Konark Sun Temple is a famous Temple dedicated to Sun God. It is Just 35 km away from Puri Jagannath Temple in Orissa. This Temple is dedicated to Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The Temple is of 13th Century and was built in the year 1250AD.
The Main Temple which you can see is now 100ft High and carvings of Wheels and another goddess in detail can be seen. but once upon a Time it was of 200ft Height and has horses and chariots carved on rock, Today only remains are left.
In 1250, During the rule of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty, King Narasimhadeva I decided to build a Temple for Surya Bhagavan The Sun God. Many other sculptures like wheels and Horses are carved on the rock and assembled here. The Temple was called a Black Pagoda Because the Tower appeared to be Black.
Many Erotic Sculptures just like Ajantha and Ellora Caves are carved here. This was given Unesco World Heritage site status in 1984.
Konark Sun Temple Architecture
The Architecture of Konark Temple is much Talked about, The Miniature carvings and 3D models carved on Rocks shows the greatness and the efforts involved by the Craftsmanship.
The Architecture of the Temple is of Kalinga Style Architecture, Mostly the height of the temple will be high and the width will be less compared to the Dravidian style where the height and width will be broad.
The Temple has Erotic Carvings on the Walls, Ancient Women, Elephants, and Horses. The Rocks used for the construction are Khondalite rocks.
Konark Magnet Theory
There is a Theory which is rumored that a Magnet was in the Temple Which made Idols strong and attached to the walls, These walls were destroyed during British era. Below is an article from a website which is still not proved to be true, But Just Rumoured.
From Konark.inThe most popular theory associated with the Konark temple is its magnets & the floating idol in the air. The uniqueness of the Sun Temple of Konark lies in the fact that it was built with an architectural setup of various magnets. During the construction of the main tower of the temple, the artisans put an iron plate between every two stone pieces. There is a lodestone at the top of the temple that was said to be a massive 52-ton magnet. According to legend, the statue of the Sun God inside the temple was built of material with iron content and was said to be floating in the air, without any physical support, due to the unique arrangements of the top magnet, the bottom magnet, and the reinforced magnets around the temple walls. The placement of the main temple and the Sun God had been aligned in such a way that the first ray of the Sun from the coast would cross the Nata Mandir (Dancing Hall) and would fall & reflect from the diamond placed at the crown of the Sun God.
Other legends state that the magnetic effect of the lodestone was so strong that it caused a disturbance in the ship’s compasses those passed by the coast (Konark being a major port at that time), thus making navigation very difficult for the sailors. To save their trade and their ships, the Portuguese sailors destroyed the temple and took away the lodestone. The removal of the lodestone leads to the collapse of the main temple structure.
Konark Sun Temple is the most visited Site in Odisha after Puri Jagannath Ratha Yatra, But Many Foreign Tourists visit this place, Almost Million Tourists Visited this place in 2019. Konark Sun Temple is dedicated to Sun God “Surya Bhagavan”. But The idols are damaged during the 15th to 17th centuries by Islamic Invaders, At Present there is no worship going in Temple. It is a Visiting Place and is Maintained by Archeological Survey Of India.
UNESCO WHS Status
UNESCO Declared World Heritage Site status for Konark Sun Temple in 1984, For its Magnificent Architecture, Carvings in Temple and it’s Rich Cultural Heritage it is preserving for 1000 years.
Travel Route and Timings
Bhubaneswar City Airport is 65 km away from Konark Sun Temple. The Nearest Station is Puri Railway Station which is 50 km far. There are many tourist buses available to Konark Sun Temple.
Konark Sun Temple is open all days and the Timings are from 6AM TO 8PM