Dharmendra Requests Tourism Minister To Include Pure Jagannath, Konark Temples In List Of Iconic Tourism Sites

Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has written a letter to the Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel requesting him to include the Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri and the Sun Temple of Konark in the proposed list of Iconic Tourism Sites that the government intends to develop.

In the letter, Dharmendra wrote “As you are aware Odisha is home to several wonderful culture and natural heritage sites amongst which Sun Temple in Konark and the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri are holiest pilgrimage and attractive tourist destinations due to their religious, cultural and architectural importance.

The social fabric of Odisha is held together by seams of rich cultural history and devotion to Lord Jagannath. The Jagannath temple at Puri is the ceremonial home of Odisha’s most revered deity Lord Jagannath and one of the four holiest Dhams of the Hindus. Hosts of the Iconic Ratha Yatra, the Puri Jagannath Temple is unifying beacon of Odisha’s quintessential Jagannath cult. The Konark Sun Temple, the 13th century marvel is acknowledged as the zenith of Odishan architechture and recognized globally as UNESCO World Heritage site. Together with Bhubaneswar, Puri, and Konark form Odisha golden triangle attracting millions of tourists and pilgrims from around the world and breathing incarnations of Odisha’s socio cultural identity.

The minister sought the Culture Minister’s personal intervention into the matter as keeping in mind the paramount historical, cultural and religious importance of Sun Temple in Konark and Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri for the people of Odisha.

It is worth mentioning here that the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed in the Budget for FY 2019-20 for development of 17 tourism sites from across the country into world class tourist destinations. The list did not include a single site from Odisha. The proposed Iconic Sites would enhance visitor experience which would lead to increased footfalls.

Earlier Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also expressed his unhappiness for non inclusion of any of the tourist places of Odisha in the list. Also, he had written a letter to the Culture Minister on July 10 urging to include at least two tourist places of importance in the list.

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