After Jagganath Puri, our next destination was Konark Sun Temple. Amit(my husband) was too excited about it. He has read many stories about it and initially was our guide for the Sun Temple tour.
But later on we were curious to more about this historical site, thus hired a government approved Guide. In this post I have included his videos so as to make the history more clear.
Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE dedicated to Lord Sun. The temple is attributed to king Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE.
Road to Konark Sun Temple
The distance from Puri to Konark is 35KMs. It is one of the best driving routes in India. Lush green trees, unending lagoons, and beautiful scenery are the major attributes of this road. You can enjoy boating, boat balloons, and coconut water through the 35KM drive. Since roads are in very good conditions, it hardly takes 20 minutes without any break.
Boating fees are Adult Rs.150/per head
and kids Rs.100/per person
Ballon boat: fees are Adult Rs.150/per head
and kids Rs.100/per person
After some negotiations, they come down to 500/per boat and Rs. 500 for 5 persons.
History of Konark Sun Temple
Once Samba, the son of Sri Krishna, incurred the displeasure of Narada. Who revenged himself by getting Samba afflicted with leprosy. Ultimately, when Samba, was found innocent, he was advised to practice penance in the Maitreyi forest for 12 years, to please Surya(Sun God) to cure him of his disease. He acted accordingly was however completely cured, after some time, by worshipping the deity.
About The Sun Temple, Konark
The Sun Temple, Konark: Kaanapali of the Periplus (first century AD) is an important part of the Orissa Coast. The most notable marvel of Orissa art is the stately The Sun temple. Built in C AD1250, during the reign of the Eastern Ganga King Narasimhadeva (AD 1238-64), it was enshrined am the image of Sun (Arka), the patron Deity of the place.
The entire complex was designed int the for a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely carved wheels.
The sanctum symbolizes the majestic stride of the Sun God and marks the culmination of the Orissa architectural style. The Vimana of the duel has collapsed, while that of Jagmohan and the nata-mandap are better preserved. The walls of the temple contain superb carving of the divine, semi-divine, human and animal figures amidst floral and geometric ornamentations.
The vivacious Kanyas and danseuse are remarkable for their sensuous modeling, pulsating with human emotions which are absorbed in a variety of gestures and rhythmic actions. Mighty Simha-gajas welcome the visitor at the porches.
5 interesting facts about Konark Sun Temple which make you believe The Indian golden history.
- Why God is not worshipped in The Sun Temple, Konark.?
Due to the suicide of a young boy in the temple premises soon it gets completed, it made The Sun Temple, unsuitable for the worship of the God.
- Reason Behind Erotic sculptures in The Sun Tempe, Konark
The Sun Temple, show couples in various stages of courtship and intimacy, and in some cases coital themes. Notorious in the colonial era for their uninhibited celebration of sexuality.
After King Ashoka invaded Kalinga, The despair and casualty which he had inflicted upon the people of Kalinga filled his heart with deep sorrow and regret. The cry of the wives and women of the deads, the tears of the children, the terrifying sufferings of the dying men, all had changed his heart and mind. He found his consolation in Buddhism. He was repenting for his deeds. He embraced Buddhism and took the vow of inculcating ‘Dhamma’ to all men throughout his life.
So, most of the people were infatuated with non-violence and thus these erotic sculptures to bring love back to their life.
- The significance of seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely carved wheels.
The 12 pairs of carved wheels is of 9 feet 9 inches in diameter and each one of them having 8 wider spokes and 8 thinner spokes.Out of these 24 wheels, 6 are on either side of the main temple, 4 wheels are on each side of the Mukhasala and 2 wheels on each side of steps at the eastern front.
The 7 horses represent the days of the week and the 12 pairs of wheels represent the 12 months of the year asignify wheels signifies 24 hours of a day and the 8 major spokes signifies prahars (three hour period) of a day. According to others, the wheels of the chariot have been interpreted as the ‘Wheel of Life’.
The various sculptures and their significance in The Sun Temple, Konark
There are sculptures depicting Indo African and Indo China associations. There are sculptures of Samunder Manthan to Shravan, Women gossiping to child marriage, girls are shown wringing their wet hair, standing by a tree, looking from a window, playing with pets, putting on makeup while looking into a mirror, playing musical instruments such as the vina, chasing away a monkey who is trying to snatch items, a family taking leave of their elderly grandmother who seems dressed for a pilgrimage. The sculptures of Hindu deities, apsaras, and images from the daily life and culture of the people have been depicted here.
- The significance of the wheels and calculation of timing.
The architecture of that time was so flourished that carved wheels are designed in a way to determine each hour time which is right up to seconds. The size and architecture of the 24 wheels is same but each one of them has been differently carved all over. The thicker ones are all carved with circular medallions at their centres on the widest part of the face. The axels of the wheels project by about one foot from the surface, having similar decorations at their ends
Entry fees/ timings of The Sun Temple, Konark.
There is a parking fee of Rs. 30 + adult entry fees of the Rs.30/per head.
- Prefer going during the evening as the temperature is high during the daytime.
- If traveling with kids, carry snacks as allowed inside the temple.
- Sunscreen is a must to prevent yourself from tanning.
- Shoes are allowed inside the temple.
Such sculptures render the Orissa temple a class unto themselves. They depict how advanced and modern was ancient technology and architecture.