sun, the temple was considered as a chariot for the Sun God. Konark Temple was designed in the form of a gorgeously decorated chariot mounted on 24 wheels , each about 10 feet in diameter, and drawn by 7 mighty horses. It is really difficult to understand, how this huge temple, every inch-space of which was so wonderfully carved, could have been completed within such a short time. Whatever that might be, the konark temple even in its present ruined state, still a wonder to the whole world. Great poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote of Konark: “here the language of stone surpasses the language of man.”