In and Around Konark Sun Temple
Significance of the Temple
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.
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.
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.
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
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 VisitThe 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.
|Nearby tourist places to Konark Sun Temple
|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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.