Konark-, also known as Arka-Tirtha, is known for its temple of Lord Surya, the sun-god. It is situated on the seashore, 33 km north of Puri and 64 km from Bhubaneswar.The Sun Temple of Konark, often called as the Black Pagoda, was constructed in the mid thirteenth century by Raja Narasinghs Deva-I of the Ganga Dynasty. It is an ample testament to the artistic glory of the time. Conceived in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on 12 pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels--after the mythical seven horse chariot of Sun God--the temple was unique in its architecture and implementation.
Intricate carvings on the walls of the main temple and the Natya Mandap (a separate structure just in front of the temple) are a sight to behold. It is often considered the best among other temples of its kind and that is saying something when you are talking about the golden triangle of Orissa which boasts of Sri Jagannath temple and Lingraj Temple of Puri and Bhubaneswar.
The sun temple of Konarak was initially conceived in the form of a giant chariot for the sun god. A world heritage site declared by UNESCO this grand temple now in its ruins attracts tourists from all over the world. Though it has lost most of its original structures, the remains explains the architectural excellence and the imaginative powers of the architects and the artists of those time. This temple is one of the best classic examples of human creation in world and probably the most beautifully and artistically carved religious pagodas in the world. The temple once constructed to depict the glory of Sun God today narrates the majestic past of Orissa. This temple in the form of chariot had 24 wheels, with each of them about 5 feet in radius, with a set of spoke and artistic carvings, these wheels were once ornate of beauty and acted as sundials. Seven horses were carved to pull this magnificent chariot.
The temple once had a sanctum with a tall conical Roof believed to be around 68 m high, a Jaganmohana and an area dedicated to the Devadasis or female dancers of the temple called the natya mandir. This temple built out of oxidizing sandstone has two giant lions guarding the entrance, crushing elephants to show their power. The Surasundaris or the lady drummers have been artistically carved along with other erotic sculptors, musicians and other images of a courtroom. The temple of Mayadevi and Vaishnava has also been excavated near the main temple.
The holy pond still lies near the Konarak Beach where Samba, the son of Lord Krishna was cured of leprosy after taking the dip in the holy kund, by the blessings of Sun God, which influenced him to create such splendid abode for the God.
Konarak Dance Festival is organized every year in the month of December in the premises of the Sun Temple to commemorate the glory of the Indian Music and Dance. Various Indian classical dance forms like Oddissi, Bhartnatyam, Manipuri; Kathak is performed along with the traditional folk dance called Chow. The entire temple premises seem to be alive during these days of clebrations. The art and craft along with the sand art exhibits introduces you to the true flavors of Orissa.
Magha Saptami is a Sun festival observed during the months of January or February as per the Hindi Calendar. The devotees on this auspicious day after taking the holy bath in the sea visit the sun temple for the prayers.
Konark-, also known as Arka-Tirtha, is known for its temple of Lord Surya, the sun-god. It is situated on the seashore, 33 km north of Puri and 64 km from Bhubaneswar.The Sun Temple of Konark, often called as the Black Pagoda, was constructed in the mid thirteenth century by Raja Narasinghs Deva-I of the Ganga Dynasty.
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