Odisha swanks of several delights for the visitors. The World famous architectural marvel; the Konark Sun temple is listed among the top of them. The Jantar Mantar of Delhi and the Sun temple temple are the time measuring and mathematical monuments in our country.
Our Best in Odisha nothing but just a small attempt to show you some highlights of Konark Sun temple. You’ll get all the answer to your queries about Sun temple through this post. So instead of wasting time, let’s get into it.
The Sun Temple at a glance :
The Konark Sun Temple has been built as one of the finest examples of Brahmin architecture and beliefs. The 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda because it’s a great tower appeared black), built in Odisha red sandstone (Khandolite) and black granite by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1238-1264) of the Eastern Ganga dynasty.
The name ‘Konark’ is derived from the words Kona: Corner and Arka: Lord Sun which means Corners of the Sun. On the shores of the Bay of Bengal, bathed in the rays of the rising sun, a masterpiece of creative genius in both conception and realization, this temple at Konark serves as a beautiful and gigantic creation of the sun god Surya’s chariot having 24 wheels are finely decorated with symbolic designs and it is led by a team of seven horses. Some of the wheels are 3 meters wide. Only six of the seven horses are still stand today.
The spokes of the wheels serve as Sundials (a device used to show the time) and the Shadows cast by these can give the precise time. Isn’t it great? The Lord Sun’s chariot in Konark Sun temple actually represents the 7 days of a week and the 24 hours of a day.
In the temple, there are three images of the Sun God positioned to catch the rays of the Sun at dawn, noon and dusk. Immense iron beams have also been used to construct the higher floors of the temple. It is said that the temple was not completed as originally planned because the foundation was not strong enough to support the weight of the heavy dome. Historians believed that the temple was built completely but there was a huge magnet in its peak that caused ships to wreak near the seashore. That’s why the dome was removed.
The structures and parts that have survived now a day are famed for their detailed artwork, iconography, and themes; involves titillating Kama and mithuna scenes. Also called the Surya Devalaya, it is a classic illustration of the Odisha style of Architecture (Kalinga Architecture). The cause of the destruction of the Konark temple is unclear and still remains a source of controversy.
Theories vary from deliberate destruction to natural damage of this temple in the course of being attacked several times by Muslim armies between the 15th-17th centuries. Instead of so much destruction, still you all surprise to know that it is counted among the Seven Wonders of India. The Sun temple of Konark was declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1984.
- 5 Appropriate Reasons Why The Konark Sun Temple Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination:
- Interesting mythology to discover:
The Bhabisya Purana, the Skanda Purana and the Varaha Purana represent that some of Lord Krishna’s lesser spouses were charmed by nice looking Samba. One of his spouse, Nandini masked herself as Samba’s significant other and grasped him. For this inbreeding, Lord Krishna denounced Samba to be inflicted with disease and his spouses to be hijacked by Abhira thieves after his death.
The Samba Purana comprises the account of Samba’s getting smeared by infection, subsequent to being reviled by his father and accordingly getting cured by worshipping Lord Surya for twelve years in the sanctuary developed by him at Mitravana on the banks of the holy river Chandrabhaga. The day following his cure, while Samba was bathing in the Chandrabhaga he founded an image of the God, which had been fashioned out of Surya’s body by Viswakarma. Samba fixed this image in a temple built by him in Mitravana, where he propitiated the God. Since then all through the ages this place has been regarded as sacred.
As of now, We have already discussed that the King Narasimha Deva-I had ordered this temple to be built as a royal proclamation of the political supremacy of his dynasty. There was a beautiful correlation of the number 12 with this Sun temple. A manpower of 12 hundred craftsman and architects invested their creative talent, energy and artistic allegiance for an exhausting period of 12 years to construct this temple.
The king had already expended an amount equivalent to the state’s revenue receipts of 12 years. Anyway, the completion of the construction was nowhere near sight. Then the king issued a final command that the work be completed by a stipulated date and the team of architects headed by Sri Sibei Samantray was at its wit’s end. It was then that Dharmapada the 12 year old son of the chief architect Bisu Maharana arrived there as a visiting observer. He became aware of the anxiety appearing large among the architects. Dharmapada had read the palm manuscripts depiciting the Shilpa shashtras and earned enough knowledge about Temple construction. He offered to solve the confounding problem of fixing the last copping stone at the top of the temple and surprised everyone by doing that himself. But soon after this achievement to save his community from rage of the King this teenaged mastermind finished himself by drowning in the nearby Sea.
- Astonishing Architectural Treasure :
Situated in Konark, a small city of Odisha, this Temple is famed for its mystifying and distinctive middle age period engineering architecture. We have previously discussed about the 12 pairs of wheel spilled by 7 horses located at the base of the temple.
- There is a Royal guardian statue of Gajasimha (lion upon an elephant) which is placed at the main entrance to the Temple compound. It is made out of one piece of stone and in that structure the lions resemble the pride, elephants resemble the wealth and both of them kill the human.
- Another unique feature of this temple is East-West location, as here you will watch that the first rays of the sun always falls on the main deity.
- By the way Don’t forget to watch enticing carvings on its walls and roofs. There are sculptured animals, leaves, solider on horses, scenes from daily lives of men and women and other symbols are also designed in the models which surely captivates you.
- Other remarkable sights to watch are: The Audience Hall, Dining hall and Dancing Hall.
- Last but not least, make a visit to nearby Navagraha (Nine planet) Temple and have a look on richly decorated Navagrahas (Surya, Chandra, Mangal, Budha, Guru, Shukra, Shani, Rahu and Ketu) slab that is common to Orissa temple architecture, constructed for the protection of the temple.
- If You still want to explore more about this world famous temple visit recently constructed “Archeological Museum” by Indian Oil Foundation. Located at the entrance gate , I would suggest to everyone that you must visit the museum before proceeding the temple. Adding some extra content about this Museum let me inform You all that there is a theatre inside it and please do not forget to watch the movie at the end of your visit. This is a small 20-25 minute movie which describes about the myths surrounding the construction of the temple. You’ll surely enjoy it.
- Greenery around the Temple – a great place for Photo shoot:
Another best feature about this Sun temple is You can find a splendid garden, set for the display or enjoyments of the visitors. There are combine flower plants of different heights, colors, textures, and fragrances to add more scenic beauty to the Temple. Those who have interest in photography can find their best location here.
- An evening attraction _ The Light and Sound Show :
The light and sound show in Sun temple is something that one should not miss. It’s a different kind of show wherein actual videos are projected on to the temple structure unlike the ones wherein only colored lights are beamed. It’s a 45 min Projection show explains the history of the temple, its mythology and archaeological details. The sound is through a pair of high quality beyerdynamic headphones, wherein you can choose one of the three languages i.e. English, Hindi or Oriya as per your convenience. The show starts at 8.00 pm and the ticket price is just Rs 50.
- Fill your bag with amazing Chic Stuffs:
There are local and government shops selling a wide range of various handicrafts, sculptures of Hindu God, Paintings and numerous decorative items made of wood and stone are available here. You will also find lot of vendors moving and selling conch sells, ornamental items, small konark wheel replicas at a good price. Your shopping in Konark may turn out to be a true satisfaction if you are comfortable with a little bit of bargaining.
- Height: The height of the sun temple is about to 229 feet (70 m).
- Visiting Time: 6A.M-8P.M.
- Ticket Booking:
- The entry fee for visiting Sun temple is Rs 40 per person for Indians (if you are paying with cash) while it is Rs 35 per person who are paying with debit cards/ ATM cards.
- It is Rs 600 per person for foreigner visitors (for cash payment) while the cost is Rs 550 with Debit cards/ ATM cards.
- For children up to 15 years the entry fee is completely free.
Some of other tourist attractions in Konark are: The Chandrabhaga Sea beach, The Ramchandi Temple, The Light House, Old Archaeological museum, Natya Mandap, Urban Hata etc. There is an Asian proverb,”It is better to see something once than to read or hear about it a thousand times.” So What you Guys are waiting for? Come and Explore the scenic beauty of Konark. Have a good day!