Probe replacement of carvings at Konark Temple: Naveen Patnaik

Writes to Centre seeking steps to protect architecture
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday demanded an inquiry into alleged replacement of artistic stone carvings of the Konark Sun Temple with plain stones. The Sun Temple, an ASI-protected world heritage site, is known for its outstanding architecture. The 13th Century monument was built by King Langula Narasingha Deva by mobilising 1,200 sculptors. In a letter to Union Minister of Culture Mahesh Sharma, Mr. Patnaik said original stone carvings in the temple, as per media reports, had been removed and in their place, plain stones had been fixed.
Main attraction
“A masterpiece of creative genius in both conception and realisation, the temple represents a chariot of the Sun God and is one of the World Heritage sites declared by UNESCO. It is embellished with sophisticated and refined iconographical depictions of contemporary life and activities,” noted the Chief Minister. “It is the main attraction of domestic and foreign tourists in Odisha. Konark Sun temple represents the climax of Odishan temple architecture. It symbolises Odia pride and reflects the ethical and emotional expression of the Odia people,” Mr. Patnaik pointed out. “Now only the front temple Jagamohana remains, which is also gradually decaying. It has been reported that 40% of the artistic stone carvings of the existing temple have been replaced by the ASI with plain stones,” he observed. “I would request you to cause an enquiry into the matter,” he demanded.
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