Konark: Tourists visiting Konark can now get an obstruction-free view of the majestic Sun Temple from a distance.
The shops on the road leading to the 13th century monument have been cleared and landscaping done, paving the way for a clear view of the UNESCO world heritage site.
Handicrafts and souvenir shops were lined up on either side of the road leading to the monument. The shops have been evicted from the prohibited zone of the monument and many have been temporarily relocated to an alternative site nearby where they continue their business.
As per records, 300 makeshift shops were operating within the prohibited zone in violation of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act (1958).
Separate entry and exit points too have been planned. Tourists will enter the site through east gate (interpretation centre side) and exit through the gate on Nabagraha temple side to move towards the main road. People now enter and exit from the same route leading to congestion during tourism season.
Earlier this year, Odisha Government had prepared a draft architectural plan for Konark heritage corridor project.
As per the draft plan, all roads connecting the Sun Temple will be developed, the 305 km outer ring road of Konark will be converted to six-lane and landscaping will be taken up on the 30 acre of land in front of the temple.
Some other works in draft plan include, construction of an attractive entry plaza to welcome tourists; a multi-modal hub for parking of vehicles; renovation of open-air theatre on the temple premises.