Interpretation centre thrown open to public at Sun Temple

Konark: The interpretation centre at Konark was thrown open for public visit providing tourists with more options to relish history of the 13th century old Sun Temple in Konark.

A 60-seater audio-visual auditorium has been created in the centre that will be used to show films on the origin and history of Sun Temple. The entry fee to the auditorium has been fixed at Rs 50 per person, informed officials.

“I have come here for the first time and feel proud to see the history of my State shown in such details in the gallery. This will definitely draw more tourists to Konark,” said a tourist, Jyotshna.

The interpretation centre was built as part of the beautification project undertaken by Indian Oil Foundation (IOF), a non-profit trust of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL). A tourist facilitation centre is also constructed under the project. The project was inaugurated by Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on the occasion of Utkal Dibasa on April 1.

The Sun Temple’s beautification project has been undertaken at an estimate expenditure of Rs 45 crore. A reception room, information centre for tourists, cafeteria, a bus terminus with parking capacity of 60 buses, a car parking for 110 vehicles, an independent facility of two-three wheelers parking and pathway have also been constructed under the project.

“It is really beautiful here and one should come here to get an overview of Odia culture and art. The sculptures here is enthralling,” said a delighted tourist, Swati adding that she visits Odisha every year during her vacation.

“We have tried to create an ambience that will fascinate tourists as they enter the temple. Trees have been planted on both the sides of the pathway as the visitors enter the interpretation centre,” said CEO of IOCL, Subrat Verma.

“A welcome lobby, five galleries and an audio-visual auditorium have been built inside the interpretation centre. The galleries will depict the history of the Sun Temple as well as other temples of the State,” Verma said claiming that this is the first world heritage site in which such facilities have been provided.