The Konark Sun Temple was built in the 13th century around 1250. The temple is about just 35 kilometers from the northeast of Puri city, Odisha. The temple is accredited to king Narasimha deva I of the Eastern Ganga dynasty about 1250 CE.
The Sun Temple at Konark is one of the outstanding examples of temple architecture and art as revealed in its conception, scale, and proportion, and in the sublime narrative strength of its sculptural embellishment. The temple is linked with the history of the diffusion of the cult of Lord Surya, the Sun God. The word ‘Konark made up of two words ‘Kona’ and ‘Arka’. ‘Kona’ means ‘Corner’ and ‘Arka’ means ‘Sun’, so when added these two words it becomes ‘Sun of the Corner, the temple is dedicated to Sun God. The Konark temple is also known as Arka khetra.
Moreover, Odisha has four various Khetras or regions. the legends say that after killing the evil force or demon Gyasur, lord Vishnu placed his four Ayudhas, which he is holding in all four hands, at a few places to commemorate the victory. He also placed the Sankha means conch at Puri, then Chakra at Bhubaneshwar, Gada or mace at Jaipur, and at last Padma or lotus at Konark. So, this Konark temple is also popularly known as Padma Khetra.
This is a masterpiece, the temple represents a chariot of the sun god, with twelve pairs of wheels drawn by seven horses by extracting the movement across the heavens. On the north and south side of the temple, there are 24 carved wheels, 3m in diameter each, and the symbolic motifs refer to the cycle of the seasons and the months. These all complete the illusionary structure of the temple chariot. And between the wheels, there is the plinth of the temple is entirely decorated with reliefs of lions, musicians, dancers, and erotic groups.
Furthermore, the Vimana or Principal sanctuary was surmounted by a high tower with a Shikhara which was destroyed in the 19th century. Since the ruler used to worship the Sun, the temple was used as a chariot for the Sun God. At the east of the temple, the audience hall is there, and a nat mandir (dancing hall). The Sun temple is directly associated with the belief in the personification of the sun god. Even the sun is represented as a divine being with a history, family, ancestry, wives, and progeny, and plays an important role in the myths and the creation that are created by the legends.
The temple is a unique artistic achievement, its construction caused the assemble of 1,200 workers for 12 years. The architect, Bisu Moharana, left his birthplace to devote himself to his work and became the father of a son while he was away. Then his son became a part of the workshop and after having constructed the cupola of the temple, which his father was unable to complete, sacrificed himself by jumping into the place.
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The Sun temple of Konark is a masterpiece of the medieval architecture of Orissa. Konark temple is an exceptional mixture of this amazing temple architecture, exotic beaches, heritage, and salient natural beauty. Even in its ruined state, it is still a magnificent temple that is reflecting the mastermind of the architects that imagined and constructed it.
The temple significance, Many Hindu scriptures mentioned the Konark as an important place for worshipping the sun. There is one story in that legend says Konark was the place where the first Sun temple was ever been constructed. Samba Purana, is an ancient text that is dedicated to lord Surya, tells the legend of how Samba, who is the son of Lord Krishna, built the temple to worship the sun. It is said that worshipping the lord Sun was started by Krishna’s son Samba. Over years, Samba built a sun temple in the 19th Century BC at the end of his 12-year-long worship of the Sun at Maitryeavana. This worship cured him, as he was suffering from a disease called leprosy (a chronic infectious disease).
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