Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday sought the intervention of Union Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel in carrying out a detailed scientific excavation of the heritage-rich Ekamra Kshetra in Bhubaneswar.
In a letter to Patel, Pradhan urged him to direct the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to send an expert team for carrying out a detailed study and thorough scientific excavation of the Ekamra Kshetra area of Bhubaneswar for unearthing heritage structures which may be buried under encroachments.
The move came after the Bhubaneswar circle of the ASI recently discovered the remains of a 10th or 11th century Somvanshi period temple floor at the north-west corner of Sari temple here.
The ASI team was carrying out scientific cleaning of the two-acre plot adjacent to the Suka-Sari temple complex in Ekamra Kshetra.
The Suka-Sari temple complex and Lord Lingaraj in Bhubaneswar are protected by the 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,” said Pradhan.
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, informed Pradhan.
“This means that there is a high chance of additional heritage structures lying buried under encroachments in the Ekamra Kshetra,” he added.