UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

Sun Temple-Konark

Built in- (1250)
sun templeYear of Inscription: 1984

Reasons for Inscription : Monumental depiction of the Sun-God, Surya's chariot, Sun Temple at Konark, is included in the list of World Heritage Site based on the criteria no. (i), (iii), and (vi). The temple is a specimen of Kalinga architecture and depicts unique artistic achievement. The artistic works on the temple walls have highlighted memorable legends of the past through intricate designing on the stone. The temple is also an excellent embodiment of 13th century kingdom of Orissa.

Category : Hindu Religious Structure

Sun Temple in Brief Located on the shore of Bay of Bengal, Sun Temple-Konark is the main attraction of Konark tourism. It is situated in the Puri district of Orissa. The temple was constructed under the patronage of King Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty. It is dedicated to Sun God of Hindu mythology and resembles the shape of gigantic chariot fitted with giant wheels. Every nook and corner of the temple is carved with various stone sculpture depicting different identities and activities.

The temple has 24 carved wheels divided into 12 pairs. To draw the chariot, seven giant stone horses are tied to it. The temple is designed with refined iconographical depictions of the life and activities of contemporary era. The space between the wheels and the plinth of the temple is adorned with the eclectic shapes of wonderful lions, dancer-musicians, and different postures of erotic groups. The temple is further divided into spatial units. The Vimana was surmounted by a tall tower with a shikhara(crowning cap).

Though a major part of the temple is under ruin, yet the grandeur of the temple is highly praiseworthy and significant from tourists' point of view. The main entrance of the temple is constructed in such a manner that first rays of sunrise bathe it with all brightness. The audience hall of the temple is around 128 feet tall. Other significant structures found in temple premise are Nata Mandapa (dancing hall) and Bhoga Mandapa (dining hall).

How to Get There

By Air: Bhubaneshwar is the nearest airport to Konark. It is around 64 km away from the centre of attraction Konark Sun Temple. Hire a private cab and reach your desired spot.

By Train: Konark has its own railway station. Regular trains run from major cities of the country.

By Road: State government buses are available from different cities. However, one can always count on private car.

Timing: 10 am to 5 pm

Closed on: Friday