3rd Day of World Congress of Poets; Odisha is Wonderland of Pluralism: R. Balakrishnan

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Bhubaneswar: On the third day of the 39th World Congress of Poets, being hosted by Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, writers and poets from 82 countries participated in the ‘Tourism Poetry’ session at Konark Sun Temple. Special Lecture by Shri R. Balakrishnan, Chief Advisor, Chief Minister’s Office, Odisha on the topic ‘Konark – The Known and the Unknown’ was the main attraction of the day. Konark Sun Temple is a multi-layered odyssey and a magnificent example of Kalinga architecture, he said.

Among other well-known specialties, the temple has the icon of Sun God wearing a horse rider’s high shoes, a giraffe in Konark panels and two genetic types of elephants on the walls of Konark, elaborated Shri Balakrishnan, who is also a noted Indologist. Welcoming the poet-delegates to Odisha, he said, “Poetry is an important medium to promote art, culture, tradition and tourism. Odisha is a wonderland of pluralism as mentioned in the Puranas. The state is rich in art, culture and tradition”.

He urged the poets to promote Odisha’s art, culture and tradition through poetry in their languages so that people across the world would know about Odisha’s rich heritage. There are many monumental tourist spots in Odisha like Konark. These monumental tourist spots need to be promoted. Konark is the best monumental work of the world, he added.

Shri R. Balakrishnan, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, has published books and journals on history especially that of Odisha and Indus Valley Civilization. Because of his scholarly reflections and discoveries on Indus Valley Civilization, he has also been awarded Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by Periyar Maniammai University. His research papers on Konark; ancient links between Kalinga and Indonesia; Genesis of Sun Worship in Odisha; and plural foundations of Jagannath Culture, etc. have brought many unknown facets of Odishan history to world intelligentsia-forum.

He has also guided and shaped many important Government publications like “The Cultural Atlas of Odisha”, “Charles Grome’s Report on the Temple on Jagannath”, “Nabakalebara-2015 – A Visual Grandeur”, “80 Years of Odisha Budget’ and “Listening Window” of OKH Lecture series. His recent book ‘Abadha Padachinha’ is the Odia translation of his research articles on Odisha.

Prof. Ernesto Kahan, First Vice President, World Academy of Arts & Culture (WAAC), USA delivered the welcome address, while Dr. María Eugenia Soberanis, General Secretary, WAAC proposed the vote of thanks.

Poetry recitation session in English, Chinese, Spanish and Regional Languages was held during the 3rd day. The poet delegates from 82 countries visited Konark Temple and appreciated the architectural excellence of the monument.

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