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Raghunath Mohapatra proposes Second Konark

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TNI Bureau: Odia Sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, who has been chosen for India’s second highest civilian award Padma Vibhushan for this year, has proposed to build  another Konark temple (Sun Temple), the heritage of Odisha.

The state government has also shown its interest on Mohapatra’s proposal to build another Sun Temple, which will be the carbon copy of the first one, to drag the attention of overseas’ tourists.

The proposal was discussed at a meeting chaired by Tourism & Culture, Planning & Coordination Minister Maheswar Mohanty on Tuesday at Secretariat. Mohanty sought opinion of Chief Secretary and other bureaucrats regarding the proposal. Mohaptra had also attended the review meeting on an invitation of Mohanty.

Central RDC Aurobind Padhi had talked in favour of the proposal and agreed to build another Konark temple, which was built after 100 years of Puri Jagannath temple. In wake of improving tourism in Odisha, he suggested to build a mini Konark temple at another place.

At the meeting, the map of the proposed Konark temple prepared by ASI book was presented. The minister said that proposal will be discussed with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik later along with the complete map for the temple.

According to Mohapatra, a doyen of stone sculpture, the existing Konark temple will be ruined after some years and the condition of many idols and small temples at the premises of the main temple are on the edge. He proposed to build another Konark near the main temple as sufficient space is there. He had said that the existing Sun Temple, we are seeing now, is the front portion (Muka Sala) of the temple.

It can be noted that the government has to bear the burden of around Rs 2000 crore to complete the temple. According to the information of Mohaptra, about 600-700 artists will be required for the construction of the temple. It can be completed in 8-10 years. He had suggested to use small stones in the temple instead of big stones used in the existing Konark.

The original Sun Temple, which was built by king Narasinga Dev in 1238 AD, has been decaying very fast.

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