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. It was built by King Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Konark is also known as Arkashetra.
The temple is shaped like a giant chariot and the temple worship Surya the Sun God. The entire Sun temple is built in black granite and is also known as the black pagoda. The temple has a unique architecture style, which is completely made out of stone and compress fine stone carving.
Konark Temple in Ancient texts:
Possibly there are three temples were 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 aliment. So Samba did penance for 12 years in Mitravana near the shores of Chandrabhaga. Later he was cured of the blessing of Sun God. He built two Sun temples in Konark and Multan to honour Sun God.
Architecture of Konark Temple:
The temple is widely known not only as architectural grandeur but also the slender carving and sculptural work on the temple granite stones. The entire temple has been conceived as a chariot of the Sun God with 24 wheels, and each wheel about 10 feet in diameter. The chariot is pulled by a set of seven horses. Two lions guard the entrance. The temple follows the traditional style of Kalinga architecture. There is a Nata mandir around the base of the temple, and up the walls and roof are carved in the erotic style. Animals, leaves, men, warriors on horses and other interesting patterns also carved beautifully on so many parts of the temple. The roof of the Porch has three tiers covered in statues, mostly musicians and dancers invite the Sun God during his daily passage through the heavens. And Lord Shiva Nataraja’s performing the cosmic dance poses also carved on the bottom platform.
The Sun God is situated in the temple in three images to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and sunset. Every sculpture of the entire temple indicates the passage time, which has been controlled by Sun God.
Konark Temple resemblance with Time:
Here the seven horses which pull the chariot of Sun God represents 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 woman’s day. The 24 carved wheels represent the 24 hours of the day.
Reputation of Konark Temple:
The Konark Sun temple has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1984. The Konark dance festivals organized here every year. This event is a great attraction for tourists. The Konark Museum also one of the attractive place. The archaeological department of India has a good collection of sculptures from the temple ruins.