|Names||Konark Sun Temple|
|Address||Konark (Konarak) Village, Orissa, India, India|
|Coordinates||19.887563° N, 86.094521° E (view on Google Maps)|
|Best Time to Visit||January to March|
|How to Reach||From Puri, 35 km or Bhubaneswar, 65 km.|
|Nearest Rail Station||Puri is well connected to most of major Indian Cities.|
|Nearest Airport||The nearest airport is located at Bhubaneswar.|
A thirteenth century Konark Sun Temple which is also called as Black Pagoda is located in Konark, in the state of Odisha, India. There is a belief that this Sun temple was constructed by the emperor Narasimhadeva I who belongs to Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the year 1250. The temple was constructed in the form of a huge chariot possessing elaborately carved walls, pillars and stone wheels. Majority of the structure is almost ruined. This Sun temple is one among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This temple also falls under the category of Seven Wonders of India listed by NDTV and also by Times of India.
The greatest peak of accomplishment of Kalinga architecture was marked by this Sun temple which displays the joy, grace and also rhythm in life in a wonderful style. The temple is decorated with uncountable wealth right from very small patterns in the form of jeweler’s exactitude to stubbornly designed standing sculptures which are of extraordinary large size. Though the main sanctuary of the Sun temple was lost under rolling wheels of the past incidences, the residual structure together with its debris illustrates the enormous positive energy of the Orissan artistes and also their dedicated contribution to treasure of the Indian Art and construction strategy. Situated magnificently on the coastal region of Bay of Bengal, the Temple, in its lonely sumptuousness is a wordless example of a courteous and mystifying past. The temple in the name of Sun god was built by Raja Narasinghs Deva-I who belongs to Ganga Dynasty was a sparkling dominance in terms of political status of our country.
Architecture of Sun Temple
The Sun temple constructed during 13th century was believed to be a gargantuan chariot of God Sun together with twelve pairs of amazingly decorated wheels dragged by fourteen horses. Being magnificent in construction, this temple comes under the category of sublime monuments in our country, which is popular for incorporating dimensions and error-free proportions as the luxurious integration of the architectural splendor together with plastic adherence. Undoubtedly, it is the best of Orissa. The temple is superior to other temples because of the presence of fine traceries and also scroll art together with the marvelous and natural carve of humans and animal figures.
The design and the architectural excellence are the supremacy of this temple. It falls under the category of Kalinga School of the Indian temples that are constructed with the characteristic curvilinear shape towers that are mounted by the Cupolas. Coming to the shape of the temple, there is no big difference when compared with the other Shikara shrines inn Orissa. The main sanctum (229 feet altitude) was built together with an audience hall (128 feet altitude) possess complex external projections. Main sanctum which consists of the leading deity had already ruined. The audience hall is almost safe whereas the Dancing Hall (Mata Mandir) and Dining Hall (Bhoga- Mandap) possess only debris. The compound wall of the temple is about 857 feet by 540 feet.
The Sun temple is arranged in east to west direction. Sun temple is surrounded by natural casuarinas plantations and also various other form of trees that survive in sandy soil. The external environment is not mush spoiled. A kind of gentle and rippling landscape around the temple gives a unique appearance to the temple.
What to see in Sun Temple
The Konark Sun Temple holds the form of gigantic chariot for Surya, the Sun god with 24 stone carved wheels together with group of seven dashing horses (one horse still remains intact)
The Sun temple symbolizes the passageway of time, controlled by the Sun god. The presence of seven horses dragging the sun temple from east to west direction represent the week days. The presence of twelve wheel pairs illustrates twelve months of a year and the presence of 8 spokes in each and every wheel idealizes the 8 stages of woman’s day.
The main entrance is located at the eastern direction (facing the sea) directly in front of Hall of Offerings (Bhoga-mandapa). The Bhogamandapa was constructed later to complex which was generally used to conduct ritual dances, as the walls of the mandapa possess the sculptures of dancers and musicians and also some erotic pictures.
Outside Attractions of the Sun Temple
The external environment of Konark Sun Temple possess various trees like rosewood, eel and also mahogany. Major portion of the Sun temple was ruined during the invasive attack of Kalaphad on Odisha. The Kalaphad who worked with Sulaiman Khan Karrani, the Sultan of Bengal played a major role in destructing various temples in Odisha. Present day, one can witness the deformed images and also uprooted stones on the temple walls.
The walls of Sun temple consist of multifarious images of various animals including giraffe, snakes, elephants and many more. The walls are also covered by mythological figures. One will definitely enjoy the intricately crafted images of Lord Shiva, God Vishnu and also Goddess Shakti. One can also view the images of women displaying their beautiful structure in a highly seductive style. Nearby Sun Temple, one can also view the remnants of Mahagayitri temple and Vaishnava temple.
Where to Stay
Konark provide several Governments recognized accommodation facilities at Travelers lodge, Panthanivas, Yatri Nivas, and Inspection Bungalow. One can also accommodate in any hotel available in Bhubaneswar and Puri.
How to Reach Here
The nearby airport is located in Bhubaneswar which is approximately 64 km far from Konark. Bhubaneswar is well connected with Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Nagpur and Bangalore with various flight services.
The closest railway stations are situated in twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Puri. Both the stations are well connected with all other major stations in our country.
The State and National highways connect Konark with Bhubaneswar and Puri resulting in virtual triangle commonly known to be the Golden Triangle of East. The road route to Konark, while travelling from Bhubaneswar is to take left turn after reaching Pipli village, which is about 20 km. The straight road leads to Puri.
Taxi is the best option to travel from Puri to Konark. There are several transport buses and private coaches available between both cities. There are State operated buses to Konark available from Vani Vihar, Kalpana Chowk and Bhubaneswar bus stand. Transport by bus is cheap when compared to car.
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