Affectionately known as the Black Pagoda, is the famous Konark Sun Temple in Odisha where god Surya showers blessings on its devotees. Having its foundation from the 13th-century CE, the Konark Sun Temple is treasured among the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the globe. The temple holds a special meaning where ‘Kona’ means corner and ‘Arka’ means the Sun, which denotes that Surya revered in the Ark Kshetra. This famous temple of Odisha along with the Jagannath Temple was used by the European sailors in the Bay of Bengal as major landmarks. Furthermore, the temple is ascribed to one of the famous warriors of 1250 CE, King Narasimhadeva I who belonged to the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. What used to be a 61 m high chariot shaped temple with intricately carved horses, pillars, walls and wheels from stone now stand in ruins with a height of just 30 m. Moreover, if you are planning a trip to Konark Sun Temple then the winter season is considered the best time to visit as the famous Chandrabhaga Mela also takes place during that time.
History and Architecture of the Temple
The temple which was bestowed upon the land of Odisha by King Narasimhadeva in the 13th century has different stories etched to it. Starting from the shape of the temple, the structure resembles to that of a chariot with 12 wheels that denote 12 months and 7 horses that denote 7 days in a week that carry the Surya, the god of the sun beyond the heavens. Besides, the 12 wheels are sundials that can be brought in use to calculate exact time. The temple glows with the charm of the Kalinga architectural style where in the first place it was built at the rim of the Chandrabhaga River. However there has been constant changes with the waterline. Furthermore, it is believed that Lord Vishnu after defeating Gyasur the demon, set down the Lotus at Konark, Conch at Puri, Mace at Jajpur and Disc in Bhubaneswar. According to mythological reference, it is said that Lord Krishna cursed his own son, Samba of leprosy. To get rid of the illness, Samba performed penance for 12 years close to the conflux of River Chandrabhaga at Mitravana; and was blessed with the cure of his illness when Surya, the god of the sun. Later, to praise the god of the sun, Samba sculpted a temple in his honour. Samba also placed an image of Surya’s body by Vishwakarma in the temple which he found while bathing the next day.
6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Best Time to Visit
The months from September to March are considered the best time to visit Konark Sun Temple. Travellers can also visit other tourist attractions of Konark in these months.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
- Chandrabhaga Beach
- Ramachandi Temple
- Ramchandi Beach