It is a stupendous temple dedicated to the Sun God in Konark, Orissa and still looks splendid and attracts hordes of pilgrims and tourists even in its ruined state. There are many sun temples in India but this one is most well known and loftiest of all. It was unearthed in the later part of the 19th century.
This temple was built by the King Narasimha Dev of Ganga dynasty as a memorial to a war victory. This temple city of Konark is situated 65 km away from Bhubaneshwar and 35 km from Puri. It is said that when this temple was built, the sea waves came up almost touched and washed its base whereas now it is situated at a distance of about 2 km from the sea.
Know More About The Temple
The detail and abundance of the sculptural work in the Sun Temple confuse you as you don’t know where to concentrate. On the intricacy of the figures or the architectural brilliance. The basic concept with which the temple has been built is to depict this temple as the chariot of the Sun God having 24 wheels in it which represents the 24 hours of the day.
It has seven sculptures of horses taking it forward and a staircase takes you to the main entrance. There are erotic carvings on the periphery of the base and on the walls and roof of the temple. The special that is a must-see here are the three images of Sun God that are positioned to catch the sun rays in the morning, noon and evening.
Experience The Architecture
The architectural style is Indo-Aryan or Nagar style which is different from the South Indian style of temples. The entire structure of the temple is full of carved figures, some of which are erotic in nature which signify the emergence of Tantric tradition in Hinduism. Today only Sabhamandap and Natamandir are the main parts that still remain of the temple. Today this temple is under the care of Archaeological Survey of India and is on the world heritage list.
Explore The Vacation Options
Every year, we can savour the Konark Dance Festival which is a huge draw for the cultural connoisseurs. This dance festival is organized in an open air theatre that is built near the Sun Temple. The distinguished classical dancers from all over India participate in this festival. While visiting this place, never miss to visit the Sun Temple Museum that has a good collection of antiques collected from the ruins of the Sun Temple.
You can see the sacred pond near the Konark beach where King Samba was cured of his leprosy. Every year during the full moon of Magha (January/ February) a religious festival is celebrated here which is called the Magha Saptami Mela or Chandrabhaga Mela.