10 August 2019
Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs from Odisha have requested Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel to include the Jagannath temple in Puri and Sun Temple in Konark in the list of India's Iconic Tourist Sites.
In a letter to the Union Minister, released to media on Friday, the MPs have sought his personal intervention for the inclusion of both temples in the project with suitable budgetary provisions for their comprehensive development.
"We are in appreciation of your Ministry's initiative of developing 17 tourism sites across the country under the Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman."
"We seek your personal intervention for the inclusion of Lord Jagannath temple in Puri and the Konark Sun Temple in the project with suitable budgetary provisions for their comprehensive development," the letter read.
The MPs informed the Union Minister that both temples are among the holiest pilgrimages and most attractive tourist destinations owing to their religious, cultural and architectural importance.
"The matchless mix of heritage and spirituality makes the Jagannath temple in Puri and Sun Temple in Konark truly iconic among the country's greatest tourist attraction places," they said.
The lawmakers said the inclusion of both the temples in the list will be a moment of great pride for the people of Odisha.
Earlier, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had sought the intervention of the Union Tourism Minister for the inclusion of the two sites.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also written a letter to the Centre after no site from the state found a place in the Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project.