Puri: A replica of the Konark Sun temple would be constructed soon, said State Lalit Kala Akademi president Padmabibhusan Raghunath Mahapatra while inaugurating a five-day creative craft bazaar here on Wednesday.
Mohapatra, who hails from the Pathuraia (stone craft) community of Puri, said a hundred acres of land has been purchased for the project, the foundation-stone of which was laid in a simple ceremony last month. The site is located along side National Highway-316 near Chandanpur, near Puri.
An idol of Lord Aditya Narayan (a form of Sun god) would be installed as the presiding deity of the replica temple while all other features, including a 230-feet-high structure at par with the Konark temple’s main structure, would be retained.
Mohapatra said the blueprint of the temple has been laid and construction work would begin after a month. The structure would be visible to a 14-feet height from the surface within 18 months. About Rs 300 crore is estimated to complete the construction.
He said he has also been entrusted to construct a replica of the Puri Jagannath temple in America.
Scotching all speculations in various circles over his ability to erect a replica Sun Temple with such a gigantic height, Mohapatra said, “I belong to the traditional temple architect family whose ancestors were involved in construction of the Bhubaneswar Lingaraj Temple, the Puri Jagannath Temple and the Konrak Sun Temple. This new temple will be a reality soon.”
Mohapatra lauded the effort of Deviprasana Nanda for organising the Craft Bazaar and hoped that the artisans participating in it would be able to market their products in a big way. Ashok Kumar Mohanty, Assistant Director of the Handicrafts Directorate of the Union Government informed that next year a Gandhi Shram Mela would be held wherein more artisans would be able to market their products. Besides, a website is being launched soon to market globally their products remaining at home and get payment directly from customers to their bank accounts.