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The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has taken up the Complete Solarisation of Konark sun temple and Konark town in Odisha.
- Government of India launched the Scheme with an objective to develop the historical Sun temple town of Konark in Odisha as ‘Surya Nagri’, to convey a message of synergy between the modern use of solar energy and the ancient Sun Temple and the importance of promoting solar energy.
- The Scheme envisages setting up of 10 MW grid connected solar project and various solar off-grid applications like solar trees, solar drinking water kiosks, off-grid solar power plants with battery storage etc.
- The Project will be taken up with a 100% Central Financial Assistance (CFA) support of around Rs. 25 Crores from Government of India through Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE).
- Implementation of this Project will be done by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA).
- The Scheme will meet all the energy requirements of Konark town with solar energy.
Konark Sun Temple
- Konark Sun Temple (Surya Mandira) is a 13th-century CE Sun temple at Konark northeast from Puri on the coastline of Odisha, India, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
- The temple is said to be built in the13th century by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1238-1264) of the eastern Ganga Dynasty.
- The Konark Sun Temple was built from stone in the form of a giant ornamented chariot dedicated to the Sun god, Surya.
- It marks the highest point of achievement of Kalinga architecture, known for architectural grandeur and intricacy of sculptural work.
- It has 24 elaborately carved stone wheels which are nearly 12 feet in diameter and are pulled by a set of seven horses.
- It is one among the three famous stone chariots in India-
- Konark Sun Temple, Odissa,
- Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, and
- Hampi Chariot, Karnataka.
- When viewed from inland during the dawn and sunrise, the chariot-shaped temple appears to emerge from the depths of the blue sea carrying the sun.
Architecture of the Konark Sun Temple
- The temple follows the traditional style of Kalinga architecture.
- It is oriented towards the east so that the first rays of the sunrise strike the main entrance.
- The temple plan includes all the traditional elements of a Hindu temple set on a square plan.
- The main temple at Konark, locally called the deul, no longer exists. It was surrounded by subsidiary shrines containing niches depicting Hindu deities, particularly Surya in many of his aspects. The original temple had a main sanctum sanctorum (vimana).
- The surviving structure has three tiers of six pidas each. These diminish incrementally and repeat the lower patterns.
- The stone temple was made from three types of stone. Chlorite, Laterite and Khondalite.