Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE 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 temple complex is in the shape of a gigantic chariot, having elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A major part of the structure is now in ruins. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has also featured on various list of Seven Wonders of India. The temple is 35 km from Puri and 65 km from Bhubaneswar.
When entering the temples visitors are required to cover their heads and leave their shoes to one of the shoe-stalls. Photography is free however visitors need to pay extra for videography. Terminal guides are available. However tourists may take the assistance of the Tourist Officer, Konark for better information.
The Konarak temple also marks the culmination of the temple building architecture in Odisha. Apart from the depiction of the stone wheels and the caparisoned horses drawing the colossal chariot of Sun God, the Konarak Temple is a typical example of the Odishan temple architecture. The temple is not different from those of other regions.
The Sun Temple UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 13th century in the honor of the sun-god Surya is currently under ruins. The entire temple was designed in the shape of a colossal chariot with 24 wheels about three meters high and pulled by seven horses, carrying the sun god, Surya, across the heavens. Surya has been a popular deity in India since the Vedic period.
The main attraction of the place is the Konark Sun Temple decalred as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1984. The temple is situated in the Konark village to the north of Puri in the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal. It has extensive stone carvings on the walls, many of them highly erotic. Though, the temple is under ruin due to heavy erosion its magnificience is still reflected in its architects.
Sun Temple of Konark, built in the middle of 13th century, is a massive conception of artistic magnificence and engineering dexterity. King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of the Ganga dynasty had built this temple, with the help of 1200 artisans within a period of 12 years (1243-1255 A.D.). Konark Temple was designed in the form of a gorgeously decorated chariot mounted on 24 wheels , each about 10 feet in diameter, and drawn by 7 mighty horses. It is really difficult to understand, how this huge temple, every inch-space of which was so wonderfully carved, could have been completed within such a short time. Whatever that might be, the konark temple even in its present ruined state, still a wonder to the whole world. Great poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote of Konark: .
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. There are three images of the Sun God, positioned to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and sunset. Sun temple of Konark is a masterpiece of Odisha's medieval architecture.
It is believed that in the proximity of Konark Temple, there was a pool in which once a stone was dropped by King Narsimha Deva and it was galloped by the Raghab Fish.
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.
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 and is dedicated to Sun God. Konark is also known as Arka khetra.
Konark temple, made of black granite, was initially built on the sea bank but now the sea has receded and the temple is a little away from the beach. This temple was also known as 'BLACK PAGODA' and used as a navigational landmark by ancient sailors to Odisha. Inspite of the decay over the centuries the beauty of this monument is still amazing. If you are seriously interested in architecture and sculpture then you must visit this world famous monument. It has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1984.
The organised here every year is a great attraction for tourists. The Sun Temple Museum of the Archeological Survey of India has a good collection of sculptures from the temple ruins.
In others view due to the magnetic effects of the load stone placed on the top of the Sun temple the compass fitted in the ships to show the direction, was being disturbed and was not functioning properly and it was a troubling task in the part of the captains to drive their vessels in right direction.
Konark Temple was designed in the form of a gorgeously decorated chariot mounted on 24 wheels , each about 10 feet in diameter, and drawn by 7 mighty horses.