Konark Sun Temple: The 13th Century Temple of Odisha
Konark Sun Temple is one of the ancient temples in Odisha, dating back to the 13th century. Narasimhadeva I, the King of Eastern Ganga Dynasty had built it in 1250. Opt for trip to Konark Sun Temple to explore artistic architecture of bygone era.
This stunning World Heritage Monument is built in the shape of a huge chariot with carved wheels that are drawn by seven horses. The temple portrays ‘the majestic stride of Sun God.’ The European sailors called it as the ‘Black Pagoda’.
Visit Konark Sun Temple especially during dawn and you will witness the world’s most beautiful sight. Built in typical Kalinga style of architecture, the temple is famous the erotic sculptures carved on its outer walls.
Following are the main attractions of Konark Sun Temple
The main temple is called as ‘Vimana.’ It is intended to house the presiding deity of the temple.
Due to the excess weight and poor soil quality of the area, its tower fell in 1837.
The monument is made of Khondalite rocks. It was once the biggest building in the temple complex.
This temple is unarguably the best scientific marvel in India. The intricately carved wheels of the temple can be used to calculate time. Interestingly, the seven horses of the chariot represent the seven days of the week, while 12 wheels depict the 12 months of the year.
It is the 30m tall audience hall built in Nagara style. The structure has managed to survive in the ruins. However, it is not accessible to the visitors. The roof of the hall consists of 3 horizontal tiers with colossal female sculptures of unmatched charm on each tier. It is the one of the few parts of the temple that has managed to survive in the ruins.
This beautiful dance hall is placed in front of the Jagamohana hall and is also elaborately carved. Erotic carvings are seen around the base of the sanctum and also on its walls and the roof. There are interesting patterns of animals, leaves, men and warriors.
Mayadevi is believed to be the wife of Lord Surya. Standing to the west of the main sanctum, this temple is conveniently called as the Temple number 2. Presumably, it was built even before the main temple. It was discovered in 1909 while excavating the area. Alike the other temples, it also has a ‘jagamohana’ and a ‘vimana.’ Though the temple is named after Mayadevi, the evidences indicate that this temple could have been of Lord Surya himself.
Konark Archaeological Museum
Located in the northern side of the main temple, this museum contains the ruins and archaic sculptures discovered during the excavation of the site. There are four galleries exhibiting 260 different antiquities recovered during the excavation of the Sun Temple.
Konark Dance Festival
The striking ruins of the temple come to life during the Konark Dance Festival held in December. Eminent classical dancers from around the country gather to pay tribute to this raison d'etre of Odisha.
An open air theatre is set under the sky, illuminated by the backdrop of the temple.
Excursions from Konark Sun Temple
Konark Beach(3.5km), Puri(35km) Pipili(45km), Kakatpur (45km) and Bhubaneswar(65km)are some of the nearby sites to explore.
How to Reach
Air: Bhubaneswar Airport (64km) is the nearest airport linked to all major parts of the country.
Rail: The nearest railhead is in Puri, 31km away from the temple. The station receives train from almost every part of the state.
Road: Bus, taxi or private cab can be taken from any part of the state to reach the site.
So, book for Konark Sun Temple Tour today and experience the charm of the old rustic world. The trip will touch your soul and leave you craving for more.
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