Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will inaugurate a world-class tourist facilitation centre and an interpretation centre at Konark Sun Temple in Odisha on Utkal Divas on April 1, an official said on Wednesday.
The Indian Oil Foundation has developed the interpretation centre and the tourist facilitation centre at the Unesco World Heritage Site at a cost of Rs. 45 crore.
Subrata Barma, Executive Director and CEO of Indian Oil Foundation, said 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,” he said.
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,” said the CEO.
Barma said visitors would be left spellbound with the fusion of sight and sound at the 60-seater auditorium with state-of-the-art audio-visual and acoustic systems.
Animated films depicting the origin and history of the Sun Temple at Konark will be one of its main attractions.
Billed as an architectural marvel of eastern India and an exceptional symbol of India’s glorious cultural heritage, the Sun Temple is one of the important tourist centres in the region.
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. Majestic in conception, the temple is famous as much for its imposing dimensions and faultless proportions as for the harmonious integration of architectural grandeur, fine traceries and scrollwork.