Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has sought urgent intervention of Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel to preserve the rich cultural and architectural heritage of the country by protecting centuries old temples in Bhubaneswar.
In his letter to Union Minister, Culture, Mr.Prdhan said the Bhubaneswar Circle of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) recently chanced upon invaluable remains of a 10th-l1th Somavamshi period temple floor on north-west corner of the Sari temple, while carrying out scientific cleaning of the two-acre land adjacent to the Suka-Sari temple complex in the heritage Ekamra Kshetra of ‘temple-town’ Bhubaneswar.
Suka-Sari temple complex and Lord Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar are protected by ASI under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR Act).
“There is an urgent need to act quickly in order to salvage and preserve what remains of this priceless ancient Odishan architecture,” Mr.Pradhan told Minister Culture.
The ASI also discovered two other structures, believed to be the remains of small shrines, and a portion of the Sari temple.
These findings have led ASI experts to believe that the Sari temple complex was built on the Panchayatana model where the main temple is surrounded by four subsidiary shrines. This means that there is a high chance of additional heritage structures lying buried under encroachments in the Ekamra Kshtera, Mr.Pradhan said.
“Keeping in mind the immense archaeological, artistic, socio-cultural and religious importance of ancient Odisha’s temples, I request your personal intervention in directing Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to send an expert team to Bhubaneswar for carrying out a detailed study and thorough scientific excavation of the Ekamra Kshetra area in Bhubaneswar for unearthing heritage structures which may lie buried under encroachments on an expedient basis,” Pradhan told Union Minister Patel.