Konark Sun Temple
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KONARK SUN TEMPLE


Location :

  In and Around Konark Sun Temple
The Konark Sun temple is located in the city of Konark which is situated in the eastern state of Orissa at a distance of around 65 km from Bhubaneswar and 35 km from Puri. The Konark city extends between longitude 86.08°E and latitude 19.53°N.

Significance of the Temple
Gwalior, India Weather Forecast
Konark Sun Temple is located in the state of Orissa nearby to the sacred city of Puri. The famous Sun Temple of Konark is dedicated to the sun God or Surya.

It serves as the masterpiece of Orissa's medieval architecture. Sun temple has been declared as the world heritage site by UNESCO.

Konark was once upon a time a bustling port of Kalinga and had good maritime trade relations with Southeast Asian countries. The present Sun Temple has been probably built by King Narashimhadev I (AD 1238-64) of the Ganga dynasty to celebrate his victory over the Muslims. The temple fell into disuse during the early 17th century after it was desecrated by an envoy of the Mughal emperor Jahangir.

Konark Sun Temple
However, legend conveys that the temple was constructed by Samba, the son of Lord Krishna. It is said that Samba was afflicted by leprosy, brought about by his father's curse on him. After 12 years of penance, he was cured by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honour he built this temple.

The Konark Sun temple has been widely known not only for its architectural grandeur but even for its intricacy and plethora of sculptural work. The entire Sun temple has been conceived as a chariot of the sun god with 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in its diameter, along with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. There are seven horses which drag the temple and even there are two lions guarding the entrance and crushing the elephants. Then through a flight of steps one can lead to the main entrance.

The Nata Mandiris in front of the Jagamohana is also intricately carved. And around the base of the temple, the walls and roof have carvings in the erotic style. There one can find 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.


Konark Sun Temple
The name Konark is derived from Konarka, the presiding deity of the Sun Temple. Konarka is actually a combination of two words, Kona (corner) and Arka (sun) when both of them combined, means the sun of the corner. Konark was one of the earliest centres of Sun worshipping in India. This place finds mention in the Puranas as Mundira or Mundirasvamin, a name that was subsequently replaced by Konaditya or Konarka. Apart from the Puranas, other religious texts also point towards the existence of a sun temple at Konark long before the present temple.

This massive structure of the temple is now in ruins which sit in solitary splendor surrounded by the drifting sands. The entire temple has been designed in the shape of a chariot carrying the Sun God across the heavens. There are huge intricate wheels of the chariot, which are being carved around the base of the temple serving as the major attractions of the temple. The spokes of such wheels serve as sundials, and the shadows formed by these can give the precise time of the day. The pyramidal roof of the temple, made of sandstone, soars over 30 m in height. Like the temples at Khajuraho, the Sun Temple at Konark is also covered with erotic sculptures.

Konark Sun Temple
The Temple is the Chariot of the Sun God standing very much imperiously in its compound of lawns and casuarina trees, 35km north of Puri on the coast road, this is the one majestic pile of oxidizing sandstone which is considered to be the apogee of Orissan architecture and the temple complex is one of the finest religious buildings anywhere in the world. The temple here is all the more remarkable for having languished under a huge mound of sand since it fell into neglect three hundred or so years ago. There exists a team of seven galloping horses and 24 exquisitely carved wheels which are found lining the flanks of a raised platform showing that the temple had been conceived in the form of a colossal chariot for the sun god Surya, its presiding deity.

The temple is a brilliant chronicle in stone which has thousands of images including deities, the Surasundaris, heavenly damsels, and human musicians, lovers, dancers, and different scenes from courtly life.

Maituna - Sun Temple
Maituna Sun Temple
Equally as sensational was the re-discovery among the ruins of some extraordinary erotic sculpture. Konark is plastered with loving couples locked in ingenious amatory postures drawn from the Kama Sutra - a feature that may well explain the comment made by one of great poet of Mughal Dynasty,Abdul Fazl, in the sixteenth century: "Even those who are difficult to please," he enthused, "stand astonished at its sight."

Above the middle of the platform near the temple there is the upper jangha are large pancha ratha pilasters which are elaborately sculpted, sometimes with religious scenes such as images of Mahishasuramardini (Shakti cult), Jagannatha (Vaishnava cult) and a Linga (Shiva cult) enshrined in a temple, indicative of a religious tolerance prevailing at that time for different sects.

Time to Visit
The Magha Saptami is the Chandrabhaga Mela or Magha Saptami mela in the month of February which is a grand religious festival. Thousands of pilgrims converge on the pool here on this day to take a holy dip in its curative waters, and then shuffle off to the beach where, in accordance with an age-old custom mentioned in the piranhas, they watch the sun rise over the sea. The event is followed by the puja of the Navagraha.

Konark Dance Festival is held in an open-air theatre built near the Sun Temple every year in the month of December. The event brings together eminent classical dancers of India who perform various dance forms like Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kathak and Chhow.

Konark Sun Temple Nearby tourist places to Konark Sun Temple

Bhubaneshwar

Gwalior

Konark

Puri
This classical extravaganza of Konark Temple Complex is a journey through ecstasy, and a visit to Konark during this time offers you with a combination of art, craft, fun and frolic.

How to reach the temple
  1. Through Airways- the city does not have direct connection from Konark by air. The Nearest air heads are Bhubaneswar and Puri. A number of airlines like the Indian Airlines, the Jet Airways and Sahara connect Bhubaneswar to Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Nagpur.

  2. Through Railways -The nearest railheads are Puri and Bhubaneswar. These two stations are connected to all the major cities in India through long-distance trains.

  3. Through Roadways - the Orissa State Road Transport Corporation and private buses provide links with all parts of the state. The Deluxe coach services are being provided from Calcutta, Bijapur, and Vishakhapatnam.