Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum 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.
Addressing a gathering, Pradhan praised the Indian Oil Foundation for developing the visitor-friendly infrastructure and associated facilities at the temple. 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.
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. (IANS)