Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Nov.25 : A temple dedicated to the Sun God and having a number of old idols here, is close to losing its grandeur because of continued official apathy.
Located in Turkpatti Village, the Sun Temple is about 18 kilometres from Kushinagar. It was built by the local villagers after a huge and exquisitively carved idol of Surya (the Sun God) made of black stone,was discovered while tilling a piece of land.
The temple has idols belonging to the 4th, 5th, 8th and 9th centuries and is visited by villagers and tourists with deep respect and revernce.
"I had heard a lot about this temple, as it is some years old. Such an idol was not even found in the sun temple in Konark as I visited that as well. I am more than happy to see this historical monument," said Manish Mishra, a devotee.
Villagers today look after the temple. At times they collect funds for repair work.
Villagers are, however, annoyed with the tourism and the archaeological department of the state, as the authorities have hardly made any efforts towards the development of the temple.
Local residents also complain that despite the temple being a draw among tourists from different parts of the country, there is no provision for them to stay here. Neither there is any sitting arrangement nor for drinking water in the temple premises.
All these arrangement prove a major discouragement for tourists arriving here.
"It is sad that the entire authorities talk about tourism but do nothing. If we try and develop this temple people from all over the world would visit this temple. The entire money has been raised by villagers; the government has not given any funds except the money that the government gave to construct the four walls of the temple," said Sudama Vishvakarma, the temple priest.
The absence of any security measures at the temple is also a major concern for all the local residents. As a result of which the Surya idol of the temple that holds a great historical value had been lost lost but later recoverd by the authorities.
The local authorities have perhaps learnt no lesson and done previous little for the temple. Perhaps, they are waiting for anything unexpected to take place.