One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, Konark Sun temple is a 13th century temple, which is dedicated to the Sun God. One of the best tourist attractions of Orissa. Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa, India. It is believed that the temple was built by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty in 1255 CE. The word ‘Konark’ is a combination of two words ‘Kona’ and ‘Arka’. ‘Kona’ means ‘Corner’ and ‘Arka’ means ‘Sun’, so when combines it becomes ‘Sun of the Corner’. Konark Sun Temple is situated on the north eastern corner of Puri. Konark is also known as Arkakshetra. Konark is One of the most stunning monuments of religious significance, a true masterpiece of architecture proudly stands in the form of Sun Temple. A culmination of Oriya architecture, the temple is a wonderful place as the language of stone defeats the human language here.
This sun temple is great example of orissian architecture.It is world heritage site in the world and also it is one of the seven wonders of india.Samba constructed this sun temple in honour of lord sun.Samba is son of lord krishna. The temple has been built in the form of a giant ornamented chariot of the Sun god, Surya. It has twelve pairs of elaborately carved stone wheels which are 3 meters wide and is pulled by a set of seven horses (4 on the right and 3 on the left). The temple follows the traditional style of Kalinga architecture. It is carefully oriented towards the east so that the first rays of sunrise strikes the principal entrance. The temple is built from Khondalite rocks.
Around the base of the temple there are images of animals, foliage, warriors on horses and other interesting structures. On the walls and roof of the temple beautiful erotic figures are carved. Sun temple of Konark is a masterpiece of Orissa’s medieval architecture. The Konark temple is widely known not only for its architectural greatness but also for the sophistication and abundance of sculptural work. Konark is an exceptional mixture of marvelous temple architecture, heritage, exotic beach and salient natural beauty. The large structure of Konark Temple seen today is actually the entrance of the main temple. The main temple which enshrined the presiding deity has fallen off and only the remains can be seen. Even in its ruined state it is a magnificent temple reflecting the mastermind of the architects that imagined and constructed it. The Konark temple is also known for its erotic sculptures of maithunas.
The magnificence of the Konark temple is visible through its grand and intricate sculpture work. The whole temple is conceptualized in the form of a chariot of Sun God. This mammoth chariot has 24 wheels where each has a diameter of 10 feet, with extravagant carvings, and a set of bars. The temple is dragged by 7 horses. A flight of stairs take you to the main entrance, which is guarded by 2 lions crushing the elephants. The temple is made from Khondalite rocks, and is built in traditional style of Kalinga architecture.
Two smaller ruined temples have been discovered nearby. One of them is called the Mayadevi Temple and is located southwest from the entrance of the main temple. The other one belongs to some unknown Vaishnava deity. Sculptures of Balarama,Varaha and Trivikrama have been found at the site, indicating it to be a Vaishnavite temple. Surya has been a popular deity in India since Vedic period. Therefore, it is described in Rig Veda regarding Prayer of Sun God as follows. It was dedicated to the Sun-God (Arka) popularly called Biranchi-Narayan, and the tract in which it is situated was known as Arka-Kshetra as well as padma-kshetra. Among the five great religious zones or Kshetra which were located in Odisha (Orissa), Konark was considered to be one, the other four being Puri, Bhubaneswar, Mahavinayak, and Jajpur.
There are several smaller shrines situated in the neighborhood of the Sun Temple. In them are found Rameswar,Chitreswara,Tribeniswara, and Utpaleswar, all Siva-lingas; and Ramachandi Rudrani, Khileswari, Charchika and Chitreswari, various forms of Goddess Durga. Legends embodied in the Kapila Samhita, the Madala Panji, and the Prachi-mahatmya, take the sanctity of Konark back to mythical times. The legends of these late texts are an obvious adaptation of a much earlier tradition as recorded in the Bhavisya Purana and the Samba Purana.
How To Rach :
By Air : Nearest Airport is Bhubaneswar, Which is well connected to all mejor cities.
By Rail : Nearest railway station is puri, which is 30 km away from konark.
By Road : There are private owned deluxe Volvo buses with their comfy interiors. Volvo buses can be boarded from Puri as well as from Bhubaneswar. In addition to this, there are public buses that do not burn your pocket by costing Rs 1.50 per Km.
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