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Konark

The temple town of Konark is famous for the magnificent Sun Temple dedicated to Sun god. It is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. The backdrop of the majestic temple is the venue for one of the most exciting classical dance festivals held in the country.
Konark is located 65km from Bhubaneswar and 35km  from Puri. It is world renowned for its Sun Temple, one of the most spectacular examples of refined religious architecture. Legendary poet Rabindranath Tagore described the magnificence of Konark with the words - 'here the language of stone surpasses the language of man'. The solitary temple on the seashore amidst drifting sand exemplifies the supreme artistry of craftsmen during that era and is a fine illustration of Orissan temple architecture.
Referred to as the 'Black Pagoda' by the European sailors in ancient times, this temple is carved out of black stone. Historically, it is believed that originally a magnetic dome was placed on top of the temple complex; this caused several ships to sink near the sea shore. It is believed that the dome was destroyed by Portugese navigators. Despite the fact that the “Black Pagoda” is in ruins, the remaining porch area and other structures of this temple complex remain a crown jewel of Orissan artwork.
The entire Konark temple is designed in the shape of a huge chariot with 24 wheels and drawn by seven horses. The temple’s architectural grandeur is further enhanced with intricately fine sculptural work.
Each wheel of the temple measures 3 mtr in diameter and represents the 24 hours of the day. Many also believe that these wheels denote the 12 months of the year while the seven horses dragging the chariot are a symbol of the 7 days in a week. The huge wheels of this chariot shaped temple are major attractions .The spokes of the wheels serve as sundials; the shadows formed by these spokes actually tell the precise time of the day. The main tower of the temple which lies in ruins today, was originally similar to the towers of the Lingaraja and Jagannath Temples. The height of the tower exceeded 70mtr.
The Jagmohana (= the porch) of the temple is 37 mtr high. The tower and the porch are mounted on a platform which holds the 24 giant wheels. The temple structure also has a detached Natamandira (dancing hall) in front of the temple. It is believed that the entire enclosure of the Konark temple had 22 subsidiary temples, but only two of them Vaishnava Temple and the Mayadevi Temple remain today..
At either side of the main temple are huge sculptures of elephants and horses. The entire temple structure from its base to the top is decorated with finely carved sculptures. Images of animals, mythological creatures, deities, musicians, scenes of courtly life, battles, warriors and several botanical and geometrical designs adorn the temple walls. The temple base alone displays close to 2000 majestic elephants.
Three images of the Sun God which adorn the northern, western, and southern side of the temple are carved in metallic green chlorite stone The green stone catches the rays of the sun at different times during the day and lets the Sun Gods sparkle glamourously. In 1508 Kalapahad, the general of Bengal, Sultan Sulaiman Karann attacked Orissa and destroyed several Hindu temples including the Sun Temple at Konark. However, in 1626 the king of Khurda, Raja Narasimha Dev removed the Sun image and placed it in Puri. Now the image of the Sun God resides in the temple complex of Jagannath Puri.
The Konark temple displays flamboyant and superior architectural science that existed in that era. Although many parts of the temple have been destroyed with passing time, its splendor and elegance remains unmatched.
History:
It is believed that the Eastern Ganga King Narasimhadeva-I constructed the Sun Temple in 1250 AD to mark his victory against the Muslim invaders.
However, there is also a famous legend associated with the construction of this temple, which states that the Sun Temple was built by Samba, the son of Lord Krishna. Once Samba made fun of a holy sage who in turn took revenge by taking Samba to a pool where Lord Krishna’s consorts were taking a bath. The sage left Samba near the pool and called Krishna. Angry with his son’s improper behavior, Krishna cursed him with leprosy. Later he realized that the sage had tricked his son, but it was too late to take back his curse. Samba then prayed to the Sun God for 12 years. The Sun Godwas pleased with Samba’s rigorous penance and cured him of the disease. In gratitude, Samba erected the Sun Temple.
Sun Temple
Referred to as the 'Black Pagoda' by the European sailors in ancient times, this temple is carved out of black stone. Historically, it is believed that originally a magnetic dome was placed on top of the temple complex; this caused several ships to sink near the sea shore. It is believed that the dome was destroyed by Portugese navigators. Despite the fact that the “Black Pagoda” is in ruins, the remaining porch area and other structures of this temple complex remain a crown jewel of Orissan artwork.
Konark Beach:
This quiet beach is about 2km from the temple. The vast and clean beach surrounded by natural landscape provides serenity and calm. The sea here is comparatively rough, hence swimming is not advisable. However, the views of the sparkling sea and the awesome temple in the background are priceless.
Chandrabhaga beach
Relatively close to Konark beach is the quiet beach of Chandrabhaga. The beach is not crowded and one can spend a few quite moments here.
Decorative items made of stone and wood carvings, Patta paintings and the famous appliqué work of Pipli can be collected as souvenirs from the local market.
Konark Dance Festival
Held in the month of December this dance festival is one of the most revered art events of the country. Musicians and classical dancers from all parts of the world gather here to perform at the Konark Temple.  The dance performances are visually enhanced by the lit up temple in the background.Chandrabhaga Mela
This is another popular festival at Konark which is held on Magha Saptami in the month of February. Many pilgrims visit Konark during this time.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
BHUBANESWAR 64 Km 01H 02m
Bhubaneswar 63 Km 01H 01m
Puri
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
35 Km 00H 32m
35 Km 00H 32m
Nestling on the eastern coast along the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, Puri is a unique synthesis of magnificent temples, interesting legends, mythology, a world famous chariot festival, sun and sea like no other.
67 Km 01H 04m
Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, is the seat of Tribhubaneswar or 'Lord Lingaraj'. Bhubaneswar is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre. While hundreds of temples dot the landscape of the Old Town, which once boasted of more than 2000 temples, the new Bhubaneswar with its modern buildings complements its modern aspirations. This city is most renowned for changing the conqueror Asoka to the conquered. The great Kalinga War took place here between Emperor Asoka and Kalinga (the old empire of Odi
Seasons
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best Seasons
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 20 °C 35 °C
Winter 12 °C 28 °C
Konark is generally pleasant throughout the year with the Summer temperatures not going beyond 35C. However the humidity levels are high due to the proximity to the sea. The best time to visit is post Monsoon October - March period.
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