BHUBANESWAR: The world famous Konark temple in Odisha is a multi-national product, says former IAS officer turned indologist  R Balakrishnan.

The Odisha cadre IAS officer who retired last month as development commissioner said the Sun God at Konark wearing a horse rider’s high shoes, a giraffe in Konark panel, two genetic type elephants on the walls, an association of the name Chandrabhaga with Konark temple and many other evidences lead to believe that the Black Pagoda of India is a multi-national product. 

Balakrishnan, while delevering the 19th lecturer of Odisha Knowledge Hub Lecture series, her on Saturday, said, “History is a narrative,” and added,  “Oral history and collective memory in different parts of Indus Valley civilization have not been appropriately built into the literature of history.

“History is not just essential, it is inescapable.”  Study of history is essential for rooting the people and events in their right perspective, he asserted opining that  “Rootless people are often ruthless people”. 

Balakrishnan said there is always an element of ‘narration and story-telling’ in history. Each tribe, community and institution has a story to tell which adds to the treasure of history.

The development commissioner, Asit Tripathy, said Balakrishnan who is making a serious study into Indus valley civilization, follows a multi-disciplinary approach to map the post Indus migrations and trace the carried-forward legacies of Harappan culture. Balakrishnan has been awarded Doctorate of Letter(Honoris Causa) by Periyar Maniammai University for his scholarly reflections and discoveries on Indus valley civilization.

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 during contemporary times.
Balakrishnan 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.