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Fast Facts
Location : Orrisa, 64 kms from Bhubaneshwar
Attractions : Sun Temple, Chandrabhaga Beach, Museum of Archeological Survey of India etc.
Best Time To Visit : October to March

Introducing Konark
Konark Sun TempleNoted poet Rabindranath Tagore once told about Konark that "here the language of stone surpasses the language of man". Even today the saying of Rabindranath Tagore seems true for Konark and it attracts tourists from far and wide. One of the three 'Golden triangle' cities of Eastern India, Konark is situated at a distance of 64 kms from Bhubaneshwar and 31 kms from Puri. A historic and religious place, Konark is situated on the Bay of Bengal.

Konark is home to the 13th century Sun Temple, which is a World Heritage Site. Konark derives its name from Konarka, the presiding deity of the Sun temple. History of Konark says that the region had good maritime trade relations with Southeast Asian countries.

Now Konark is a modern town housing a number of interesting structures, but still the centuries old traditions and cultures lingering here. So, plan a trip to this tranquil town, enjoy a pleasant vacation and experience the spirituality as well.

How to Reach Konark
By Air : Nearest airport is located in Bhubaneshwar at a distance of 64 kms. Bhubaneshwar airport is served by several flights from major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.
By Rail : Puri (31 kms) is the nearest railhead from Konark. Several express and mail trains connect Puri with important places of the country.

By Road : National and State Highways connect Konarak with Bhubaneshwar, Puri and other major places of the state and rest of the country. Buses ply at regular interval from Puri and Bhubaneshwar to Konark. You may also hire taxi to Konark from Puri and Bhubaneshwar.

Local Transport : Modes of local transport in Konark are taxis, auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.

Places Where You Can Stay
Limited accommodation options are available in Konark. You can stay at guest houses and tourist lodges or any beach side hotel. However, one can stay in Puri or Bhubaneshwar as these cities have a range staying options. Some of the important hotels in Konark include Yatri Niwas, Panthanivas Tourist Bungalow, Konark Lodge, Banita lodge and Sunrise Lodge. Excellent accommodation is available at the Panthanivas run by the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) and the Yatri Nivas run by the Department of Tourism, Govt. of Orissa.

Tourist Attractions in Konark
Sun Temple : Sun Temple or Black Pagoda is the most prominent tourist attraction in Konark. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Konark Sun Temple is considered the finest temple dedicated to the Sun God. Sun Temple was built in the 13 th century AD by King Narasimhadev of the Ganga dynasty to celebrate a military victory. Built in the central Indian style of temple architecture, the temple has a chariot with 24 giant wheels being pulled by 7 horses.

Chandrabhaga Beach : Chandrabhaga Beach is regarded as one of the finest beaches of the eastern coastline of India. Though the waters are calm here, but the main attraction lies in its views of the temple. The beach is also the venue of the annual Chanrabhaga Mela (fair). During the annual fair thousands of devotees come to Konark to take holy bath.

Museum of Archeological Survey of India : Museum of Archaeological Survey of India has a fine collection of Oriyan architecture and ruined sculptures of Sun Temple. The museum also displays other items including interesting artefacts.

Tourist Attractions Around Konark
Ramachandi : Ramachandi lies 7 km from Konark on the confluence of the Kushabhadra river and the Bay of Bengal. Set far from the crowd of Konark, Ramachandi is an ideal place for picnic. Ramachandi, the presiding deity of Konark is worshipped here by the devotees.

Kuruma : A small village, Kuruma is situated just 8 kms away from Konark. For those who are interested in archeology, Kuruma may be a place to visit. Kuruma is noted for its Buddhist architectural heritage. In the recent excavations a number of structures related to Buddhism have been found here.

Buddhist antiquities like the image of Buddha seated in famous Bhumisparsa Mudra, image of Heruka and a 17 metres long brick wall are some of the important findings of the excavations.
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Chaurasi : Located at a distance of 30 km from Konark, Chaurasi is home to the shrines of Amareswar, Barahi and Laxminarayan. Barahi, the deity dating back to 9th century AD is the mother goddess and worshipped according to tantric practices. The pot-bellied image has the face of a boar and holding a fish in one hand and a cup in the other hand.

Puri : One of the important cities of Orissa, Puri is situated at a distance of 34 kms from Konark. Puri also makes an ideal base to visit the town of Konark. Buses are available from Puri to Konark at regular interval. Temples are major attraction of Puri including the Jagannath Temple and Gundicha Temple. Puri is also home to a fine beach, where you can spend some quality time.
Mukteswar Temple, Bhubaneshwar
Bhubaneshwar : Orissa's capital Bhubaneshwar is 64 kms away from Konarak. Bhubaneshwar is famous for its temples and museums. Once the capital of Kalinga Empire, Bhubaneshwar is now a modern city. Some of the prominent attractions of the city include Lingaraj Temple, Vaital Deul Temple, Parasurameswar Temple, Mukteswar Temple, Rajarani Temple, Orissa State Museum and Tribal Research Museum.

Astranga : Situated 91 km from Puri, Astranga is an ideal getaway from Konark. Astranga is a centre for salt-production and fishing. During sunset Astranga provides a panoramic view of the multi-coloured horizon.

Festivals of Konark
Konark Dance Festival and Magha Saptami Mela are important festivals of Konark. An annual festival, Konark Dance Festival is organised in the month of December against the magnificent backdrop of the Sun Temple. During the three-day cultural extravaganza, the leading artists of the country perform classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odisi, Kathakali and Orissa's own Chau dance. Magha Saptami Mela is held in January - February in which devotees gather to take a holy bath in the pond and then see the sun rise over the sea. Later the devotees perform the puja of the Navagrahas (Nine Planets).

Shopping in Konark
Besides a temple town, Konark is a fascinating destination for shoppers as well. Konark is dotted with a number of shops dealing in various items including locally made items. The town is popular for its elegantly carved images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, woodcarving and decorative items made of stone and horn. Patta paintings and the appliqué work of Pipli are other attraction of Konark. Another interesting buy include the marvelously embroidered umbrellas. If you are looking for some souvenirs, then visit the government emporium which have a fine collection of fabrics and handicrafts. For complete enjoyment of shopping in Konark take a leisurely stroll through the markets of the town. While exploring the markets on foot you will get an insight into the culture, lifestyle and eating habits of the local people.

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