Where Sun God Dwells Konark
The temple city of Konark is situated in the eastern state of Odisha at a distance of around 65 km from Bhubaneswar and 35 km from Puri.
Konark derives its name from Konarka, the presiding deity of the Sun Temple. Konarka is actually a combination of two words, Kona (corner) and Arka (sun), which means the sun of the corner. Konark was one of the earliest centres of Sun worshipping in India. Apart from the Puranas, other religious texts also point towards the existence of a sun temple at Konark long before the present temple. Konark was once a bustling port of Kalinga and had good maritime trade relations with Southeast Asian countries. The present Sun Temple was probably built King Narashimhadev I (AD 1238-64) of the Ganga dynasty to celebrate his victory over the Muslims. The temple fell into disuse in the early 17th century after it was desecrated by Jahangir. However, legend has it that the temple was constructed by Samba, the son of Lord Krishna. It is said that Samba 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. Till recently, this temple serves as a navigation point to the sailors and the Europeans called this temple as 'Black Pagoda' owing to its black color.
The entire shrine has been designed in the form of a gigantic solar chariot carrying Sun God with twelve pairs of exquisitely-ornamented wheels dragged by 7 rearing horses. beyond the heavens. The massive convoluted wheels are the major attractions of this temple and are engraved around the foundation of the shrine. The spokes of these helms resemble sundials and the shadows formed by these spokes give exact time. The roof of the temple which is of pyramidal type is made up of sandstone and is more than 30 m in height. 3 different kinds of stones were used in the construction of this temple. The sun temple just like Khajuraho is also encapsulated with erotic sculptures. Maituna, Lady Drummer of Sun Temple and Sacred Pond are some of the other attractions that you can observe while visiting this temple.
Ramchandi Temple: Situated 7 km from Konark. The deity of Konark is believed to be the presiding deity of this temple. It is one of the famous Sakta peeths of Odisha. A graceful Chandi, seated on a Lotus flower in a small temple half hidden by sand mounds, on the river mouth of Kushabhadra and the endless Bay of Bengal and a thick growth of Casuarinas plantations around are the scenic magnificence of the place.
How to Reach
By Air: Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport, 65 km away.
By Rail: Nearest railheads are Bhubaneswar (65 km) and Puri (35 km).
By Road: There are frequent and regular buses from Bhubaneswar and Puri and a good network of roadways.