Konark is the third link in Odisha's Golden triangle and is situated at a distance of about 35kms from Puri, has some of the most spectacular examples of religious architecture. The glorious 13th century Konark temple, dedicated to the Sun God has been designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Monument. This ancient stone resound with the chime of ankle bells and the beat of the mrindagam during the dance festival held here in winter. The Konark beach is an experience in itself, displaying a spectacular sunrise along an expanse of white sand.
The Konark temple which is the main highlight of Konark is also popularly referred as Black Pagoda by the Europeans. Historical data's reveal that Konark belongs to the 13th century and was built by Narsinhadeva I of Ganga dynasty on his victory over the Mughals.The main characteristic feature of the temple is that it is built in such a way that the first rays of the sun always fall inside the temple. It took nearly 12 years and 1200 masons to complete construction of this temple.Konark got its name from its presiding deity Konarka where Kona means corner and Arka means sun reflecting sun around corner. However during the early 17th century the sacredness of the temple was violated by a representative of the Mughal emperor Jahangir.Though there are ruins seen here and there it still talks about the Oriyan temple architecture of intricate work. There is also a myth about this temple which states that Samba, Lord of Krishna was grievously affected by leprosy due to curse on him by his father. After 12 years of self-mortification, he was cured by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honor he built this temple.
Konark located in the Odisha state is concentrated more towards the eastern state at a distance of about 65 km from Bhubaneswar and 35 km from Puri.
It is oriented between longitude 86.08�E and latitude 19.53�N.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Though it can be visited at any part of the year,
the ideal time to visit this temple is between the months of October to March.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
Every year from December 1st to 5th, the Konark festival is organized by the Department of Tourism. Classical dance performances with the Sun temple at the backdrop create an illusion that the images, carved in the temple become alive to perform on an open air stage. Apart from the classical dance forms like Bharat Natyam, Kathak, Odissi, Kathakali, etce there is also the performance of Odisha's folkdance popularly known as the Chau.Dancers from different parts of the country come here during the festival to participate in it.
This is a religious festival celebrated in the month of February.Peope from different part of the country come here and have a holy dip in this water for it is believed that it is rich in medicinal properties. Followed by this the people gather near the sea to watch the sunrise and then take part in the puja of the Navagraha.
This is the harvest festival celebrated during the months of March-April. The celebration is highlighted by colourful tribal dances.
PLACE OF INTERESTS
Konark Sun Temple amidst sand dunes of the Bay and the palm casurina plantations is a sublime monument. This temple is sheer poetry in stones conceived and executed as a Colossal Sun Chariot with 12 pairs of ornate wheels and hauled by 7 raring spirited horses this pagoda is an everlasting testimony of the speculative and aesthetic sensibilities of a race that knew how to live, love, fulfil, sublimate and create. It belongs to the Ganga Dynasty, built by Raja Narsigh Deva I and is also otherwise popularly known as Konaditya and Black Pagoda. Though now the maintenance is not good it is one of the finest examples of medieval architecture. This thirteenth century temple is devoted to Sun God who is said to live here with his two wives Chhaya and Sandhya meaning shade and evening respectively to cool the scorching Sun's heat.
Vaishnava Temple is one among the 22 temples around the main Sun temple. Out of all the temples only the Vaishnava Temple and Mayadevi Temple survives. These two temples are protected by remarkable structures of horses and elephants. The additional features are the carvings seen here depicting life of God, humans and animals.
This temple belonging to the 11th century was built even before the Sun temple and it is seen towards the west of the main temple. The presiding deity of this temple is Goddess Mayadevi who is the wife of Sun God. The architecture of this temple is an excellent example of medieval artistry with erotic sculptures, court scenes and floral designs.
TThe museum adjacent to the temple run by the Archeological Survey of India has an excellent collection of sculptures from the temple ruins. This museum was started in 1968 with four galleries and there are at least 260 antiques collected from the temple complex. The museum also preserves a medieval stone block, called as the Navagraha slab, and originally placed over the front door of the temple. Every little thing preserved in this museum has an age old story attached to it.
The beautiful beach at Konark, known as Chandrabhaga is one of the most pristine beaches of India. The marine drive road along the sea leads to one of the golden beaches of Puri.It is situated at a distance of about 3 km away from the Sun Temple with glowing sand and glittering water. It is a delightful beach which is a pleasure haunt for tourists coming here.
Shopping here in Konark mainly includes miniature stone sculptures, wood carvings, sea shell items, patta -paintings on cloth canvas and colourful applique work. The Patta paintings and the applique work of Pipli are quite famous in this region. You can also buy beautifully embroidered umbrellas, to give as souvenirs when you get back home. The traditional fabrics of odisha are also available in Konark and are definitely on the list of must-buy items. The best place for shopping in Konark is the Government run emporiums.
Some of the nearby hotels in Konark are
1.HOTEL GRAND CENTRAL,
Query & Reservation (24x7) : +91 9437001152 , +91 9937439074
Old Station Road,
Bhubaneswar - 751006,
Phone : +91 674 2313411 to 414
Chakra Tirtha Road,
New Marine Drive Road,
Near Light House
4.Victoria Club Hotel
Contact: 06752 - 222005 / 222920
Puri- 752 002.
06752 22 7800
6.Hotel Sea Palace
Puri- 752 002.
06752 22 7800
Konark Marine Drive,
8.The Hans Coco Plams
Odisha 152 001
06752 230 038/951/952
10.HOTEL SHREE HARI,
New Marine Drive Road,
Puri-752001, Odisha, I
Mobile : 9861096444 &
The airport at Bhubaneswar serves as the most convenient point for entering into the Konark city. There are a number of flights that operate on a regular basis and connect Konark with major cities of India, like Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
The railway stations nearest to Konark are located in the twin cities of Puri and Bhubaneswar. These stations are linked with almost all the major destinations in India by train. Thus, traveling to Konark via train is totally hassle-free.
There is an extensive network of roads in Konark, which connects it with the rest of the country. The National highways and State highways link the city with Puri, Bhubaneswar and other cities in Odisha as well as the neighboring states.