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Sun temple, Konark, Odisha

The Sun temple in Konark, Odisha is one of the World Heritage Sites. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions of India that attracts large number of tourists every year.

On entering the place, you will astounded to see the imposing medieval period structure that reflects the excellent skill of the artisans of the period. You can't stop yourself from appreciating those unknown artisans whose work stands time tested.
Sun Temple at Konark is an iconic structure of Odisha and is a masterpiece of temple architecture of India. The temple that stands on the sandy coast of Bay of Bengal is a testimony of the past workmanship.

Konark is a small coastal village in Odisha and is around 35 Km from Puri. The experiences a moderate / tropical climate and the tourists can visit the place round the year.

You can stay either at Puri or Bhubaneswar and drive to Konark. Bhubaneswar airport is the near airport while Puri is the nearest Railway Station. Konark is conveniently connected to Puri and Bhubaneswar by road.

About the temple

The marvelous structure of Konark temple is a monumental representation of the chariot of Sun God i.e 'ratha' of Surya Deva. The temple is designed in the shape of a giant chariot with 24 wheels driven by seven mighty horses. Three statues of Sun God are seated in the chariot facing 3 different directions. The statues was positioned in such a way that these receive directly receive sun rays in the morning, noon and evening. The walls of the 13th century temple has fine stone carvings that reflect the finesse and culmination of the Odisha's temple architecture. Tourists will be awed at the perfection of geometrical patterns all around the chariot.

The word 'Konark' is combined from two words i.e 'Kona' which means corner and 'Ark' is the Sanskrit word for Sun. So, the temple situated in the North East corner of Puri that is dedicated to Sun God is called Konark. In the early times, the place was known as Arka Kshetra

The temple was built by Narasimhadeva-I of Ganga Dynasty during the 13th century C.E (Current Era). The fine skillful art of the artisans is seen in the minutest of minute patterns. The large free standing sculptures of animals and human figures in the temple stand testimony of time.

There is a 'Natyamondir' i.e the dance performing hall the wall of which are adorned with sculptures in different poses of Odissi dance - the classical dance form of Odisha. On this platform with the wonderful Konark temple as the backdrop, every year Konark Dance Festival is celebrated here featuring the traditional / classical dance forms of India.

Places to visit in and around Konark

Sea Beach at Konark is at a distance of nearly 2 miles from the temple. It is one of the beautiful beaches and is known as 'Lovers Paradise". Early morning is the best time to visit the beach to view the beautiful sunrise from the Bay of Bengal. There is a small museum outside the temple run by the Archaeological Survey of India. It has beautiful collection of sculptures of the temple ruins.

The ancient Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri is one of the must places. Chandrabhaga, Puri beach, Khandagiri and Udaygiri caves near Bhubaneswar, Nandan Kanan Zoo and Dhaulagiri in Bhubaneswar are some of the important places to visit around Konark.

Shopping

If you are shopping spree and love to buy hand art, then you must visit the shops at this place which have a variety of local handicrafts like Pattachitra paintings, stone carvings, terracota, articles made of bamboo. You can also get the local handloom clothes in the shops. The attractive traditional applique work of Pipli (a small village which is at a distance of 45 Km from Konark) work is very popular.

A variety of local handicrafts are available in the local shops. Pattachitra paintings, stone carvings, terracota, articles made of bamboo and handloom textiles of the local area are available in the shops. The attractive handwork of Pipli is very popular. Pipli is a small village at a distance of 45 Km from Konark.

To Reach Konark

Bhubaneswar and Puri have the nearest airports and railway stations. These two cities are well connected with all major cities in India

Konark is conveniently connected to Puri and Bhubaneswar by road. You can easily book a cab to this place from Puri or Bhubaneswar.