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Konark Sun Temple – The abode of the mighty Sun God

Konark Surya Temple
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How amazing is it that an entire majestic temple is dedicated to the Sun God? And the temple is, in all senses, one of the most royal and imposing examples of ancient architecture in India. The name Konark originates from the Sanskrit words Kona, meaning corner, and Arka, meaning Sun. The Konark Sun Temple in Puri, Odisha, was built a long time ago, 1250 CE. It was built by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Let’s take a look at the beauty and grace that is the Konark Sun Temple

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The Architecture of the Temple

The temple stands in ruins today, but the shapes of the chariot, wheels, pillars and walls can be clearly made out. Such was the art and ingenuity of the artisans of times gone by, as is reflected from the awe-inspiring design and make of the Sun Temple. It is also considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thus highlighting the significance of the temple.

Built in the form of a giant chariot of the Sun God, the Konark Sun Temple has twelve pairs of intricately carved stone wheels and is pulled by a set of seven horses. The temple flaunts the Kalinga architectural style and also erotic sculptures of maithunas. There are a couple of smaller temples nearby, one of which is the Mayadevi Temple, one of the Sun God’s wives. However, the primary idols from both the temples are missing.

The History and Collapse of the Temple

According to certain historical texts, there probably was another sun temple in this region around the 9th century long before the current one. The texts also mention three sun temples at Mundira, which is possibly Konark, Kalapriya (Mathura) and Multan. The wheels of the temple are sun dials which can be used to calculate time, day and night. The how and when of the collapse of the temple varies largely. The collapse of the temple is mainly attributed to the invasion of Kalapahad in 1568. Other causes include natural disasters like earthquakes and lightning.

The Konark Sun Temple is a gorgeous specimen of old-world architecture and the religious beliefs of the people then. It’s a grand old site that will make you feel both proud of the legacy and quite awed with the grandeur of the temple. You will find tons of hotels in Puri scattered around this temple so if you plan to visit here, you won’t have a dearth of accommodation options.

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Nikita is a total and complete bookworm. She’s also a writer and a dreamer who dreams of travelling far and wide. Her other very important dream is to one day, very soon, write books for children.

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