In the 13th century, in India was built a great Pagoda – The Black Pagoda. This went on to become one of the major pilgrim destinations for Indians. Today popularly known as the Konark Sun Temple, this monumental excellence made of ferrugious sandstone and oxidized stone was the masterpiece of King Narsimhadeva I who belonged to the Eastern Ganga dynasty.
The architecture of the temple is a blend of Dravidian and Orissa style of construction and has a lot of ancestral links with the Chola and Ganga dynasties. Today a famous Indian temple, the Konark Sun Temple is a World Heritage Site and is included amongst the Seven Indian Wonders.
Built with the help of donations given by the royal dynasties and the name Konark comes from the Tamilian Kona which means peak. The word Arka means Sun in Sanskrit so the temple was named Konark as the temple was dedicated to the Sun God.
The beauty of the Konark Sun Temple is the waves lashing from the sea, which is around 3 km from this temple. The chariot shaped temple looks beautiful with the intricate carvings. The entire temple complex is built in the form of a chariot with around seven horses drawing it with 12 wheels decorated very well. It is these huge wheels that give the temple its beauty. It is held that the spokes in these wheels act as sundials and it is believed that the time could be foretold depending on the shadow that is thrown by these spokes during the time of the day. The temple has a roof which is shaped like a pyramid and rises to a height of 30m. The entire temple complex has got lot of sculptures, and the erotic carvings are exquisite and attractive. These carvings are in the lines of Khajuraho caves in India.
As we enter the temple we can see two lions which are huge in size. These lions are shown destroying a war elephant. The elephants are depicted to be lying on top of a body. The entire temple in fact signifies the step of Surya, the Sun God. The Nata mandir at the entry point is the place where the temple dancers used to showcase their dances. Today it is sad that the temple is in ruins, and the collection of these sculptures can be seen in the museum in the Konark Sun Temple.
Today this is one of the most sublime Indian constructions, and they are popular because of their absolutely flawless design, and the grand dimensions of the architecture are a point to reckon with. There are many such tableaux all across the temple each depicting Indian culture, grace and beauty. There are many images of deities, musicians, dancers and lovers etc depicted on the tableaux. There are also scenes of lively activities in the court, and also of birds, elephants marching and the creatures from mythology. This is where you can also see the lovely Odishan art which makes the sculpture so famous.
Thus the Konark Sun Temple is a place to visit for all those who wish to go to the past.