Because of its astounding architectural significance, The Sun Temple in Konark in Odisha is included in UNESCO World Heritage Site. NDTV and The Times of India, both, also included the Temple in their popular list of Seven Wonders of India.
|Sun Temple at Konark in Odisha - UNESCO World Heritage Site|
Built by: King Narasimhadeva I
Built in: 13th century
Highlights: Architecture, interior and exterior drawings and paintings, Eastern gateway, Decorations, Nata Mandir, Religious processions
How to Reach: The Sun Temple in Konark is located 63 km from Bhubaneswar Airport. From the airport, you can avail any means of transport to make your way to the Temple. It is situated at a distance of 31 km from Puri Railway Station. From the railway station, the tourists can avail taxis or cabs to reach the sun Temple. The roads are well connected to the Temple.
Best time to visit: Due to the unbearable heat during the summers in Konark, the best time to visit Sun Temple in Konark is during comparatively cooler months of October to March.
Entry Fee: Rupees 10 per person for Indians and 250 Rupees per person for foreign tourists (children up to 15 years free).
Timings: All days of the week 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
There are numerous trees surrounding the tree including mahogany, rosewood, eel etc. The temple had been ruined by various attacks done during earlier times. The uprooted stones and distorted images are still present inside the walls of the temple today.
|Sculpted Wheel at the Sun Temple, Konark|
Lots of walls are also covered with erotic paintings putting on display women in extremely seductive poses and each of the paintings tells a story to the tourists. The tourists can also view the remnants of Mahagayitri temple and Vaishnava Temple.
|Entrance to the Konark Sun Temple in Konark, India|
Impressed with his dedication, The Sun God or Surya blessed Samba with the Sun Temple to express his gratitude to him, after he completed his period of penance. He was also healed of his ailment by Surya.
The aura is supposed to be magnetic in nature, and the aura of power is considered to be due to the presence of two very strong magnets which were used for the tower’s construction. Some legends suggest that the king’s throne hovered in mid-air due to these magnets during king’s court sessions.
|Carved Sculptures at the Konark Sun Temple|
Because of this, the temple walls were destroyed as they lost their balance and fell down. Though, so far, there are no evidences to support these legends, they are very popular among the masses that visit the temple.
- The Sun Temple is currently under ruins.
- Surya, a popular deity in India since the Vedic Civilization, is the one to whom the temple is dedicated.
- The Temple is of the dimensions 261 m by 160 m (857 ft by 540 ft).
- The Sun temple is aligned in East-West direction.
- Twelve pairs of exceptionally designed and beautifully decorated stone wheels are fixed in the temple.
- The idea to design the horses was to portray Surya or the Sun God himself driving a chariot. The head of Surya is supposed to be inside the garbhagriha.
- On East side, facing the sea is the prime entrance of the temple, which is located in front of Hall of Offerings.
- Traditional dance recitals are performed in the halls due to the presence of dancers and musicians sculptures on the walls.
- The Sanctuary Tower, on Western side once had a roof in the shape of pyramid and was named as Jaganmohan.
- There is a sculpture of Nataraja performing an exotic dance on the platform at the base.
- A magnificent statute of Surya in green colored chlorite stone is carved out in the temple.
- There are numerous extremely erotic paintings and sculptures carved on the walls of the vast temple.
Written By Karan Saxena