Konark sun temple is the world-famous temple located in the Indian state of Orissa. This temple is also renowned as the world heritage site of UNESCO. The word Konark refers to Kona means corner and Ark means sun. This is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the Sun God. This is the spiritual hub of Odisha state as well as the true example of the ancient construction. This is the most important site of Odisha state visited by thousands of people from all around the world annually.
As per the legend Rabindra Nath Tagore “Here the language of stone surpasses the language of man” To build this temple in the 13th century the king used his best knowledge of Artwork, the fluidity of ideas, and a grand approach.
What is the History of Konark Sun Temple?
Sun temple was built in the 13th Century by the King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga dynasty between 1238-1250 CE. The temple was commissioned by the king and Samantaraya Mahapatra was in charge of its construction. The legend also says that the construction of the temple was started to give honor to the Sun god which once upon a time healed the son of Lord Krishna – Samba Rao from a dreaded disease.
The meaning of Konark is Sun and the four corners. This temple is one of the best examples of ancient Hindu architecture and it also represents the valor of the Hindu kings against the Muslim invaders. This sun temple is also known as black Pagoda by the Europeans due to its black mask. The European sailors used this place for navigation for their ships and it is a landmark of Odisha since time immemorial.
The architecture of Sun Temple
Konark Sun temple is known for its best engineering and magnificent architecture. The temple is also known for its marvelous Kalinga architecture and it was built with the help of 12000 master artisans and workers. This temple complex has an appearance of 100 feet high chariot with beautifully carved wheels and horses. Every part of the temple has beautiful sculptures of deity, dancers, and musicians. This whole complex filled with intricate artwork, iconography, and different themes. The temple presents 12 pairs of elaborately carved wheels around 12 feet in diameter so a total of 24 wheels are made by carving 24 wheels and a chariot pulled by 7 horses carved from a single stone.
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This temple took 12 years to complete and the whole construction was done by black granite stone so it looks like a black shivalaya from the seashore. These 12 pairs of wheels showing the calculation of 12 months of the year and the 8 spokes of the wheel and each wheel has a diameter of 9 feet and 9 inches representing the compute of days which is showing that the whole figure of this chariot controlled by the Sun God. There are three types of stones used to build this temple Chlorite, Laterite, and Khondalite. This temple is constructed on a pattern that the first ray of sun will fall on the massive sun idol which kept within the main temple complex which is about 230 feet high.
What is the Sun Dial at Konark Temple?
The wheels of Odisha Konark Sun Temple are known as the sundial. These are a total of 12 pairs of wheels having a total of 24 wheels. Every wheel has 8 spokes which refer to days and 12 weeks refers to the 12 months of the year. Since ages, these wheels are called the sundials which can be used to calculate time and days accurately to a minute including day and night. In present also people use it today to see the time. The eight spokes divided the time of 24 hours so it means between two spokes the difference of time is 3 hours. There are 8 minor spokes as well and each minor spokes runs exactly in the middle of 2 major spokes which means the minor spokes divided in one and half hours. This theory of wheels used as sundials and can very well predict the time.
How to reach Konark Sun Temple?
Konark Sun Temple is located at Konark village, a town in Puri district in the state of Odisha. It is approximately 60 km from the capital city Bhubaneshwar and 35 km from Puri. Konark is a world-famous site and the footfall of tourists increasing here day by day so it’s well connected by Puri and Bhubaneshwar both. Puri is the nearest railway station located at a distance of 30 km, the nearest airport is at Bhubaneshwar called Biju Patnaik Airport which is only 60 km from Konark village. After reaching puri or Bhubaneshwar you will easily get taxis and buses to reach Konark Sun Temple.
What is Black Pagoda in Konark Sun Temple?
The Konark Sun Temple is also famous by the name of Black Pagoda as the European sailors used to say this word for a sun temple. This place is used as a navigator in the ancient period by European sailors as this temple is made up of black granite standing on the seashore of the way of Bengal which looks like a big amount of dark color.
Why Konark Sun Temple is not worshipped?
The founder of this temple King Narsimbhadeva 1 set a deadline to complete the temple and if they failed to complete they will be punished by the King. So on the second last day of completion the crown stone known as Dadhi Nauti fell down by mistake and the work was not complete according to the deadline. The chief architect Bishu Maharana was in depression about the security of 1200 workers who worked day and night to build this temple. Suddenly a boy came to Bishu Maharn which was 12 years old named Dharmapada and told that he was his son as he was busy for 12 years to build this temple so he never met his son before this. So this 12-year son took a step to fix the Dadhi Nathi to save the life of 1200 workers by the King. But Bishu maharani told that when the king knows that a kid of 12 years was the person responsible behind the construction rather than the 1200 skilled workers then they might also kill the workers.
Then Dharmapada decides to sacrifice his life from the top of the temple in the Chandrabhava river and save the life of workers. Since that this temple was never been worshipped and some people told that this kid was the avatar of Sun god who comes to break the ego of King Narsimbhadeva 1.
The history behind the Lion sculptures at Konark Temple?
While visiting the Sun temple the entrance will catch your attraction huge sculptures of lions guarding the steps to the entrance of (Nata Mandir) dance hall undertaking 2 supine elephant sculptures who themselves rest on humans. As per the legends, the elephants represent money and the lion represents pride. Some legend said the founder of this temple named King Narasimhadeva so the lions on the entrance can also represent the name of the king.
Mayadevi Temple inside Konark Temple
The Maya Devi temple is located inside the complex of Konark Sun Temple. This temple is also called Chayadevi by the locals dedicated to Goddess Chayadavi. According to the mythology, Mayadevi is one of the wives of the Sun God so it is believed that this temple was built in the reverence of this. The inner sanctum does not have any deity placed inside it. A row of khondalite stones surrounded the whole temple complex.
Konark Temple- A world heritage site
This temple renowned worldwide for its magnificent architecture of the 13th century and historians, photographers, bloggers, and architects from different parts of the world come here to quench the thrirst of their eyes by visiting this extraordinary temple. Because of its unique design, this temple comes in the list of the world heritage sites of UNESCO since 1984.
What are the timings of Konark Sun Temple?
The Konark Sun temple is the most visited site of Odisha state so it’s all 7 days in a week. The best time to visit this temple is in the morning hours to see the first ray of the sun fall on this magnificent structure. This temple will be open at 6 am in the morning closed by 6 pm.
What is the Entry Fee at Sun Temple?
Konark Sun Temple is having two different tickets according to the nationality. For Indians, it is INR 40 per person and for the foreign nation, it will be INR 600 per person. Up to 15 year kids are free at Konark Sun Temple as per the government rules.