On the shores of the Bay of Bengal, immersed in the rays of the sunshine, the temple at Konark is an impressive representation of the Sun God Surya’s chariot. The beautiful Sun temple is the apex of Kalingan’s temple architecture, and it is one of the most spectacular memorials of religious architecture all over the world.
The temple, it is a World Heritage Site, it is also known as The Black Pagoda, it is a masterpiece of temple art and architecture.
Till the early 19th century most of the architectural figures which made the temple so famous were completely covered under the junk and sands.
The presence of these beautiful lions, wheels, horses, elephants, and the simhasana of Sun God which is not known to the people, the visitors who came in these days could not even enjoy the freeze of its beauty.
The Great Wheel of Konark
The wheels of the chariot are also allegorical and have been understood as the ‘Wheel of Life’. They characterize the cycle of creation, conservancy, and accomplishment of awareness. The diameter of each of the wheels is about nine (2.73 meters) feet and each of them has a set eight equal parts.
They are decorated with carvings all over. The axels of the wheels project by about one foot from the surface, having similar decorations at their ends. The rims are carved with designs of foliages with various birds and animals, whereas the medallions in the spokes are carved with the figures of women in various luxurious poses, mostly of erotic nature. These wheels may also possibly represent the twelve Zodiacs.
There are many legends of Konark that tell us a lot about the construction, existence as well as the history of Konark.
Since the time of Muhammad Ghori, Orissa was assaulted several times by the Muslims, but at that time the Hindu kings of Orissa could abide them for a longer period.
The Hindus were already aware that it would be rather impossible for them to accouterment with such a fighter nation and to drive them forever out of their own country.
Still, they went on taking their aggressive parts in such a way, that they could delay the Muslim occupation in Odisha, for about two centuries and more.
In the middle of the 13th century, when the Muslims had crushed the whole northern India and most parts of Odisha’s neighboring Bengal, there was hardly any power which could check their advance and it was a thought that the Hindu Kingdom of Orissa would soon be overrun by the Muslims. At that meantime, Narasimhadeva 1 started taking the offensive against them.
In 1236 A.D after the death of Sultan IltutmishAfter the death of Sultan Iltutmish, in 1236 A.D., the power of Delhi remained week for some time, when Nasiruddin Mahammad accomplish him and appointed one Tughan Khan, a Governor of Bengal.
In the year 1243 A.D, a great fight took place between the Muslim army, under the said Tughan Khan and Narasimhadeva I, at Katasin. where the former were totally defeated and ran away. In this war, there was a heavy loss of lives.
Narasimhadeva’s victory in this war must have awfully enhanced his prestige in the eyes of the new Hindu Kings and, Narasimhadeva wanted to build a temple to show both, a shrine and a Kirti-Stambha (victory-memorial) to celebrate his victory according to his royal status and prestige.
Purpose of Temple
The Chandra Bhaga river, which is now dead, it was once flowing a mile to the north of the temple site and was join the sea. On its stock, there are towns and important trading centers. Trade was transported with foreign countries, by sea routes, In those days there was no better communication other than the river.
Narasimhadeva had chosen the place for his proposed temple. There is an interesting legend who says that once Samba, the son of Sri Krishna, incurred the annoyance of Narada.
Who vindicate himself by getting Samba depressed with leprosy. Basically, when Samba, was found innocent, he was considered to practice absolution in the Maitreyi forest for 12 years, to please Surya(Sun God) to cure him for his disease.
There is another legend associated with the above-said legend. It is believed that in the closeness of Konark Temple, there was a big pool in which King Narsimha Deva once dropped a stone. by hearing this, the goddess Dhama got disturbed.
She gave a suggestion to Sivai Santra to build up a temple by dropping stones from sides. Thus, the Sun temple is believed to have been built in this manner.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Konark is from October to February
Summers starts in the month of March and lasts till June. The season is very hot with maximum temperature between 36°C and 43°C. Visitors normally avoid visiting Konark during this season. The hottest months are April and May
From July to September is the monsoon season in which the place receives medium rainfalls
Winters prevails from October to February. The season is moderately cool and the temperature with the temperature between 15°C and 25°C. Tourists always prefer to visit Konark during this season
How to Reach
Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport – 65 km. Indian Airlines has flights from Delhi, Kolkota, Visakhapatnam, Raipur, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai
The nearest railway stations are Bhubaneswar and Puri. Konark is 65kms from Bhubaneswar via Pipili and 35kms from Puri on marine drive road
Konark is connected by good all-weather motorable roads. Regular Bus services are operating from Puri and Bhubaneswar. Besides Public transport Private tourist bus services and taxis are also available from Puri and Bhubaneswar. For internal transport, Auto rickshaws and Cycle rickshaws are available near Konark temple.
- Rs 40 for Indians per head *
- USD 7.00 for Foreigners per head *
(* Rates subject to change)
Free entry for below 18 yrs
A professional & trained guide could be hired if you are interested in knowing the rich heritage of this wonderful structure.
Located in: Konark
Nearest Airport: Bhubaneswar
Nearest Railway Station: Bhubaneswar
Best Time to visit: October to February