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Konark: Abode Of The Sun God

Like the Taj Mahal of Agra, Sun temple is the other signature structure of Orissa after Jaganath Puri temple, that makes the state an important destination in the Traveler's map. It also appears it the UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites. The name Konark comes from the integration of two separate words, 'kon' that means sun and 'ark' that means corner.

Sun Temple
Quick Facts
  • Famous for : The ancient town of Konark is situated in the east-central part of Orissa, on the banks of Bay of Bengal. It is at a distance of 35 km from Puri.
  • Climate : Moderate temperature throughout the year and heavy monsoons.
  • Known For : Sun Temple, Konark Beach, Mahadevi temple, Dance Festival, Archaeological Museum.
  • Best Time To Visit : Between October and March.
Heritage Tourism In Konark
Sun Temple :An immense representation of Sun God's chariot, this edifice best represents the city Konark and all its architectural and cultural heritage. This thirteenth century temple is devoted to Sun God who is said to live here with his two wives Chhaya and Sandhya meaning shade and evening respectively to cool the scorching Sun's heat. It belongs to the Ganga Dynasty, built by Raja Narsigh Deva I. The temple has also been christened as Konaditya and Black Pagoda.

The ruins of the temple were extrapolated only in the 19th Century and still mirror the amazing art and architecture of that period. The main structure stands on a high platform and has 24 wheels of about 10 ft high to drive the chariot and seven horses at the entrance to pull it with full force. Symbolizing the continuous cycle of life, it is the finest example of Medieval architecture with the concept and detailing in implementation with walls portraying magnetic images of Gods, warriors and representations of daily activities.

Vaishnava Temple : There were around 22 temples that surrounded the main Sun Temple, out of which only two of them remain-Vaishnava Temple and Mayadevi Temple with remarkable structures of horses and elephants protecting the temples. The carvings of Gods, humans and animals are depicted celebrating life.

Mayadevi Temple :Built before the main Sun Temple in around 11th Century, to its west you can see a remarkable architectural remnant which is a temple dedicated to Goddess Mayadevi, Sun God's wife but looking at the Sun God's images all around the temple makes historians and onlookers believe that it is dedicated to Sun God only. With erotic sculptures, court scenes and floral designs the walls of this erection is worth a study of the medieval artistry.

Archaeological Museum :Situated to the north of the Sun Temple, this museum was opened in 1968. It preserves a multitude of antiques that throw light on the rich historic and cultural heritage of the state. It has four galleries and around 260 antiques that were collected from the temple complex. The beautiful pieces of architecture seem to tell an age old story of the temple that now stands incomplete. Sculptures of Gods and Goddesses, carvings of daily activities and of flora and fauna, of swans taking garlands, king enjoying music, the magnetic tomb-like structure that was destroyed among other precious items.

Konark Beach :Almost 3 km away from the Sun Temple, Konark Beach is a long stretch of glowing sand and glittering water on the marine drive. It is a clean place offering tranquility at its best where one can saun bathe, watch the sun rise, and enjoy the water tickling your feet.

Ramachandi Beach :With the amazing view of River Kushabhadra and Bay of Bengal waters coming together and a religious temple of Goddess Ramachandi blessing the place, Ramchandi is an ideal place to spend some time with family and friends, in the background of the scenic environs.

Fairs And Festivals
Konark Dance And Music Festival : It is the most famous and the oldest festival of Konark. It is organised by Orissa Dance Academy and takes place in the month of January/February.

Chandrabhaga Mela :This seven day fair takes place in the month of February every year on the beautiful Chandrabhaga Beach, near Sun Temple. Thousands of devotees from all around the country take a dip in the holy river during this festival, as it is believed to have medicial properties to cure diseases like leprosy and bareness.

The city has lot to offer you as souvenirs and memoirs like the famous patta paintings, applique work of Pipli, the stone and wood carvings, sculptures, miniatures, silk saris, sea shell items and other decorative items too which you can treasure for your life. The best place to get these pretty items is from the Government Emporium at reasonable prices.

How To Reach
Air :Domestic Airport at Bhubaneshwar, 65 km from Konark, is the nearest Airport. Regular flights to major cities of India like Delhi and Kolkotta, are available.

Rail :Puri Railway Station is the nearest Railhead at a distance of 35 km from Konark.

Road :Taxis, buses and auto rickshaws are readily available to travel to nearby cities and to the Airport and Railway Station. The city is well connected by road networks.


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