Konark Temple The Religious Place of Hindus:
Konark temple is one of the religious places for Hindus. It is located in Puri, Odisha state, India. It is a world heritage temple also. King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty built it. Konark is also known as Arkashetra.
The temple is shaped like a giant chariot and worships Surya, the Sun God. The Sun temple is built in black granite, also known as the black pagoda. The temple’s unique architectural style is made of stone and compressed fine stone carving.
Konark Temple in Ancient texts:
Three temples were possibly built in India, according to Bhavishya Purana and Samba Purana. These books mentioned the presence of three Sun God temples at Mundira(Konark), Kalapriya(Mathur) and Multan. The same Puranas narrated a story that once Samba, the son of Lord Krishna, was cursed with Leprosy. Then Samba was advised by Saint Kataka to worship Sun God to cure his ailment. So Samba did penance for 12 years in Mitravana near the shores of Chandrabhaga. Later he was fixed by the blessing of the Sun God. He built two Sun temples in Konark and Multan to honour Sun God.
The architecture of Konark Temple:
The temple is widely known for its architectural grandeur and the slender carving and sculptural work on the temple’s granite stones. The entire temple has been conceived as a chariot of the Sun God with 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter. A set of seven horses pulls the chariot. Two lions guard the entrance. The temple follows the traditional style of Kalinga architecture. A Nata mandir is around the temple’s base, and the walls and roof are carved in the erotic style. Animals, leaves, men, warriors on horses and other exciting patterns were also cut beautifully on many parts of the temple. The roof of the Porch has three tiers covered in statues; primarily, musicians and dancers invite the Sun God during his daily passage through the heavens. And Lord Shiva Nataraja performs the cosmic dance poses also carved on the bottom platform.
In three images, the Sun God is situated in the temple to catch the sun’s rays at dawn, noon and sunset. Every temple sculpture indicates the passage of Time, which the Sun God has controlled.
Konark Temple resemblance with Time:
Here the seven horses which pull the chariot of Sun God represent the days of the week. The 12 pairs of wheels represent the 12 months of the year, and the eight spokes in each wheel symbolize the eight ideal stages of a woman’s day. The 24 carved wheels represent the 24 hours of the day.
The reputation of Konark Temple:
The Konark Sun temple was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1984. The Konark dance festivals are organized here every year. This event is a great attraction for tourists. The Konark Museum is also one of the attractive places. The archaeological department of India has a good collection of sculptures from the temple ruins.