Sun Temple – Konark

Konark, a small town in Puri district in the state of Orissa. Konark houses a colossal temple dedicated to the Sun God. Even though it’s in ruined state it’s a magnificent temple reflecting the genius of the architects that envisioned and built it. Konark is also known as Konaditya. The name Konark is derived from the words Kona – Corner and Arka – Sun; it is situated on the north eastern corner of Puri or the Chakrakshetra. Konark is also known as Arkakshetra. It’s located just sixty-five kilometers from Bhubaneswar the capital of Orissa. Known to be one of the famous tourist attractions of Orissa. Bhubaneswar, Konark and Puri constitute the Golden triangle of Orissa, visited in large numbers by pilgrims and tourists.

The Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century Hindu temple dedicated to the sun god. The entire temple was designed in the form of a huge chariot of Surya, the sun god and drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels. The entrance is guarded by two lions, which are each shown crushing a war elephant. Each elephant in turn lies on top of a human body. The temple symbolizes the majestic stride of the Sun god. At the entrance of the temple is a Nataya Mandir. This is where the temple dancers used to perform dances in homage to the Sun god. All around the temple, there are various floral and geometric patterns. There are also human, divine and semi-divine figures in sensuous poses. The poses contain couples in various amorous poses, and are derived from the Kama Sutra.

Konark is also home to an annual dance festival, held every December, devoted to classical Indian dance forms, including the traditional classical dance of Orissa, odissi.

Konark beach is a popular tourist destination, though the waters are deceptively calm. Its main attraction lies in its views of the temple.

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