World-Class tourist amenities unveiled at Konark Sun Temple

World-Class tourist amenities unveiled at Konark Sun Temple

A world-class interpretation centre and other tourist facilities were inaugurated at the Konark Sun Temple on Sunday, coinciding with Utkal Diwas- Odisha's foundation day.

Inaugurating the facilities, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the 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.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Pradhan complimented Indian Oil Foundation (IOF), a trust formed by Indian Oil Corporation, for developing the visitor-friendly infrastructure and facilities.

He also complimented noted sculptor Raghunath Mahapatra for recreating the sculptural wealth of Konark Sun Temple at the interpretation centre for the benefit of both national and International visitors.

He said the modern amenities developed at the temple complex will attract more tourists.

Shigeru Aoyagi, director & Unesco representative to India, said Unesco is continuously working for the preservation of heritage monuments, like the Sun Temple at Konark, across the world.

He hoped that 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.

Billed as an architectural marvel of eastern India and a remarkable symbol of India's glorious cultural heritage, the Sun Temple is one of the important tourist attractions in the region.

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

Located about 35 km from the temple town of Puri, the Sun Temple is majestic in conception and one of the most sublime monuments of India.

The sprawling main avenue, leading from the outer ring road to the Sun Temple, has been beautified with artistic landscaping. Water bodies have been developed along the way, with manicured gardens, paved roads, streetlights and high-mast towers.

The interpretation centre has been designed to be interactive, with multiple exhibits and multimedia displays.

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