World class tourist facilities at Konark Sun temple dedicated to nation

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Context:

  • An aesthetically designed interpretation centre with world-class facilities that showcases the unique architectural features of Kalingan era was recently inaugurated at Sun Temple, Konark. The Indian Oil Foundation has developed the interpretation centre and the tourist facilitation centre at a cost of Rs. 45 crore.

Other Facts:

  • 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.
  • It was built by King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of Ganga dynasty.
  • The temple is included in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 for its architectural greatness and also for the sophistication and abundance of sculptural work.
  • The temple is perfect blend of Kalinga architecture, heritage, exotic beach and salient natural beauty.
  • It is protected under the National Framework of India by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act (1958) and its Rules (1959).
  • The Konark is the third link of Odisha’s Golden Triangle. The first link is Jagannath Puri and the second link is Bhubaneswar (Capital city of Odisha).
  • This temple was also known as ‘BLACK PAGODA’ due to its dark color and used as a navigational landmark by ancient sailors to Odisha. Similarly, the Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the “White Pagoda”.
  • It remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela around the month of February.

Source:PIB