Konark Temple, a symbol of the rich heritage in India, is a temple situated on the coastline of Odisha. A temple dedicated to the revered Sun God. It is built in the form of a decorated chariot with 24 wheels drawn by seven mighty horses. Konark Temple, also known as Arka Khetra, is famous for the architectural brilliance and its intricate craftsmanship. The temple houses three images of Sun God at three different positions to accurately catch the rays of the sun at morning, noon and evening.
A bit of History
Konark Temple, widely known as the Sun Temple was built in the middle of 13th century by King Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty. It is said that he wanted to build a temple that bespoke his devotion and his great victory in the war against Tugh Khan. It’s construction was overseen by Siva Samantaraya Mahapatra. It took about 1200 artisans 12 years to build this architectural fete.
The Sun Temple is a brilliant example of a flawless blend of architecture, art and religion. The temple consists of Vimana ( main temple), Jagamohana (hall for worshippers) and Nirtya-mandapa (dancing hall). It is built in the form a majestic chariot driven by mighty horses and guarded by Gajasimha (lion upon elephant). The entire temple is designed with impeccable stonework depicting Hindu deity, apsaras, musicians among other things.
A primary attraction of this temple is the wheels. The wheels of the chariot are designed in the form of Sundial with a diameter of 9 feet and 9 inches and 8 thicker spokes and 8 thinner spokes. There are various theories regarding the Konark Wheel. Some call them Wheel of Life. Others call it Wheel of Karma. The Wheels have the same size but the craft work is different in each one.
The uniqueness of the Konark temple lies in the fact that its idol supposedly was floating in mid-air. Some say that the Idol was made of a material with iron content. The lodestone of the main temple helped align the Idol of the Sun God in such a way that the first ray would fall and reflect from the diamond placed at the crown of the Sun God. It is never proven as the entire main temple is in ruins with no indication of its glorious past.