Temples in India

Why was Konark Sun Temple was built and how it is unique?

Konark Sun Temple is a sun temple built to honor Lord Surya, the Sun God. The whole temple complex looks like a chariot.

The sun temple in Konark, Puri in Orissa is a 13th-century temple. It became famous with the name “Black Pagoda”. Puri is a very popular tourist destination in Orissa, in fact, the whole western Indian region.

Puri is famous for Konark and Jagganath temple. It hosts the very famous “Rath Yatra” and receives a lot of visitors from almost all parts of India. It is situated on the coast of Bay of Bengal and has some beautiful beaches. The Konark itself is a beauty.

The sculptures, architecture, design, and everything are just magnificent. The Konark Temple is also one of the World Heritage Sites in India. Moreover it also popularly counted under the Seven Wonders of India.

Konark Sun Temple Information

LocationKonark, Odisha
Opened on1250 CE
Architectural styleKalinga architecture
Area10.62 ha (26.2 acres)
Built byNarasimhadeva I
TimingsAll days (6:00 AM – 8:00 PM)

History of Konark Sun Temple

The Konark Sun Temple was originally built by the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. King Narasimhadeva I who was the ruler of this dynasty built the sun temple. The temple is built from exotic ferruginous sandstone.

These sandstones were weathered and oxidized due to which it was easy to sculpture on these stones and this the reason for their black color and weathered look.

The temple is a signature of the rule of the Ganga Dynasty in Orissa. If myths and legends are to be believed then it can be said that this Sun Temple of Konark was built by Lord Vishnu’s son, Samba.

The story goes as follows: Samba was suffering from leprosy. This disease said to be a curse from his own father. He suffered from this disease for almost 12 years, after which the Lord Surya that is the Sun God cured him.

Therefore, in order to honor the Lord Surya for curing him, Samba built this sun temple. The word Konark is a Sanskrit word and is made by combining two words, “Kona” and “Arka”. Kona means angle while Arka means sun.

The Architecture of Konark Sun Temple

It is located 3 kilometers from the sea or shoreline. The main attractions of the Konark Sun Temple are the “chariot wheels” which is said to be the wheel of the Sun God’s chariot. This chariot is beautifully sculptured and is fully covered with decorated carvings and designs.

In fact, if you take a look at the whole complex you will be able to see and perceive that the entire complex was built in such a way that it looks like the Sun God’s chariot. The famous chariot wheels are built at the base of the chariot.

[ Also, Checkout: Best Monuments of India ]

The chariot is drawn by 7 horse spirits and is carried on twelve strong chariot wheels. What is more interesting is that the wheels serve as a clock. The spokes serve the purpose of sundials and as the day moves the shadows cast on the wheels tell the time.

The temple is pyramidal in shape and goes up to a height of 98 ft. The temple also contains some exotic paintings similar to the ones present in Khajuraho.

The entrance of the Temple is protected and guarded by 2 lions. The lions are shown defeating elephants while the elephants are lying over a human body.

The temple is beautiful and one of the major tourist attractions of India. It is now managed and protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

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