Acclaimed sculptor Padma Vibhushan Raghunath Mohapatra has come up with a sketch for a second Sun Temple to replicate the 13th century Konark temple in Odisha.
With no positive signals coming from any government agencies to his repeated requests for construction of the second Sun Temple in Odisha, Raghunath Mohapatra has decided to build his dream structure on his own strength.
Mohapatra said: “I am worried about the future of the Sun Temple, which is known as the black pagoda. With everyone’s support, I want to build a second temple like the Sun Temple. Nearly 500 sculptors will be needed to turn my dream into reality.”
“The temple is under threat and anything can happen to the structure,” he added. At present, scaffoldings support the temple’s structure as stones continue to peel off from different parts. The Jagmohan (prayer hall) is also in a half-broken state.
The temple, proposed to come up along the Bhubaneswar-Puri highway, will be known as Aditya Narayan Temple. “The project is estimated to cost nearly Rs 600 crore and it will take 8 years to complete. The height of both temples will be the same,” he said.
Speaking to reporters in Puri, the sculptor, Mr Mohapatra, on Wednesday said he was negotiating with local people for purchase of the required land. To query about the fund required for the project, the sculptor said, “I have support of the people of Odisha and culture lovers of other states. I don’t think fund will be a constraint.”
At Konark, the visitors now see only a portion of the Sun Temple that was built in the 13th century by Ganga King Narasingha Dev I. The main structure has got destroyed due to some unspecific reasons. Though there are no historical evidences about the cause of the collapse of the main temple, some researchers claim that it might have been razed to the ground by “ invaders” in the 15th century.
Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the country, Konark stands testimony to Utkaliya (Odishan) form of stone art.