Garbhagruha of Konark Sun Temple ‘deteriorating’

Konark: Concerns have been raised over the condition of Konark Sun Temple as repair work of the ‘Garbhagruha’ is yet to be carried out even after recommendations from the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) which conducted a survey in 2017.

To assess the structural stability of the temple, the CBRI had conducted GPRS, laser scanning and endoscopy during the first phase in 2015 and submitted a report of the same to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The central organisation again carried out a survey in 2017 after allegations were made on the precarious condition of the temple.

Meanwhile, the experts and locals are of the opinion that the repair work should begin at the earliest on basis of the CBRI report.

“The final report which was submitted by CBRI has not been made public yet. Even the working group is also ignorant about the report. Questions are being raised whether the CBRI has failed to submit report on time or the ASI is responsible for the delay. Undoubtedly the Sun Temple is in danger,” said Rabindra Nath Bahinipati, a resident of Konark.

Echoing similar views, an expert Dr BK Rath stated, “The beam of the temple is in a dilapidated condition and cracks have developed in it. Even a mild tremor can demolish the upper portion of the structure. Therefore, recommendations were made to undertake a study and hold core committee and steering committee meetings to discuss the steps to be taken for the conservation of the shrine.”

On the other hand, the ASI has refused to make the CBRI report public informing that repair work of the Garbhagruha of the 13th century shrine will be done on basis of recommendations of the steering committee.

“The steering committee will discuss the CBRI recommendations and prepare a strategy accordingly,” said Arun Mallick, Superintendent of the ASI.