A day after being nominated to the Rajya Sabha, renowned sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra on Sunday said that his dream of creating a replica of the famous Sun Temple in Konark will now become a reality.
Though many people termed his dream project as an impossible job, the art work would pick up now to present the second Sun Temple to the country, Mohapatra said after paying obeisance at Lingaraj Temple here.
“I have been making efforts to create a new Konark temple for quite some time. Now I think I am moving closer towards translating this dream into a reality,” Mohapatra told reporters here.
The eminent stone artist, who has been honoured with Padma Vibhushan for his contribution towards preservation of ancient monuments and architectural structures, said that he is hopeful that the Centre and Odisha government would support him in his mission.
Stating that his entry into the Parliament would boost his proposed project in a big way, Mohapatra said he would approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the much needed assistance for implementation of the ambitious plan.
Constructed in the 13th century, the Sun Temple at Konark in Puri district was conceived as a gigantic chariot of the Sun God with 12 pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses.
However, most of the structures of the temple are now in ruins.
Mohapatra expressed his gratitude to President Ram Nath Kovind for nominating him to the Rajya Sabha.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who accompanied Mohapatra, extended support to the sculptor’s ambitious project and said the whole country would back his endeavour.
Stating that the people of Odisha have high regards for Mohapatra and his achievements, Pradhan said that his presence in Delhi will represent Odishas culture and people.
The ruling BJD also extended support to Mohapatra’s plan to create a second Konark temple, but asked Pradhan to refrain from playing politics over Konark temple.
The BJD has always been supporting Odisha’s language, art and culture and, any plans aimed to take them forward, BJD Spokesperson Sasmit Patra said.
However, the Union minister should not politicise Konark temple, he said.