If picturesque architectural styles impress you, then the Sun Temple in Konark cannot be ruled out when you are in Odisha (previously Orissa). Dedicated to the Sun God, Surya the entire structure of the main temple is like a huge chariot, with twelve pairs of wheels pulled by seven horses. Each of these wheels is intricately carved and scientifically designed, such that its spokes serve as sun dials and can tell the time of the day. The temple walls are adorned with versatile sculptures of Gods, animals, geometric patterns, events and erotic figures. It is said that the morning sun rays touch the feet of the Sun God’s idol placed in the main temple sanctum sanctorum.
Konark’s Sun Temple is like a beautiful form of art chiseled out of black stone and is therefore also called the “Black Pagoda”. It was earlier used for navigational purposes by European sailors and is also believed to have magnetic powers that caused shipwrecks. I would advise to hire an official guide there for a deeper insight into the history and legends of this magnanimous creation, thereby making your visit to this treasured World Heritage Site more meaningful.
The temple complex has many interesting sights to be captured. One is the Nata Mandira (hall of dance). The hall’s entrance has two huge, carved lions and the interiors have a symmetric pillar with interesting dancing figurines. There is a Mayadevi temple dedicated to one of the wives of God Surya. There is also a museum where you will find artefacts related to the Sun Temple.
Sun Temple Konark is indeed one of the most incredible sights in India.
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