Odisha to write to ASI on replacement of stones at Sun Temple

Bhubaneswar: Taking note of the allegations in media reports that some stones of Konark Sun Temple have been replaced, Odisha government has now decided bring such matter to the notice of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Such decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the Odisha Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda in Bhubaneswar today.

“We will write to ASI DG to convene the Konark steering committee meeting in Odisha where the action taken report based on the recommendations made in 1997 and 2010 in connection with the Sun Temple will be discussed,” said Panda.

Panda further informed that though ASI officials have refuted the allegations that not a single stone carving has been replaced, it has been decided to carry out the replacement of stones at Konark Sun temple with stone carving works similar to the method adopted for preservation of Humayun’s tomb in New Delhi.

Earlier yesterday, ASI had clarified that not a single stone carving has been replaced at the Sun Temple in Konark.

“ASI has never changed or replaced any stone at Sun Temple rather some stones have been used to fill the gaps. As per the request of the State government, we would request ASI DG to convene the steering committee meeting in Odisha,” said ASI Superintendent, Arun Mallick.

Mallick further informed that various issues including the action taken report as well as the waterlogging issue at Sun Temple will be discussed.

Earlier on Sunday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written to Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma over reports of replacement of stone carvings at Konark Sun Temple by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

In his letter, Patnaik had highlighted that as per a newspaper report, 40% of the artistic stone carvings of the existing Konark Sun Temple have been replaced by the Archaeological Survey of India with plain stones.

As the temple symbolizes Odia pride and reflects the ethical and emotional expressions of people, the Chief Minister has requested the Centre to take steps for preservation & conservation of the monument’s rich aesthetic value.