IIT Bhubaneswar Explores Secrets Of Building Materials And Architectural Marvels Of The Sun Temple 

IIT Bhubaneswar Explores Secrets Of Building Materials And Architectural Marvels Of The Sun Temple 

Bhubaneswar: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar recently hosted a one-day Symposium named ‘Konarka Manthan’, dedicated to exploring the secrets of the Building Materials and Architectural Wonders of the Sun Temple. Organized by the School of Minerals, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at IIT Bhubaneswar, the symposium delved deeply into this captivating subject, uncovering one of ancient India’s most remarkable engineering achievements.

The inaugural session was graced by distinguished guests including Prof. Kishore Kumar Basa, Chairperson of the National Monuments Authority (NMA), Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India; Dr. N. C Pal, OSD-cum-Engineer-in-Chief (Civil), PWD, Govt. of Odisha; and Prof. Shreepad Karmalkar, Director of IIT Bhubaneswar.

Dr. Soobhankar Pati, the Symposium Convenor, set the tone with a warm welcome address, while Prof. Karmalkar underscored the symposium’s significance in not only showcasing architectural marvels but also honoring the brilliance of our ancestors. He emphasized the innovative use of locally available materials like stone and iron beams in constructing the Sun Temple, reflecting the region’s rich technological heritage.

Prof. Basa provided insights into the historical context of monuments, emphasizing the role of collective memory in comprehending ancient constructions. Dr. N. C. Pal delved into Kalinga Architecture and ancient Odisha’s structural design concepts, highlighting the use of corrosion-resistant materials in temple construction. Prof. O.N. Mohanty, joining online, delved into Indian metallurgical science and the utilization of metals in ancient times, particularly focusing on the corrosion-resistant properties of iron beams in monuments.

IIT Bhubaneswar Explores Secrets Of Building Materials And Architectural Marvels Of The Sun Temple 

The technical session, led by experts such as Dr. Dibishada B. Garnayak, Dr. Sangeeta Mishra, Dr. Sunil Kumar Patnaik, and Dr. Siva Shankar Panda, encompassed topics from iron making to the history of sun worship.

Attendees gained valuable insights into metallurgical practices, the quality of iron produced, and the architectural significance of the Sun Temple. Discussions on the types of bricks used in ancient temples and the use of iron in Buddhist sites further enriched scholarly discourse.

Dr. Naresh Chandra Sahu extended a vote of thanks, acknowledging the contributions of all involved. Dr. Parthasarathi De, Co-convener of the symposium, also played a crucial role in organizing the program.

Furthermore, IIT Bhubaneswar is spearheading a research project titled “Forging the Past: Investigating the Manufacturing of Iron Beams Used in Konarka Sun Temple and Analyzing Their Socio-Economic Impact on the Local Community.” Endorsed by the Indian Knowledge System (IKS) under the Ministry of Education, Government of India, this project has secured funding under the Bharatiya Gyan Samvardhan Yojana’s Competitive Grants Program for 2022-23. It aims to uncover the manufacturing techniques of the iron beams at the Konarka Sun Temple, shedding light on India’s rich yet forgotten technological prowess and its socio-economic ramifications on the local community.