Bhubaneswar: The famous Black Pagoda, the Sun temple in Konark in Puri district of Odisha is to be included to the ‘Iconic Sites’ list of 19 monuments, informed Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel while replying to a query asked by BJD MP Sasmit Patra in the Rajya Sabha yesterday. Accordingly, the Sun temple will be developed as an iconic site by the Centre.
The Union Minister further said that the Statue of Unity in Gujarat and the Sun temple in Odisha will be included to the said list as the total number of monuments in the list is to be raised from 17 to 19.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech for 2019-20 fiscal had announced allocations to develop infrastructure at 17 famous tourist places across the country to develop these monuments as iconic sites. However, the Sun Temple in Konark was not in this list. While it had had created resentment among Odisha people then, later Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik had written the Centre to add the monument to the list.