Pilgrimage Tours - The Sun Temple of Konark

Konark Sun Temple is located , in the state of Orissa near the sacred city of Puri. The sun Temple of Konark is dedicated to the sun God or Surya. It is a masterpiece of Orissa's medieval architecture. Sun temple has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. The Nata Mandir in front of the Jagamohana is also intricately carved. Around the base of the temple, and up the walls and roof, are carvings in the erotic style. There are images of animals, foliage, men, warriors on horses and other interesting patterns. There are three images of the Sun God, positioned to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and sunset.

 

Architecture of the Temple
The massive structure of the temple, now in ruins, sits in solitary splendor surrounded by the drifting sands. The entire temple has been designed in the shape of a chariot carrying the Sun God across the heavens. The huge intricate wheels of the chariot, which are carved around the base of the temple, 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. The pyramidal roof of the temple, made of sandstone, soars over 30 m in height. Like the temples at Khajuraho, the Sun Temple at Konark is also covered with erotic sculptures.


The Temple Chariot of the Sun God
Standing imperiously in its compound of lawns and casuarina trees, 35km north of Puri on the coast road, this majestic pile of oxidizing sandstone is considered to be the apogee of Orissan architecture and one of the finest religious buildings anywhere in the world. The temple is all the more remarkable for having languished under a huge mound of sand since it fell into neglect three hundred or so years ago. A team of seven galloping horses and twenty-four exquisitely carved wheels found lining the flanks of a raised platform showed that the temple had been conceived in the form of a colossal chariot for the sun god Surya, its presiding deity.


Lady drummer of Sun Temple
The temple is a brilliant chronicle in stone, with thousands of images including Deities, the Surasundaris, heavenly Damsels, and human musicians, lovers, dancers, and different scenes from courtly life.


Maituna - Sun Temple
Equally as sensational was the re-discovery among the ruins of some extraordinary erotic sculpture. Konark is plastered with loving couples locked in ingenious amatory postures drawn from the Kama Sutra - a feature that may well explain the comment made by one of great poet of Mughal Dynasty,Abdul Fazl, in the sixteenth century: "Even those who are difficult to please," he enthused, "Stand astonished at its sight."


Sacred Pond
A stone's throw away from Konark beach lies the sacred pond where Samba was cured of leprosy - the miracle that allegedly inspired the founding of the sun temple. For a couple of days every year during the full or "White" moon phase of Magha (Jan/Feb), Chandrabhaga is also the site of a big religious festival, the Magha Saptami Mela.

 

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