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article imageKonark Temple heritage site set to get interpretation center

By Sravanth Verma     Aug 29, 2014 in Travel
New Delhi - The Indian Oil Foundation Trust (IOF) is working to finish the state-of-the-art "Interpretation Centre" project at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sun Temple of Konark in Odisha. IOF plans to be done by April 2015.
Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan reviewed the projects taken up by the IOF to create better tourist facilities and peripheral development at the temple complex. He asked them to finish the projects before the beginning of the Nabakalebara festival in July 2015, when over 5 million visitors are expected in the state.
The IOF officials informed Pradhan that construction work had stalled due to encroachment of land, and requested him to speak to the state government to help expedite the work. The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) had sanctioned INR 36 crore ($6 million) for the project.
The Interpretation Centre will include an audio-visual center, descriptive galleries and souvenir shops that will educate visitors about the history of the Konark temple, and the science of temple building. It will also offer information on the rich cultural and historical traditions of the state of Odisha.
The Konark Sun Temple was built in the 13th century AD by the king Narasingha Deva. It was designed in the shape of a huge chariot for the Indian sun god, Surya. The "chariot" has twenty-four huge wheels carved out of stone, and is pulled by seven massive stone horses, representing the seven days of the week. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India.
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