Pradeep Pattanayak

The inside views of the world-famous Sun Temple at Konark in Puri district have come to the fore with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) taking photographs of the inside of the sand-filled temple.  

In the photographs, taken during Endoscopic Investigation by the ASI, it can be seen that stone slabs and iron beams are in a hanging state. 

The process of removal of sand from the Jagamohan (Assembly Hall) of the Sun temple at Konark had started in last January. The construction company engaged by the ASI had then erected a platform for the lift and fitted scaffolds using cranes. Later, the work had to be stopped due to some reasons. 

Six months later, the process has resumed. From the last Sunday, the work of erecting scaffolds is underway. To remove sand from the temple, there is a mechanical system comprising a lift and a trolley is in place. This system will make the job of taking sand and stones out of the temple easier. 

As per the information available, a tunnel measuring four feet by five feet will be made on the second ‘pidha’ of the temple’s western gate to reach out the sand. And through this hole, sand and debris will be taken out. The entire work is being monitored and executed by the ASI. 

Notably, the British had filled the Jagamohan with sand and sealed it in 1903 to protect it from collapsing. This Sun temple is the only UNESCO world heritage site in the state.