Bhubaneswar: Famous quote by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on Sun Temple Konark “the language of stone surpasses the language of man” proved right on Monday when the delegates from several Indian Ocean Rim Countries visiting Odisha for the International Conference on “India and Indian Ocean: Renewing the Maritime Trade and Civilisational Linkages” visited the Black Pagoda at Konark.
“The beauty and grandeur of the place is just spellbinding. The magnificent creativity and artistic carvings on stone made Konark as one of the wonders in the World,” said Professor Chotima Chaturawong, Faculty of Architecture, Silpakorn University, Thailand who attended the three day International conference at Bhubaneswar. After visiting this historical place, I came to know about the very interesting legend that it took 1,200 sculptors to work non-stop for 12 years to build the shrine, but when they failed to finish it, a small boy, son of a sculptor, took it upon him and fixed the final stone atop the structure, added Prof Chaturawong, who visited the Sun Temple for the first time.
The visitors got nostalgic seeing the magnificent art work of Black Pagoda. Le Lein Thi, Institute of Archaeology, Vietnam who made her first visit to Konark said “The fact about the Sun Temple like the entire structure, resembling a colossal chariot with 12 pairs of wheels, lavishly sculpted with symbolic motifs and pulled by seven horses, was so designed to let the first rays of the sun fall on the main entrance is really classic and fabulous.”
After Konark, delegates took a splash at The Bay of Bengal, the largest bay in the world which also forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean.
After completion of the three day conference a team of 55 Indian and foreign delegates including researchers and scholars from several IOR Countries attending the International Conference visited the Odisha Maritime Museum at Cuttack earlier in the day on Monday as part of site seeing tour.
Radhika Seshan, a Historian from University of Pune, after visiting the maritime museum at Cuttack) was all praise of the extensive exhibits at the Odisha maritime museum. Impressed with the exhibits at the museum she said “I have not seen anything like this before. It offers a comprehensive perspective of the state’s maritime heritage. The galleries display rare peeps into the maritime history, including boat-building techniques, maritime rituals and traditions, navigation, monuments along the Odisha coast, a boat display shed and a repair jetty”.
The visitors also enjoyed the aquarium at State Maritime Museum featuring 11 species of fish from Odisha and abroad. The three-day international conference was jointly organised by Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCS) and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) witnessed astounding success from the participants and scholars.