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Sun Temple, Odisha

Been there recently?

Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE (year 1250) temple at Konark, about 35 km from Puri city in Odisha. It is devoted to the Hindu Sun God Surya and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple complex’s ruins resemble a 100-foot-tall chariot with enormous wheels and horses that are all made of stone. The surviving structures and elements are famed for their intricate artwork, iconography, and themes, based on the Odisha style or Kalinga architecture.

The most evolved period in Kalinga architecture is represented by the temple, which has exquisite sculptural details. It is said that the temple was built so that the presiding deity and the deul (sanctuary) would be illuminated by the first rays of the rising sun. The temple is supported by a base made up of 12 intricately carved wheels on each side. One can use four of the 24 wheels as sundials to determine the time.

The main entrance of the temple, the Gajasimha (Gaja meaning elephant and Simha meaning lion), derives its name from two massive stone lions crushing elephants. The beautifully carved Natya Mandapa (dance hall) is accessible through this gate. The Jagamohan (assembly hall) is reached via wide steps that are flanked by horses. In order to catch the sun at sunrise, noon, and sunset, the temple has three impressive carvings of the Sun God placed in three different locations. Everyday activities are depicted in the carvings on the temple’s walls and at its base.

Nearby Places to See

Chandrabhaga Beach
It is a Blue Flag Certified beach, which is a certification given to environmentally friendly beaches, and is situated 3 km from the Sun Temple. The beach is one of the best beaches on the entire east coast of India, with a lighthouse close by. It is also referred to as Konark Beach.
Konark Archaeological Museum
It was established in 1968 and is situated within Konark City. The Sun Temple’s broken pieces were originally intended to be stored in the museum. However, it has also accumulated other artefacts over time, and it now has four galleries and more than 250 artefacts.
Ramachandi Temple & Beach
Goddess Ramachandi is revered in this historic temple, which is 9 kilometres from the Sun Temple. In the tower of the temple, three circular levels are visible over three stepped levels. The beach is close to the temple and is situated before the point where the Kushabhadra River joins the sea. However, one needs to cross the river to get to the beach.
This ancient site holds great significance for Buddhists. Numerous Buddhist texts make reference to the location, and Huen Tsang also mentions it in his writings. Many Buddhist artefacts have been discovered as a result of the excavation work done here, and the area is thought to have been occupied between the eighth and ninth centuries. The location is 9 kilometres from Konark.
Barahi/ Varahi Temple
It is a historic temple that is situated on the outskirts of Chaurasi, about 26 kilometres from Sun Temple. It was constructed in the tenth century by the Somavamsi dynasty. The exterior walls of both the mantapa and the garbhagriha of the temple are covered in intricate sculptures. The walls also feature scenes from the Ramayana in addition to the individual sculptures.

Things to Buy

Things to buy include Konark hat,Handicrafts,Special local fabric

Foods to Relish

Pakhala (cooked rice washed in water),Dahi Machha (made with fish and curd),Fish delicacies