Sun Temple Konark Orissa
Konark, Orrisa. 35 kms away from Puri, 65 kms
Built By :
Built In :
13th Century A.D.
Dedicated To :
Sun God, Surya.
Set marvelously on the beautiful coast of the Bay of Bengal, the Sun Temple,
Konark is a testimony of a gracious and mysterious past. Konark's
serene atmosphere coupled with a quiet sea-shore is regarded as a perfect
place for holidaying for domestic as well as foreign tourists. Konark forms
one of three points of "Golden Triangle of Orissa", the other two
being Puri and Bhubaneshwar.
With pristine natural surroundings, casuarina plantations, several types of
trees and an unspoiled environment, the Sun Temple provides you a heaven
like feel. Dedicated to Sun God - Surya, this temple was constructed in the
13th century by King Narasingh Deva - I of the famous Ganga Dynasty. A
masterpiece of Orrisan temple architecture, the Sun Temple was conceived as
a massive chariot of Sun God, with 12 pairs of beautifully ornamented wheels
pulled by seven pairs of horses.
Moreover, Konark is not just a symbol of Orissa's great architectural
craftsmanship, but it is also the most sought after destination for tourist
across the world. Today, the Sun Temple has lost its main sanctuary but
remaining structure and ruins are enough to hold your attention.
From ancient time, Sun God is regarded as the supreme lord of the Universe
and the principle object of life giving energy. In addition to these, the
Sun god is also believed as the healer of diseases and bestower of desires.
Legend has it that Lord Krishna's son Samba was suffering from leprosy,
so he underwent severe penance for 12 years at Miravana near the confluence
of Chandrabhaga river. Eventually Samba succeeded in pleasing God Surya, the
healer of all skin ailments and was cured of leprosy. In gratitude, Samba
decided to built a temple to honour the Sun god, Surya. Very next day after
his cure, while Samba was bathing in the Chandrabhaga river he found an
image of the Sun God. Later Samba installed this image in the temple which
he erected in Mitravana. Since then this place has been regarded as a sacred
place and attracts large number of pilgrims from all corners of the world.
Architecture of the Temple
of the most sublime monuments in India, the Sun Temple is known for its
wonderful dimensions, faultless proportions and also for the perfect
integration of architectural grandeur with plastic allegiance. Besides, fine
traceries and scroll work, the fantastic natural cut of animal and human
figures add more to the beauty of the temple.
Architecturally the Sun Temple belongs to the Kalinga School of Indian
Temple having peculiar towers capped by Cupolas. A fine specimen of Kalinga
architecture, the Sun temple depicts the grace, joy and the rhythm of life
in its fascinating variety. You will find an endless wealth of decoration
right from delicate patterns in bas-relief to exquisitely modelled free
standing huge sculptures.
On the whole, the architecture of the temple doesn't differ much from
the other sikhara temples of Orissa. The Sun temple stands in a huge
compound measuring 857 ft. x 540 ft and the alignment of the temple is on
the east-west direction. The main sanctum of the temple is 229 ft. high and
the audience hall is 128 ft. high and it has elaborate projections outside.
Now the main sanctum which enshrined the presiding deity has fallen off but
the audience hall survives entirely. Apart from these, the temple has other
two halls namely - the Dancing Hall (Nata Mandir) and the Dinning Hall
(Bhoga- Mandap), only small portions of these building have survived over
Konark Dance Festival :
Konark Dance Festival, mainly a
festival of classical dance is organized every year between 1st and 5th
December. One of the most exciting dance festivals of the country, Konark
Dance Festival is known for preserving and continuing unique temple dance
tradition of Orissa. Konark Dance Festival provides a glimpse of India's
composite culture and offers a lavish feast for the eyes and ears of the
audience. During this festival, the eminent classical dancers of the country
present live performance on the Open Air Auditorium against the picturesque
back drop of Sun Temple. Popular dance forms which you can see during the
festival include Odissi, Bharat Natyam, Kathak, Manipuri and Chhow Dance.
Just outside the temple complex, there is a small
museum on the main road. This museum houses many sculptures and carvings
found during the temple excavation. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5
pm and is closed on Fridays.
If you want to experience some tranquil moments
then you must visit the nice quiet beach which is about 3 kms from the
temple. You can reach the beach on foot or by hiring a cycle rickshaw. The
sea currents are strong here so swimming may be dangerous.
Chandrabhaga Mela is the most popular and colourful festival of
Konark and second biggest festival of Orissa, next only to Car Festival of
Puri. Every year in the month of February, lakhs of pilgrims visit Konark to
celebrate the Chandrabhaga Mela or Magha Saptami. Close to the beach is a
pond where Krishna's son Samba is believed to have been cured from
Leprosy. During Chandrabhaga Mela people bathe in this pond at night and
then watch the sun rise over the sea the next morning.
How to Reach
By Air :
Nearest airport is located in Bhubaneswar at a
distance of 64 km from Konark. Indian Airlines operates flights for
Bhubaneswar from Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Nagpur and
By Rail :
Bhubaneswar railway station (65 kms) is the
nearest major railhead from Konark. From Bhubaneswar, regular buses are
available, with a change of buses at Pipli. The road journey will take
around two to three hours.
By Bus :
Good roads connect Konark with Bhubaneswar and
Puri (35 kms). Buses are available at regular interval from Puri to Konark.
There is a direct tourist bus that leaves daily from Bhubaneswar bus stand
at 10 a.m. A daily tour bus also goes to Konark from Puri. Besides, you can
also hire a taxi from Puri for about Rs. 400 round-trip.
Local Transport :
Auto-rickshaws, Cycle-rickshaws are
available as local mode of transport in Konark.
Places Where You Can Stay
Plenty of accommodation options are available in Konark. You can stay at
the Tourist Bungalow which is very close to the main entrance of the temple.
Close to the Tourist Bungalow are several other hotels and lodges that
provide good accommodation facility at cheap rate.