Konark Sun Temple
Location : 33 km from Puri,
Supreme Deity : Lord Surya, the Hindu Sun God.
Built By : Raja Narasimha Deva in 13th century
The Temple City of Konark is situated
in the eastern state of Orissa at a distance of around 65 km from
Bhubaneswar and 35 km from Puri. Surya - the Sun Temple is a
magnificent example of ancient Orissan temple architecture. The temple
was built in 1250 AD, during the reign of the Eastern Ganga King
Narasimhadeva-I (1238-640 AD). Carved out of black stone the Konark
temple is the foremost specimen and one of the most vivid
manifestations of Hindu architecture. Though the 'Black Pagoda' is in
ruins, the remaining porch area and other structures of this temple
complex remain as a jewel in the crown of Orissan artistry.
The word Konark is derived from two word KONA, means Corner and ARK,
means the Sun.
Today this magnificent pagoda is located 2.km from the sea, but in
olden times the sultry water of Bay of Bengal use to approach almost
up to its base. Until fairly recent times, the temple was close enough
to the shore and was used as a navigational point by European sailors,
they referred to it as the 'Black Pagoda due to its dark color and of
its magnetic power that drew ships into the shore and cause
¤ Structure of the Temple
The ruins of this temple were excavated in late 19th century. The
Konark temple is widely known not only for its architectural grandeur
but also for the intricacy and profusion of sculptural work.
The construction of the temple is in the form of chariot, the legend
has it that the ' Sun-God', use to ride on this divine chariot across
This huge temple chariot is drawn by 24 wheels and seven horses. Each
wheel is about 10 feet in diameter, the majestic intricate carving on
these massive wheels of the chariot is just beyond imagination and are
the major attractions of the temple. The spokes of these wheels serve
as sundials, and the shadows formed by these can give the precise time
of the day. Some says that the wheels represent the 24 hours of the
day and others says the 12 months in its concept, where as the seven
horses dragging the temple makes up the seven days of the week.
The main idol of the Sun God on which the sunrays use to fell in the
morning was removed by some Portuguese navigators. Local belief that
the temple was constructed in entirety, however its magnetic dome
caused ships to crash near the seashore, therefore the dome was
removed and destroyed. The original image of the Sun God was taken to
Two lions guard the entrance indulging in an act of striking
elephants. A flight of steps led to the main entrance. The entire
structure is embellished with intricate carvings sculptures, images,
right from its base up to the walls and ceilings. There are images of
animals, foliage, men, warriors on horses and other interesting
patterns in erotic style. There are three images of the Sun God,
positioned to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and sunset.
¤ The Legendary Tale
Legend has it that the temple was constructed by Samba, the son of
Lord Krishna, Samba was afflicted by leprosy, brought about by his
father's curse on him. After 12 years of penance, he was cured by
Surya, the Sun God, therefore built a temple dedicating to Lord Surya.
In India, history and legend are often inextricably mixed. Scholars
however feel that Narasimhadeva, the historical builder of the temple,
probably erected the temple as a victory monument, after a successful
campaign against Muslim invaders.
¤ Around the Sun Temple
Konark Beach: This quiet beach is about 3-km from the temple. The
currents can be strong here, so swimmingis not advisable. Near the
beach is a pond where Krishna's son Samba is said to have been cured
Astranga: Washed by the clear blue waters of the Bay of Bengal it
really lives upto its name which literally means varied colours.
55-kms from Konark, the sunset is a spectacular scene. It is a famous
¤ How To Reach?
The nearest railhead as well as air port is at Bhubaneswar, 65 km
Besides, there are regular buses to and from Puri, 35 kms, that take
about an hour. From Bhubaneswar, with a change of buses at Pipli, it
takes from two to four hours. There is a direct tourist bus from
Bhubaneswar and also a tour bus from Puri. One can also take a taxi
¤ Konark - A World Heritage Site
Konark temple, a magnum opus is declared as a World Heritage Site by
UNESCO, showcases a finest example of surviving heritage of India. As
one wonder at these exquisite sculptures of Surya gently ascendant
over the marvelous stone world, one can imagine how enchantingly the
by gone era has cherished the world famous site of Konark Temple.