Konark, Orissa, India
- Founded By
King Narsingha Deva
- Construction Started
UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Architectural Style
In the state of Odisha, Konark is situated in the Puri district. It is a small townthat is situated close to the coast of Bay and Bengal. From Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, Konark is located about 65 kms. This town is known for its popular Sun Temple. This temple is also known as the Black Pagoda because it is built using black granite. The temple was constructed during the reign of Narasimhadeva-I. Today, this temple has been declared as World Heritage Site. Mostly in ruins, this temple houses a variety of sculptures collection in the Sun Temple Museum. This museum is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India.
From Kona, a Sanskrit word, the name Sanskrit has been derived that means angle and Arks meaning sun, the name of this temple has been derived. The temple has been dedicated to Surya, the Sun God. In 13th century, this temple was built and it has been designed as Sun God’s gigantic chariot. There are 12 pairs or 24 ornamented wheels. This cart is pulled by 7 horses. These wheels are about three meters wide. Today, out of seven horses, only six horses are left. The temple was not in use for some time when it was desecrated by an envoy of Jehangir in the pre seventeenth century.
The architectural style use in this temple belongs to Kalingan Architectural Style School. Along East-West direction, this Sun Temple is aligned. Vimana or the inner sanctum is used to surmount by a shikara or tower but in the 19th century, it was razed. Jahamogana or the audience hall still stands today and most of the ruins are comprised in it. Natmandir or dance hall’s roof has fallen off and it is situated on the ruin’s eastern end on a high raised platform.
In Cuttak, Mukunda Gajapati ascended the throne in 1559. He became an ally of Mughal Emperor, Akbar and became an enemy of Sulaiman Khan Karanni, Sultan of Bengal. Odisha was defeated after few battles. Due to state’s inner turmoil, the fall became inevitable. Kalapahad’s army damaged the Konark Temple in 1568. This army also damaged various temples in the area during invasion.
Konark is a small town that is located in the state of Odisha in India. The place is easily accessible from major cities of the country. Air, rail and bus transport is easily available. Visitors come here from all over the country as well as foreign countries.
Every year, Konark Dance Festival is held in Konark . This festival is celebrated in the month of December. Various classical dance forms are showcased here and this includes the most famous traditional classical dance, Odissi. Konark was directly in the line of Solar eclipse on 16th day of February 1980.
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