The Sun Temple of Odisha: Sixteen facts at a Glance
An Architecture Marvel of India's heritage, Konark Sun Temple, commonly known as Konark is situated in the eastern state of Odisha (earlier known as Orissa), India and is one of the eminent tourist attractions. Konark houses a massive temple dedicated to the Sun God. 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 Puri and is dedicated to Sun God.
Pictures of Sun Temple
(Sun Temple, Puri Odisha)
(One of the carved wheels)
(A secondary statue of the Sun god)
Facts about Sun Temple
- Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century Sun Temple at Konark in Odisha, India.
- It is assumed that this temple was constructed by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty around 1250 CE.
- It was conceived as a gigantic solar chariot with twelve pairs of exquisitely-ornamented wheels dragged by seven rearing horses.
- As per local stories, Narasimhadeva I had hired a chief architect called Bisu Maharana to build the temple.
- The temple comprised a sanctum with a lofty (presumably over 68 m. high) sikhara, a jagamohana (30. m. square and 30. m. high) and a detached nata-mandira (hall of dance) in the same axis.
- The temple is in the form of a gigantic chariot elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls.
- The monument was also called the Black Pagoda'(Kaala Pagoda) by the European sailors. In contrast, the Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the White Pagoda.
- The temple was originally built at the mouth of the river Chandrabhaga, but the waterline has receded since then.
- To the west of the main temple are the remains of temple no.2 popularly called the temple of Mayadevi, believed to have been one of the wives of Lord Surya.
- The temple was made on the traditional style of Kalinga architecture.
- The temple is constructed from Khondalite rocks.
- The original temple had a main sanctum sanctorum (vimana), which was supposedly 229 feet (70 m) tall. But because of huge weight of the super structure (70m tall) and weak soil of the area the main vimana fell in 1837.
- The audience hall (Jagamohana), which is about 128 feet (30 m) tall, still stands and is the principal structure in the surviving ruins.
- The Konark temple is also known for its erotic sculptures of maithunas.
- The wheels of the temple are sundials which can be used to calculate time accurately to a minute including day and night.
- It was given the tag of world heritage site in 1984.