FACTS & FIGURES
|Built|| 13th century AD |
|Built by || Narasimha Deva (1236-1264 AD) |
|Location || Konark (Orissa) |
The monumental Konark Sun Temple is one of the most ornately carved out temple dedicated to the Sun god and stands magnificently on the 24 elaborately carved wheels. The temple is in the form of a chariot dragging the Sun god across the heavens and though partially ruined, it still retains much of its past glory.
The history of Konark Sun Temple in Orissa is quite controversial and historians are of the view that the construction of the temple was in an incomplete stage due to the untimely death of Narasimha deva, who is said to have commissioned this temple. But according to some historians, the king ruled till 1282 and the construction of the temple was accomplished between 1253 and 1260 A.D and hence the argument that the temple collapsed due to its non-completion is not justified.
The Sun temple in Konark belongs to the Kalinga School of Indian Temples with characteristic curved towers mounted by cupolas. The entry of the temple is guarded by two giant lions, which are each depicted crushing a war elephant. There is also a Nata Mandir at the entrance of the temple where the temple dancers used to perform dances in reverence to the Sun god. You will also come across the human, celestial and semi-celestial figures in sensuous poses on the walls of the temple. The singular genius depicted through the various intricate carvings on every inch of the temple’s structure transcends the other temples of India.
This temple is also famous for its erotic sculptures that are mostly on the second porch of the temple’s structure. Myriad images are also carved out on the external structure and include deities, celestial and human musicians, dancers, lovers, birds and animals.
In Hindu mythology, almost every god has its own vehicle and Sun god also has its own vehicle which is a chariot pulled by seven splendid horses. The richly carved architecture of the chariot is beyond comparison and is perhaps the best among all the sun temples of India.
Konark Dance Festival:
This festival is a grand event and is held each year in the month of December, and is a good opportunity for the performers from various parts of the country to display their talent to a distinguished audience. The Konark Sun temple forms the background of the event and the entire ambiance takes one back to the heydays of the temples.
How to reach Konark:
Konark can be reached from Puri as well as Bhubaneshwar, latter being the major airport for the various domestic destinations such as Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
The railway network is also good and connects Puri and Bhubaneshwar by the network of express and super-fast trains.
The motorable network of state and national highways allow the tourists to reach Konark from the neighboring and distant destinations of Konark.
Touristplacesinindia.com is the travel site offering online information on Konark Sun Temple and offers the various tour packages also. For more information on the tourist destinations of India, keep browsing through this site.