Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan, inaugurated the world-class Interpretation Centre and tourist facilities at Konark Sun Temple at Konark today which coincides with Utkal Divas celebrationsin Odisha.Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Dharmendra Pradhan complimented The IndianOil Foundation (IOF), a non-profit trust fully funded by IndianOil Corporation (IndianOil), under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas,for developing the visitor-friendlyinfrastructure and associated facilities, including a state-of-the-artInterpretation Centre that showcases the unique architectural features of Konark Sun Temple.He said, that the Konark Sun Temple is Odisha’s pride and it is important that the world is made aware of thisarchitectural marvel, for which the Interpretation Centre is a step in that direction. He also complemented ShriRaghunath Mahapatra for recreating the sculptural wealth of Konark sun Templeat the Iinterpretation Centre for the benefit of both national & International visitors. He further said that the modern amenities that have been developed at the temple complex would attract more tourists in future.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director & UNESCO Representative to India; Shri Adwaita Charan Gadanayak, Director General, National Gallery of Modern Art; Shri Sanjiv Singh, Chairman, IndianOil; Shri JC Nakra,CMD, Engineers India Ltd., Padma Vibhushan Shri Raghunath Mahapatra; Padma ShriSudarshan Sahoo; Padma ShriPrabhakar Maharana; and Shri Ranjan Mahapatra,Director (HR), IndianOil.Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi,Director&UNESCORepresentative to India, said that UNESCO is continuously working for the preservation of heritage monuments, like the Sun Temple at Konark, across the world. He hoped that the Interpretation Centre will not only educate the tourists about the rich history of the temple but will also throw light on the natural and cultural heritage of Odisha.Mr. Sanjiv Singh, Chairman, IndianOil, in his welcome address, said that IndianOil is proud to do its bit for the protection, preservation and promotion of Indian’s glorious cultural heritage and its heritage monuments.Billed as an architecturalmarvel of Eastern India and an exceptional symbol of India's glorious cultural heritage, the Sun Temple of Konark in Odisha is one of the important tourist attractions in the region.