Sculptor Raghunath optimistic about construction of second Konark temple

Bhubaneswar: A day after being nominated to the Rajya Sabha by President Ram Nath Kovind, eminent sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra today said that he was optimistic about his dream project of constructing a second Konark temple in Odisha.

Mohapatra, after paying obeisance to Lord Shiva at the Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar here sought cooperation from both the State government and the Centre for the project.

“Construction of the second Konark Temple is my dream. I want to revive the art work, which has been billed as impossible by many. I wish to build the second Sun Temple and present it to the country,”said Mohapatra.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who also visited the temple along with Mohapatra extended his support to the project.

“He has planned to construct a second Konark temple and we Odias have high regards for him and his achievements. His presence in Delhi will surely represent Odisha’s culture and people,” Pradhan said.

Lending support to Mohapatra’s plans, BJD urged the Union Minister to refrain from politicising the Konark temple.

“BJD has always been supportive of Odisha’s language, art and culture and to any plans that intend to take them forward,” said Sasmit Patra, BJD spokesperson adding that Pradhan should refrain from playing politics on Konark temple.

Mohapatra is famous for his contribution towards preservation of traditional sculptures and ancient monuments. He has also worked on the beautification of the Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri. He was earlier awarded Padma Shri in 1975 and Padma Bhushan & Padma Vibhushan in 2001 and 2013, respectively.