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Varanasi, India India
Konark Sun Temple
Oct 09, 2016 09:46 AM 6484 Views

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Konark Temple


Konark Temple dates back to 13th century and is one of the most amazing monuments of religious significance. It is truly a masterpiece of architecture and proudly stands in the form of Sun Temple at Konark. The temple was built by King Narasimhadeva and is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot with seven horses and twelve wheels, carrying the sun god, Surya, across heavens.


Architecture


As described above, the Sun Temple was built in the 13the century and had a gigantic chariot of Sun God, with twelve pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven pairs of horses.


Majestic in conception, this Temple is indeed one of the most sublime monuments of India, famous as much for its imposing dimensions and faultless proportions as for its harmonious integration of architectural grandeur with plastic allegiance. It is admittedly the best in Orissa. Its fine traceries and scroll work, the beautiful and natural cut of animal and human figures, all make it superior over other temples.


The main quality is its design and architectural details. The Sun temple belongs to the Kalinga School of Indian Temples with characteristic curvilinear towers mounted by Cupolas. In shape, the Temple did not make any major departure from other sikhara temples of Orissa. The main sanctum which(229 ft. high) was constructed alongwith the audience hall(128 ft. high) having elaborate external projections. The main sanctum which enshrined the presiding deity has fallen off. The Audience Hall survives in its entirely but of the other two viz the Dancing Hall(nata Mandir) and the Dining Hall(Bhoga-Mandap), only small portions have survived the vagaries of time. The Temple compound measures 857 ft. by 540 ft.


Location


Located at a manageable distance from the seat of Lord Jagannath, Puri at 35 kms; the temple is around 65 kms from the capital city of Bhubaneswar.


Story


An evolution of Oriya architecture, the name of Konark temple is a combination of two words-Kona meaning corner and Arka meaning the Sun. That is to say that the Sun god worshipped in Ark Kshetra is called Konark. Legend says that after killing the demon Gyasur, Lord Vishnu placed his belongings at several places to commemorate the victory. With His conch at Puri, Disc in Bhubaneshwar and Mace in Jajapur; He placed the Lotus at Konark.


Importance


The temple is very near to the sea and it became an important landmark in the coastal voyage of European sailors. It was thus named'The Black Pagoda' by them.


According to a mythology, Lord Krishna's son Samba was smitten with leprosy due to his father's curse. The former underwent severe penance for 12 years at Mitravana near the confluence of Chandrabhaga River with the sea at Konark and ultimately succeeded in pleasing the God Surya. God Surya is considered as the healer of all skin diseases, and Samba was cured of his illness. In gratitude, he decided to build a magnificent temple in the honor of God Surya.


The very next day while bathing in the river, Samba found an image of God. Samba installed this image in a temple built by him in Mitravana, where he propitiated the God. Since then, this place has been regarded as sacred. Worshipping God is considered an important part of day to day life in India and people are worshipping God since then.


Worship


In ancient times, worship of Sun God was very common and people were accustomed with the worship of two Supreme deities—one being the mother Earth, popularly known as Dharitri Maata and the other being Sun, popularly known as Dharam devata.


Vedic period in India saw a lot of ups and downs and Surya has been a popular deity in India since Vedic period. Therefore, it is described in Rig Veda regarding the prayer of Sun God. It was dedicated to the Sun-God(Arka) popularly called Biranchi-Narayan, and the tract in which it is situated was known as Arka-Kshetra as well as padma-kshetra.


Among the five great religious zones or Kshetra which were located in Odisha(Orissa), Konark was considered to be one of them, the other four being Puri, Bhubaneswar, Mahavinayak, and Jajpur. Sun God is regarded as the supreme lord of the universe and the prime object of life giving energy, being the healer of diseases and the bestower of desires.


How to Reach Konark


This prominent tourist destination of East India, Konark is well linked to all the major parts of the country by air, rail as well as road.


By Air:


The Bhubaneswar airport is the most expedient point for entering the city with a number of flights connecting Konark with Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai plying on a regular basis.


By Train:


Located in the twin cities of Puri and Bhubaneswar, the railway stations at Konark is well linked with almost all the major destinations in India by regular trains.


By Road:


An extensive road network of within Konark, connects it well to the rest of the country via National highways and State highways linking it with Puri, Bhubaneswar and other cities in Odisha(Orissa) and its neighbouring states.


Conclusion:


Konark is a worth visiting place if you are interested into history, culture, architecture and religion. Konark has been an important place and is still an important place. Thousands of visitors visit Konark every year and enjoy the historical warm environment. The Sun Temple of Konark has been declared a world heritage site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) in 1984. The Konark Dance Festival is organised here every year and is a great attraction for tourists. The Konark Museum of the Archeological Survey of India has a good collection of sculptures from the temple ruins.


On the shores of the Bay of Bengal, bathed in the rays of the rising sun, the temple at Konark is a monumental representation which invites you to dwell into its history and heritage, so don’t forget to visit Konark, don’t forget, it’s one of the most sights of Incredible India.


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