SUN TEMPLE KONARK FACTS & FIGURES
Built in : 13th Century A.D.
Location : Konark, Orissa.
Best time to visit: October to March.
Significance: Sun Temple.
Konark is a popular tourist attraction of Orissa. Konark houses a colossal temple dedicated to the Sun God. Even in its ruined state it is a magnificient temple reflecting the genius of the architects that envisioned and built it. Bhubaneshwar, Konark and Puri constitute the Golden triangle of Orissa, visited in large numbers by pilgrims and tourists.
This temple built in 1278 CE by the Ganga King Narasimha Deva is one of the grandest temples of India and was referred to as the Black Pagoda. The ruins of this temple were excavated in late 19th century.
Sun Temple Architecture :
The Sun Temple built in the thirteenth century was conveived as 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 the harmonious integration of 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 give it a superiority over other temples. The chief 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.
The alignment of the Sun Temple is on the east-west direction. The Temple is located in natural surroundings, abounding with casuarina plantations and other types of trees, wchich grow on sandy soil. The environment is by and large unspoiled. Gentle undulating topography around the Sun Temple lends some variation to the landscape
How to Reach Konark
- Air: The nearest airport is Bhubaneshwar, 65 km away, which is connected to Calcutta, Delhi, Madras and other airports.
- Rail: The city is well connected by rail to Bhubaneshwar and Puri.
- Road: Konark is 65 km from Bhubaneswar and 35 km from the coastal town of Puri. It is 85 km from Puri if you take a diversion via the colourful village of Pipli, which is famous for its applique work. You can also travel by road to other places in Orissa.