Konark Information

This small sea-side town was an important ancient port and is now world renowned for the majestic Sun Temple a world Heritage Site UNESCO and a charming beach.

Location

The temple city of Konark is situated in the eastern state of Orissa at a distance of around 65km from Bhubaneswar and 35km from Puri.  The city extends between longitude 86.08°E and latitude 19.53°N.

Climate

The summers in Konark are extremely hot with temperatures as high as 43°C, and the region experiences heavy rainfall between July to September.

History

Myths and legends are an integral part of most of the Indian temples, and the Sun Temple of Konark is no exception to it.  Crowned as the Black Pagoda, this 13th-century temple is said to be related to Lord Krishna.  Legends say that Samba, the so of Lord Krishna, was afflicted by leprosy, brought about by his father's curse on him.  After 12 years of penance, he was cured by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honor he built this temple.

However, history relates that Konark was actually built by Narsinhadeva I of Ganga dynasty in the 13th century AD on his victory over the Mugals.  The temple fell into disuse in the early 17th century after it was desecrated by an envoy of the Mughal emperor, Jahangir.

Konark Tourism Information

Konark is one of the precious historical sites in India, which has been listed among the world heritage sites by UNESCO for the presence of its marvelous Sun temple of the 13th century.  Once, curious traveler listens the very name of Konark, immediately spring up in his mind is that of the Sun temple.  Apart from this, a beautiful stretch of beach is attracting those who are in search of complete seclusion with sea weaves.  The Konark beaches are known for their long stretch of clean and uncrowed areas.

Konark Sun Temple

The Konark temple is widely known not only for its architectural grandeur but also for the intricacy and profusion of sculptural work.  The entire temple has been conceived as a chariot of the Sun God with 24 wheels, each about 10ft. in diameter, with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings.  Seven horses drag the temple.  Two lions guard the entrance, crushing elephants. A flight of steps leads to the main entrance. The magnificent shrine built by Ganga king Narisimha Deva I in 1278, is the crowning glory of Orissan temple architecture.  According to Rabindranath Taore ‘here the language of stone surpasses the language of man’.  The massive structure was designed as a celestial chariot of the Sun god, with twelve pairs of exquisitely carved wheels, drawn by seven horses.  The 24 wheels are said to represent the fortnights of the year; the eight spokes in each wheel, the ancient division of the day and night into eight equal parts and the seven horses, are the even days o f the week.  The temple was originally set on the beach and the sea waves almost touched its base, but now the elegant ruins of the temple are located amidst drifting sand, about 2 km from the sea.  It is said that 1200 architects toiled for 12 years to create this magnificent structure.  The 227 feet high main sikhara (tower) which is now collapsed, was visible from far out at sea and the shrine was known as the ‘Black Pagoda’ by sailors, in contrast to the whitewashed Jagannath temple at Puri.   At the base of the collapsed tower were three subsidiary shrines, which had steps leading to the Surya images.  The main sanctum is in ruins but the natamandira (hall of dance), which remains in front of the temple and Audience Hall are intact.  Of the 22 subsidiary temples which once stood within the enclosure, only two have survived the Vaishnava and the Mayadevi Temple.  At either side of the main temple are colossal figures of royal elephants and horses.  The ornately carved temple also depicts aspects of like during 13th century and is famous for the erotic art.

Museum

This museum of Archaeological Survey of India lies just outside the temple enclosure.  It exhibits sculptures and carvings recovered from the Sun Temple.

Konark Beach

It is one of the most attractive beaches of the country.                  

Konark Dance Festival

This famous festival is held in early December and attracts eminent dancers from all over the country.

Chaurasi (30km)

It is well known for the shrines of Amareswar, Laxminarayan and Barahi.

Pipli (23km)

It is famous for handicrafts known as “Applique work”.  Beautiful bedspreads, cushion covers, bags, wall hangings, umbrellas etc are prepared using this art work.

Festival

Konark Dance Festival

The Konark Dance Festival is held in the month of February every year in the amphitheatre at Konark with the famous Sun Temple as the backdrop.  Best exponents of the classical dances congregate and perform at this festival.  A crafts mela displaying handicrafts and local cuisine is also held during the festival.  Orissa Tourism and Odissi Research Centre jointly organize the festival.

Konark Tourism
Sun Temple, Konark

Konark Distance Guide

Konark to Balangir 373 Km
Konark to Bhawani Patna 449 Km
Konark to Baripada 364 Km
Konark to Baleshwar 309 Km
Konark to Chhatrapur 196 Km
Konark to Cuttack 114 Km
Konark to Dhenkanal 149 Km
Konark to Koraput 517 Km
Konark to Kendujhargarh 311 Km
Konark to Bhubaneshwar 69 Km
Konark to Puri 32 Km
Konark to Paradwip 192 Km
Konark to Phulbani 262 Km
Konark to Raurkela 389 Km
Konark to Sambalpur 359 Km
Konark to Sundargarh 445 Km