Konarka, generally known as Arka-tirtha, is a temple of Lord Surya, the sun-god. It is situated on the seashore, nineteen miles north of Jagannatha Puri. It was constructed of black stone in the beginning of the thirteenth century of the Saka era, and it shows expert craftsmanship and architecture.
Sun temple Konark:
Konark, situated at a distance of about 65 kms from Bhubaneshwar and 35 kms from Puri, is known for its Sun Temple that exemplifies architectural brilliance. Counted among one of the most popular Holy places in Konark, Sun Temple in Konark, India is dedicated to the Sun God or Surya. Reckoned as the masterpiece of the Orissa’s medieval architecture, Sun Temple in Konark has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
History of the temple:
Current Konark’s Sun temple dates back to the thirteenth century. It is popularly believed that the place was Samba’s tribute to the Sun God who had supposedly cured him of his leprosy. Samba, the son of Lord Krishna was cursed and had to undergo a rigorous penance before he was relieved of the curse.
Description of Sun Temple Konark:
The Sun temple not only impresses one with its architectural magnificence but also by the virtue of its intricate sculptural work. The temple’s massive structure, most of which are now in ruins, enjoys a stately and solitary location amidst the drifting sands. The temple has been constructed in the shape of the chariot of the Sun God with as many as 24 wheels. The wheels are ten feet in diameter and are graced with elaborate carvings. The twelve wheels symbolize the twelve months of the year and the eight spokes stand for the division of the day into eight prahars. The temple has been depicted as a chariot driven by seven horses.
The entrance to the temple is guarded by two lions and in order to proceed to the main entrance, you have to take to the flight of steps. The Nata Mandir, fronting the Jagamohana will surely bring out the aesthete in you. Its exquisite carvings and the lifelike images of men, women, horses and warriors will leave you enthralled. The temple also houses three images of Sun God that are positioned in a way so as to catch the sun rays during dawn, noon and sunset. On completing your tour of the Sun temple, Konark, you can’t help but shower generous praises on the architectural brilliance that reached its pinnacle during this time.