Bhubaneswar, February 3: 5th International Biennial Conference of Indian Heritage Network (IHCN) was opened up in Odisha signifying socio-cultural heritage surrounding art and craft of India which will go on for three days. International Biennial Conference of Indian Heritage Network was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Addressing the inaugural session CM Patnaik said that “along with the development of modern amenities and facilities, our cities should also be vibrant with the socio-cultural life, centred on heritage, art and craft.’’ The outcome of the dialogue series is to arrive at policy-level recommendations to address the issues relevant to Odisha and also to raise awareness and be a platform for advocacy.
“There are several cities in India and abroad where this has been done and I am hopeful that the conference will be a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices in this field. At the same time, I also hope more cultural sites of Odisha to come into the purview of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. My Government is committed towards taking steps towards identifying, preserving and protecting these sites through listing and documentation, preparation of tourism promotion and conservation plans and developing the heritage resource management plan,’’ he observed.
Further CM observed that “Odisha is known for its rich cultural heritage, with Bhubaneswar at the centre stage. Our Kalingan style of temple architecture, as can be seen in places around Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark, dates back to the 7th Century A.D and is a great attraction to the people visiting the state. Some of our monuments such as the Sun Temple at Konark, the Jain caves at Khandagiri and Udayagiri have literally preserved our glorious history over thousands of years. Bhubaneswar’s cultural heritage is epitomized by Ekamra Khestra, which has been the cultural capital over the centuries.’’
“Our monuments and the associated cultural activities play an important role in the lives of people of Odisha and give them a special identity. It is thus necessary to create awareness on our cultural heritage, their protection and preservation from the continuous onslaught of development and its related effect. While developing the Smart City of Bhubaneswar we are laying equal emphasis on preservation of its cultural identity and heritage and also on the promotion of tourism,’’ he added.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated a students’ competition on theme “Smart strategies for maintaining the culture and identity of historic cities”.