Konark – The charioteer of Sun God

Sun is the source of all energies Therefore, from time immemorial, Sun God has been worshiped. Lexically, Kona means corner and Arka means the corners of sun. Also aliased as the Sun temple or Black Pagoda, Konarka temple is one of the most astounding monuments that symbolize the artistic as well as the architectural skill of stone artisans of Odisha. The ‘stone wheel’ of the chariot, carrying the temple by horses is exhibited as motifs in most cultural functions in India.

With its cultural heritage and religious fervor, Odisha boasts for the ‘Golden Triangle’, constituting three temples, the Lingaraj temple at Bhubaneswar, Sri Jagannath temple at Puri and the Sun temple at Konarka.A visit to Konark provides opportunity for offering prayers in the other two places. The Konarka temple was constructed by Raja Narasingha DEva-I, of the Ganga dynasty, in the mid 13th century

What stands today at Konarka is only the Mukhashala or the entrance door of the original temple. Legend has it that, Sambas was cursed with leprosy that could be emancipated by offering regular prayer to Sun God. Two giant magnets kept the throne of Sun God hovering. The temple could not be completed as the foundation could not withstand the weight of the gigantic dome.

Vessels passing through Konarka were drawn to it and were subjected to heavy damage. The magnetic effects of the loadstone disturbed the compasses of the ship and the loadstones were therefore taking away by the Portuguese voyagers. Due imbalance, the main structure of the temple collapsed.

Travels, the world over are lured to visit the Sun temple because it has been declared a World Heritage site by the UNESCO in 1984. It is 33 km from Puri and 65 km from Bhubaneswar.

The best time to visit Konarka is from October to March, when the environment is free from the scorching sun and inconveniences.

The entire structure of the Konark temple is in the shape of a colossal chariot, 2 wheels each on both the sides. The wheels are three meters high. Seven stone sculptured horses carry the sun god.

While going to Konarka fom Puri on the Marine Drive, one can experience the sensational feeling of tress, running away from you. The Konarka temples are termed as the wheel of life and is inscribed with a Gajasimha or Lion pouncing upon an elephant

The Natya Mandiris in front of the Jagamohana and is exclusively carved with the motifs of dancing girls, flora foliage, man armor and creative erosion.

There are three representative images of sun; one at the top and the other two facing each other for allowing the rays of the sun enter in. Melkkadambur Shiva Temple was constructed in 10th-12th century. Chandrabhaga Sea Beach, 3 km away from the sun temple has natural deer park and an aesthetic matha.

The Sun Temple of Konarka, earlier attracted the global voyagers with its magnetic power. The same temple now attracts global visitors through its aesthetic and artistic excellence. The serene environment surrounding Konarka gives great solace to an exhausted mind and inspires it to drive the ‘chariot of life’ smoothly.

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