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New Konark temple to become reality: Raghunath Mohapatra

THE ASIAN AGE. | AKSHAYA KUMAR SAHOO
Published : Jul 16, 2018, 1:55 am IST
Updated : Jul 16, 2018, 1:55 am IST

Mohapatra gave all the credits to Lord Jagannath and expressed his gratitude to President of India Ram Nath Kovind for nominating him to Rajya Sabha.

Raghunath Mohapatra
 Raghunath Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s famous sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, who was on Saturday nominated by President Ram Nath Kovind as Rajya Sabha member, on Sunday said construction of second Konark temple in Odisha was his “ultimate” goal.

Mr Mohapatra has already purchased 100 acres of land with his own money near pilgrim city Puri where he wants to build Konark Temple which is originally known as Sun Temple.

The sculptor believes the second temple, once completed will provide the present and future generations the insights about the original Sun Temple built in the 13th century.

What the tourists see now at Konark is the Jagamohan or frontal portion of the Sun Temple. The main structure, according to historians, is believed to have been destroyed due to vagaries of nature.

Considered as one of the seven wonders of India and sculptural magnificence by Indian artists, - the Sun Temple was built by King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of the Ganga dynasty. As many as 1200 artisans led by Bishu Moharana, the key architect, were engaged in the construction of the temple that lasted for 12 years – from 1243-1255 A.D.

“Apart from Konark temple, I have no other aspiration to work on in future. I will propose the Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the plan. Once completed, the temple will showcase the world India’s rich sculptural wisdom,” he told reporters after offering prayer to Lord Lingaraj here in Bhubaneswar.

Mr Mohapatra, who is known for his contribution towards preservation of traditional sculpture and ancient monuments, was earlier conferred on the country’s second highest civilian award Padma Vibhushan. He has been working on the project in the past four years.

However, the funds pose as the big hindrance to complete the huge-budget construction.

“I have been continuing my efforts in the past four year to meet my dream. I have bought 100 acres land from my hard-earned money. After I step into the Parliament, I will approach Prime Minister about my mission for financial assistance for construction of a new Konark temple in Odisha,” Mr Mohapatra said.

After being nominated to the Rajya Sabha, Mohaptra will approach the government for executing the plan to meet his mission.

Mr Mohapatra gave all the credits to Lord Jagannath and expressed his gratitude to President of India Ram Nath Kovind for nominating him to Rajya Sabha.

Notably, the President on Saturday nominated four persons including Odissi exponent Sonal Mansingh and sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra to Rajya Sabha.

Earlier, Mr Mohapatra had contested the Rajya Sabha polls on February 7, 2014 as a BJD backed independent candidate. However, he lost the poll and Congress candidate Ranjib Biswal won the seat.

Tags: ram nath kovind, konark temple
Location: India, Odisha, Bhubaneswar