`The Rath’ in Biju Patnaik Park: Tata Steel’s ode to Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Konark is not only the only UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site in Odisha, but centuries after centuries it has influenced the creative progress of the state, with its unique wheels, representing the pace of development in the region.
Not only a creative marvel, but Konark always remains the enigma among the engineering brains as it represented the typical architectural and engineering ideas of the architects of ancient Kalinga. Taking the same momentum a little forward, architect Nuru Karim has designed a steel sculpture “The Rath’’ in order to celebrate the long-standing association of industrial giant Tata Steel as it has been a companion through the times and tides with the industrial evolution of the region, which is also blessed with a natural deposit of India’s best kept mineral wealth.
As the Sun Temple of Konark represents the epitome of Odishan temple building tradition and engineering ideas in a challenging location on-sea near Chandrabhaga, the temple has been built in the form of a giant ornamented wheel chariot, a ‘rath’ of the Sun God, Surya. The temple has 12 pairs of carved stone wheels, some of which are 3 meters high, creating a sense of motion. The temple with its WHS status remains a constant source of pride for the people of the State.
Deriving its ideology from the perennial motion of the Sun and the temple architecture dedicated to it, the installation of steel ‘The Rath’ in Biju Patnaik Park in the State Capital draws its inspiration from the great temple, to project an image of persistent motion and continuing progress. The wheels of the ancient temple are set in motion, to generate the torque induced rising form of the `Rath’.
`The Rath’, the steel monument with a community connect; will be Tata Steel’s ode to Odisha, the land intricately associated with the organisation’s history. The steel monument is a structure with a height of 5 mtr and width of 10 mtr.
It can be mentioned here that in the last Century, Tata Steel has been associated with some of the most prominent iconic structures of India, The Howrah Bridge, Kolkata; Worli Sea Link, Mumbai and Butterfly Park, Bengaluru, to name a few. The steel for the same has been majorly sourced from Tata Steel. As an ode to the city of Mumbai, Tata Steel has installed an award winning steel sculpture depicting the Gandhian Chakra at the Oval Maidan. With all the noted structures speaking about the legacy of the company and its association with the Indian society, Bhubaneswar Development Authority’s Biju Patnaik Park becomes another addition to the iconic steel maker’s ode to the State.

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