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A Travelers Guide to Konark Sun Temple

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

India is a land of much beauty as well as a land of many unique and beautiful locations off the beaten path. Konark Sun Temple is no exception to this description. Konark Temple, also known as Surya Mandira, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya. To fully understand this temple you must understand its history, so let’s begin!


Konark Sun Temple was originally created in the 13th century around 1250 to be exact and the creator is believed to be King Narasimhadeva I, of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. He ordered its dedication to the Sun God. He also gave the laborers an ultimatum, that the temple had to be completed in 12 years, groundbreaking for the time. Surya was believed to ride a chariot across the sky that rose in the east and set in the west, so the temple was built in the shape of a chariot. Konark included two towers, the main temple, terraces, walls that towered 100 feet above sea level, and a variety of different statues of the many Hindu deities. The temple also has wheels, more than 24 on either side, that each had extremely intricate, hand-made carvings and were 9 feet by 9 inches each and a total of 8 spokes. These wheels also were used to use the sun to tell time. The temple's architecture was originally built in the Kalinga Architecture style, an ancient Hindu building style often used in temples.


The temple has two ‘sister’ temples that form a triangle in distance. The other temples are Jagannath Puri Temple, also built in the thirteenth century, which is dedicated to the avatar of Vishnu, Lord Krishna. The second Temple is Shiva Temple, which is located near Kalinga, a city near to Konark and It is only 6 miles from the state capital Of The Indian state Odisha. Shiva Temple is also widely known throughout India for having 101 Shiva Lingas, a dedicative piece to the Lord Shiva. Konark took the form it is in today after it was attacked and laid to ruin sometime in the 14th or 15th century. The question of who and why the temple was destroyed, is still a widely debated subject to this day. In fact there are around five side shrines surrounding Konark Temple that were also destroyed or laid to ruin. Despite the temple being in ruins it was still a major place of pilgrimage to Hindus and still is today. Konark Temple also began to become widely known in the sailing world, as it became an important landmark for the sailors who sought after India’s riches. After the British Takeover of India under the British Raj, Konark was partially restored and we ended our little historical tour with the event of

Konark being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.


Konark is truly a beautiful location that comes highly recommended for any true traveling traveler, and with 2.5 million visitors a year, Konark’s demand is becoming larger, visit soon!


 


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