The Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple
The Konark Sun temple is located in the small town of Konark, which is situated in the Puri district of Odisha. This temple is dedicated to Lord Sun. The name Konark is derived form the words Kona – Corner and Arka – Sun; it is situated on the north eastern corner of Puri. The temple has been built in the shape of a chariot, which has twelve wheels and is shown as being dragged by the seven horses. The temple is believed to be constructed in the 13th century by a king called Narasimhadeva. Like with most things in India, this temple too has connections with a few legends. As per one of the legends, God Krishna cursed, one of his own sons with leprosy. To seek penance, Samba worshiped Lord Sun for a period of twelve years. Pleased with his devotion, Surya healed him. Samba made the Sun temple in return to express his gratitude.
Coordinates of Konark Sun Temple : 19.8876° N, 86.0945° E
The Konark sun temple marks the highest point of achievement of Kalinga architecture depicting the grace , the joy and the rhythm of life all it’s wondrous variety. Konark has varied name, such as Konaditya or ArkaKshetra or Black Pagoda.
The Konark temple is widely known not only for its architectural grandeur but also for the intricacy and profusion of sculptural work. King Narasimha deva I, the great ruler of the Ganga dynasty had built this temple, with the help of 1200 artisans within a period of 12 years (1243-1255 A.D.). Since the ruler used to worship the Sun, the temple was considered as a chariot for the Sun God. The entire temple has been conceived as a chariot of the sun god with 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. Seven horses drag the temple. Two lions guard the entrance, crushing elephants. A flight of steps lead to the main entrance.
The nata mandir in front of the Jagamohana is also intricately carved. Around the base of the temple, and up the walls and roof, are carvings in the erotic style. There are images of animals, foliage, men, warriors on horses and other interesting patterns. There are three images of the Sun God, positioned to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and sunset. History of Konark temple is very vast, it has so many stories and believed as every corner of the stone has some story behind it.
How to reach Konark Sun Temple
The Bjiu Patnaik Airport is located in the heart of the city centre and mainly operates domestic airlines. Konark is 65 km from Bhubaneswar by road.
Bhubaneswar is the headquarters of the East coast of the Railway Division
The city has good private and public bus service that runs on the state and national highway.
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.