The Sun Temple of Konark is a world heritage site in Orissa. Check out history and origin of Konark Sun God Temple, Orissa.
Sun Temple Konark
Sun Temple Konark - Acknowledged as one of India's architectural marvels, the Konark sun temple was built by King Narasimhadeva I in veneration of the Sun God, Surya in the 13th century. Derived from the words Sanskrit "Kona" and "Arka", Konark literally means the place where the Sun God is worshipped. The gigantic chariot carved in stone is the hallmark of the Konark temple, seemingly driven by 7 horses and 12 wheels, and guarded by lions standing victoriously over war elephants. It took Bisu Maharana, the chief architect, 12 years and 1200 artisans to complete the tribute to the Sun God.
Forming a Golden Triangle with Puri and Bhubaneswar, 35 kms and 65 kms away respectively, the Sun Temple of Konark has also been referred to as the "Black Pagoda" by European voyagers who were drawn to it's unique structure as they skirted India's eastern coast. Serene and enchanting, the Konark temple's fine scrollwork of animal and human figures inspires awe, and clearly sets it apart from other temples of its nature. Its architecture represents the Kalinga School's craftsmanship at its best, symbolizing the Sun God's might and majesty.
Within the temple complex is Chandrabhaga, a shallow pool of water where pilgrims take a purifying dip on the 7th day of month of Magha every year, which falls between January and February. The Ramachandi temple lies to the south west of the temple, and behind it is the now in ruins Vishnu Temple.
A complete holiday experience awaits the tourist to Konark, as the Golden Triangle has much to offer:
For the spiritually-inclined, shrines dedicated to Shiva include Prameswar,Chitreswara, Tribeniswara and Utpaleswar, while Durga is worshipped in different forms at Ramchandi Rudrani, Khileswari, Charchika, and Chitreswari. Balasore is 214 kms away and has interesting temples in Remune and Devagiri Hill (Panchlingeswar Temple)
For beach lovers, Konark's peaceful sands, 2 miles from the temple, offer a spectacular view of sunrise and sunset, as does Astaranga, 91 kms from Kakatpur, For students of history, the Museum, managed by the Archeaelogical Society of India outside the temple compound houses relics of the Sun temple. The tree lined banks of the Naunai river at Balighai, 8 kms from Puri offers picnickers a visual treat further downstream as it gets engulfed into the mighty Bay of Bengal.
And, to carry back a little of Orissa back home, Pipli, 45 kms away, is a delight for handicraft lovers, where craftsmen demonstrate their skills of appliqué craftwork to visitors.