Pradhan Requests To Include Odisha’s Jagannath, Sun Temple In List Of Iconic Tourism Sites

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Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has requested Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel to include the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri and Sun Temple in Konark in the Union Government’s list of 17 Iconic Tourism Sites.

“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, I request your personal intervention for inclusion of Sun Temple in Konark and Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri in the Iconic Tourist Sites,” stated Pradhan in a letter to Patel on Thursday.

Union Finance Minister’s Budget announcement for FY 2019-20 spelt out the plan for developing 17 tourism sites across the country into world class tourist destinations and to serve as a model for other tourism sites. The Iconic Tourism Sites would enhance visitor experience which would lead to increase visits of both domestic and international tourists at these destinations.

In his letter Pradhan has asserted that Odisha is home to several wonderful cultural and natural heritage sites amongst which Sun Temple in Konark and 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 for Hindus. Host of the iconic Rath Yatra, the Puri Jagnnath Temple is unifying beacon of Odisha’s quintessential Jagannath cult,” stated Pradhan.

“The Konark Sun Temple, the 13th century marvel is acknowledged as the zenith of Odishan architecture 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 are breathing incarnations of Odisha’s socio-cultural identity,” he added.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also, expressing anguish over omission of important tourist places of Odisha from the Union Government’s list of 17 Iconic Tourism Sites, had dashed a letter to Patel on July 10 urging to include at least two tourist places of importance in the list. 

BJD MP Sasmit Patra had also reiterated the demand of the Chief Minister by bringing a Special Mention Notice in the Rajya Sabha on July 18.