“ City: Konark / Country: India / World Region: Indian Subcontinent „
The Sun Temple, KONARK
If you love to explore rich cultural heritage of India you must call on The Sun temple (Known as Black Pagoda) in Konark which is in Orissa (Eastern part of India).
I have been there several times as I loved the place in my heart of hearts. It is a stunning monumental religious architecture built in thirteenth century. The amazing feature of this temple is the fact that the first rays of the rising sun always descend in the temple. I am a great fan of the architecture of the temple which is designed in the shape of a huge chariot with seven horses and twenty four wheels. This temple was built for Lord Surya (Sun) and is a very famous and sacred place. You will discover plethora of sculptures and images of deities, scenes of life events carved with sincere effort.
I was really enchanted with hospitable guides who will also narrate the story of Dharmapada who built the temple top crown and other popular events, diversified themes associated with this temple.
You can also enjoy early sun rise and sun set in the Chandrabhaga beach which is near by the temple. You need to plan your visit as I feel the best season will be specially the winter season otherwise it will be rather hot. You can also enjoy a classical dance festival which is normally organized in first week of December. This is regarded as a supreme dance festival in India and is very popular as it happens in an open environment and with lot of colours and vibrant.
It was an astounding experience for me as I was fascinated by the temple .You can drive your back to Puri through Marine Drive to visit Lord Jagnath temple or travel to capital of Orissa (Bhubaneswar) by road. On the way one can take a break at Pipli to buy some appliqué work in multi-coloured fabrics. So next time you visit India do plan out to include Konark in you your list.
South of Calcutta, in the state of Orissa, is the coastal town of Puri, a popular beach resort for many Indian people. About an hours journey by bus to the north of Puri lies the small community of Konark, the locals existing off the economy from the tourists visiting the Sun Temple. This is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the area. The Temple was built in the thirteenth century and is as beautiful (although under extensive repair) as any of the many Hindu Temples to be seen in India, if only for its size. What is amazing is the base of the Temple. Only very recently rediscovered beneath the sands around the Temple is a base, largely intact and ornately sculptured with figures from the Karma Sutra carved into the sides of a chariot on which the temple is being carried. At the front of the chariot, a team of horses, between which are stairs leading into the Temple itself. Four two-metre high wheels are on the four corners of the base. Standing back, the effect is of the entire Temple being raced towards the rising sun and bewildering at all times of the day, even when lit up at night. Konark and the Temple are about 3 kilometres from the beach, a nice walking distance for those brave enough to go for a swim. The town consists of not more than a crescent-shaped road around the front of the Temple, and a few food and gift stalls, with a few hotels behind. Four of us stayed in the government run Yatri Nivas Hotel for £2 (50p each). We shared a room that was very clean, had the obligatory ceiling fan and mosquito nets, and had its own spotlessly clean bathroom. The Sun Temple doesn’t get as many visitors as it deserves, but then at least it is being protected from the kind of damage that tourism brings. Nevertheless, it is an amazing site, akin to Borobudur in Java, and worth a look in if you are passing this way.
"Konark is a town and a notified area committee in Puri District in the Indian state of Orissa. Konark (or Konarak) (Sanskrit: कोनार्क) is a small town in the state of Orissa, India, on the Bay of Bengal, sixty-five kilometres from Bhubaneswar. It is the site of the 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), built in Orissa Red Sand Stone (Khandolite) and Black Grainte by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1236-1264) of the Ganga dynasty. The temple is one of the most well renowned temples in India and is a World Heritage Site. The entire complex was designed in the form of a huge Imaginary chariot drawn by seven spirited horses representing seven basic clours of Sun on Twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels. The entrance is guarded by two lions, which are each shown crushing a war elephant. Each elephant in turn lies on top of a human body. There are also human, divine and semi-divine figures in sensuous poses. The poses contains couples in various amorous poses, and are derived from the Kama Sutra. The temple is now partly in ruins, and a collection of its sculptures is housed in the Sun Temple Museum, which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India. The poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote of Konark: "here the language of stone surpasses the language of man.""