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Konark Sun Temple

Context:

Konark, which occupies a prominent place in India’s tourism map due to the Sun Temple, is going to be the first model town in Odisha to shift from grid dependency to green energy.

Relevance

Focus: GSI – Architecture

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About Konark Temple
  2. Achieving Net Zero

About Konark Temple

  • Konark was built by King Narasimhadeva I of the Ganga Dynasty (1238-1264AD) in the 13th century and is located in Eastern Odisha near the sacred city of Puri.
  • The temple is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot. It is dedicated to the sun God.
  • There are two rows of 12 wheels on each side of the Konark sun temple.
  • The seven horses are said to symbolize the seven days of the week.
  • The temple was used as a navigational point by European sailors. They referred to it as the ‘Black Pagoda’ due to its dark colour and its magnetic power that drew ships into the shore and caused shipwrecks.
  • It is the culmination of Odisha temple architecture.
  • It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984.

Achieving Net Zero

Odisha plans to make the coastal temple town a 100 per cent solar town and also place it among India’s first few zero emission cities or towns

  • Konark’s transition to renewable energy is part of an ambitious plan by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
  • The Rs 25-crore programme aims to ensure all energy needs of Konark Temple and Konark town are met by solar power.
  • Another project is the Sun Temple at Modhera in Gujarat.
  • The work in Konark is being carried out with the active collaboration of the state government.
  • The OREDA (Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency), a nodal agency of the Government of Odisha, which is executing the project, plans to transform Konark into a zero emission city by December 2022.
  • Most of the targeted installation of 300 kilowatt (KW) solar panels in and around Konark has been completed. This includes:
    • 50 solar-powered streetlights
    • 40 drinking water ATMs
    • 20 battery-operated Vehicles with charging points
    • A 50 KW solar power plant installed near the temple for illumination

-Source: Down to Earth

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