Sun Temple, Konark
The Sun temple in Konark in the state of Orissa was built by King Narasimhadeva in 13th century. This magnificent temple to Surya, the Sun God, is one of India’s architectural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage.
Built on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in Orissa, its main image is a superb statue of the sun god standing on his chariot. Twelve superbly carved wheels, each representing a month of the year and seven stone horses, representing the days of the week, pull the sun god in his journey across the skies. The temple is covered with exquisite sculptures of beautiful maidens, erotic couples, dancers, deities and animals. It is a magnum opus of Orissa’s architectural grandeur. The drive along the seashore from the temple town of Puri to Konark is delightful.
The wheels of the chariot at the base of the temple are the main attraction of the Sun Temple. The shadow created by the spokes of the wheel act as sundials and gives the exact time of the day. The roof of the temple which is pyramid shaped is made from sandstone and is about 30m in height.
The temple walls are adorned with floral, geometrical, human, animal, divine and semi divine figures. Pair of monolithic elephants and horses depicts the dynamism of medieval sculpture.
This temple is also referred as the Black Pagoda, since it was built in black granite. The Sun temple looks magnificent even in its ruined state. Only a personal visit to Konark gives a clear picture of the imposing yet exquisite temple.
Konark Travel Guide