Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In what could be a heart-warming news for heritage lovers across Odisha and outside, 3D images of the famous Lingaraja and Rajarani temples in the State Capital city Bhubaneswar would be at the fingertips by next year. 

People would be able to feel the aesthetic beauty of the 11th century shrine dedicated to Lord Lingaraja, an avatar of Lord Shiva all thanks to efforts by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar. 

According to reports, the ASI and NISER have jointly started the initiative to conserve the digital footprints of nationally-protected monuments for the future. Drone survey will soon be conducted for 3D imaging at both the temples apart from the laser scanning.

The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) has granted special permission to use drones for aerial survey and photogrammetry of the two iconic monuments.

“The 3D images of the historical monuments will play a crucial role in preservation and conservation of these heritage sites. Once the process is finished, everyone could witness the area, size and sculptures of the temples on their mobile phones,” said NISER professor Subhankar Mishra.

Mishra said steps are being taken to digitally preserve the structures of monuments. “We want to gather 3D information through laser-based scanning and by using drones to take image and videos from all angles of the shrines,” he said.

The preliminary survey work of both the temples has already been started with still photography and videography from various directions. Aerial survey of these monuments will be conducted with the help of drones after the photography. The entire survey work will be finished in December this year.

“The 3D images will help the ASI and other government agencies to identify any defect or damaged portions of the temple for conservation,” said ASI official Arunima Pati.

If any untoward situation occurs like damage to the temples in future, the 3D images can be used as reference for repair or rebuilding the temple structures,” said Pati.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)