Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday urged the Culture Ministry to send an expert team for carrying out a detailed study and thorough scientific excavation of the Ekamra Kshetra area in the State capital Bhubaneswar.
In a letter to MoS (Independent) Culture & Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel, Pradhan said the Bhubaneswar Circle of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) recently chanced upon invaluable remains of a 10th-11th 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.
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.
Keeping in mind the immense archaeological, artistic, socio-cultural and religious importance of ancient Odisha’s temples, I request your personal intervention in directing the 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 said.