India no doubt has innumerable temples but Orissa is different in this manner. It’s not mean as if the place does not have many temples, but each temple backups the history of rulers of Orissa, from its setting up to fall. So like many temples in Orissa, the Konark Sun Temple is the utmost point of success. It situated northeast corner of the Puri city, about twenty miles away, on the Bay of Bengal shore. On the seashore, the temple looks desolate, remote and grime, but do not judge it by its desolating view as it was the most grandest and piece of work at that time. Undoubtedly, it was the ending chapter of unique and creative work of the Oriya people in the medieval architectural period.
Now Konark Sun Temple is one of the known masterpieces and tourists’ attraction of Orissa and it has been announced as world heritage site by the UNESCO. As it is situated at the corner of the holy city Puri, word Kona means ‘corner’ and Arka means ‘Sun’. The temple is devoted to the Surya (sun god).
The Sun Temple was constructed by the Ganga dynasty emperor, King Narasimha Deva, when he defeated the Muslim. In the 19th century, the archeologists found the remnants of the temple.
The disfigured beautiful structure of Konark is still standing on the residing sand of the Chandrabhaga River. The only remnant left, after all these years, in Konark is the dancing hall known as Natya Mandir. Then out of twenty-two, only two auxiliary temples that was situated within the boundaries that exits now.
The Konark Sun Temple is very huge that it nearly took 12 years income of the kingdom. The main tower is very much similar to that of the Jagannath and Lingaraja temples towers. The porch structure, known as Jamohana, in height measures more than 120 feet. Together, the porch and the tower, is standing on a platform at a height and under are 24 huge wheels of the chariot.
If you think the main attraction of the structure is the architectural sumptuousness than its not, many artists and tourists come here to see the large amount of sculptural work and its complexity. The temple was envisaged as a chariot with 24 wheels, each with diameter of 10 feet, of the Sun God. The shadows of the wheels make sundials that give exact time of the day. The chariot is pulled by seven magnificent horses. At the entrance, there two lions in guarding position and other animal that is made is a crushing elephant.
As the Konark Sun Temple is made of black granite, it is also called as Black Pagoda.
Konark Dance Festival
In month of December, Konark dance festival is held in front of the Sun Temple, in an open-air theater. It’s a great time and place to know the different types of dance of different culture. You will get to see Manipuri, Chhow, Odissi, Kathak and Bharatnatyam. After the dance, a huge mela (market) settles down, where you will find crafts and taste variety delicacies of the state. The food is actually something you will relish and crafts are all handmade made by the ethnic craftsmen. Thus, the entire experience of traditional dance, food and art and craft in front of the grandeur Konark Sun Temple will take you into different time.