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Architectural Excellence of Konark Sun Temple in Odisha

Sun Temple at Konark one of the World Heritage Sites in Odisha needs no description. This is one of the top tourist attractions including foreign tourists in Odisha. It lies in the East Coast of Odisha between Puri and Bhubaneswar. Together these three i.e Puri, Bhubaneswar and Konark form the Golden Triangle of Odisha.
Though this place is crowded with tourist round the year, yet it is heavily crowded in the auspicious Hindu month of Magh which is considered sacred for Sun God (Surya Bhagawan).

A road trip from Puri to Konark is quite enjoyable with pine trees and a stretch of Bay of Bengal on one side of the road.
On the way, you can visit Chandrabhaga - one of the must see places near Puri. Few kilometres before Chandrabhaga you can see the river joining Bay of Bengal sea. Many tourists take a halt at this beautiful place and click pics of the beauty of nature. Some even enjoy water sport in the sea.
This place is just few Km before Chandrabhaga beach. At this place you can watch sun set in Bay of Bengal which is the uniqueness of Puri beach and few other beaches close to Puri.
Normally we see Sunrise in Bay of Bengal and Sunset in Arabian Sea. In Kanyakumari the Southern tip of Indian sub-continent, we could see both Sunrise and Sunset in the sea / ocean. Though beaches in and around Puri are in the east, one can enjoy sunset in Bay of Bengal sea which is unique to Puri beach.

After enjoying sea breeze in the beach for a while tourist visit Sun temple at Konark. The ticket counter / sale of tickets closes by 5 p.m at Konark. Entry ticket is Rs.30/- per person for Indians and Rs.500/- per person for foreigners. Entry is free for children below 12 years. For taking handy cam, you need to pay extra amount at the ticket counter.

As you face the temple walking on the road, you see rows of shops on either side with alluring handicrafts / handmade items.
On entering inside, you can see the magnificent imposing structure. This was my 3rd visit to Konark and it was a bit disappointing for me as I could see many broken sculptures particularly in the front side of the temple.
In these pics you see the iron railings on the temple as some renovation work is undertaken by the govt. As you walk around i.e. do a 'pradakshina' round the temple starting from left side of the temple you will be awed at the architecture excellence of the ancient Odishan artisans which is worth appreciating.
You see these days many tourists give much importance to taking selfies (of course, it's their choice / preference) and not to view / appreciate the skillful hand work of the ancient sculptors.
And there you can see the world famous Konark Chakra which stands majestic. If you keenly observe each and every art piece at this temple, you will be awed at the meticulous work of the ancient Indian artisans. You can see the perfection of work even in the minutest rock sculpting work.
Most of the ancient temples in Odisha have almost the same style with lotus petals shaped based and fine sculpting of each and every stones into beautiful figures be it of humans or animals.
No doubt, the erotic figures raise the brows of the onlookers but it would be nice if the tourists appreciate the artistic work of the ancient sculptors who gave much importance in creating wonderful art pieces.
Looking at those magnificent rock sculpting, you might wonder how the ancient Indian artisan could create / mould rocks into beautiful figures in those days when there was no technological advancement. Hats off and a standing ovation to those ancient workers who created awesome structures which the present generation is enjoying.
Here you can see one of the Konark Charkas not in good condition.
As you go round the temple, you find a broken yet very attractive figure of sculpted lion where tourists take snaps.
Many tourist hang out at this place till 8 p.m to watch the majestic beauty of the temple which is doubled on illumination at night.
There is well maintained garden on the back of the temple where your can see tourists resting and enjoying the view of Konark temple. However, there are no restrooms / washrooms inside for the tourists which is a drawback.

It would really nice if the govt looks into this issue and provide a washroom facility for the tourists particularly children and senior citizens who cannot control their nature's call.
The beautiful Odishan temple architecture seen at Sun temple in Konark is in fact a visual feast. Tourists can stop themselves from appreciating and admiring the wonderful artisans of ancient India for creating such a masterpiece.

About Sun temple at Konark

Well, the famous Konark temple needs no description. However, just giving some details about it. Konark is located in between Puri and Bhubaneswar, nearer to Puri. It is at a distance of approx 35 Km from Puri and 65 Km from Bhubaneswar.

According to Hindu mythological story of Gayasura, it is said that Lord Vishnu placed His 'Padma' (lotus) in Konark Sun temple and the other three belongings i.e 'Sankha' (conch), 'Chakra' (disc) and 'Gada' (mace) at other three places to commemorate His victory over Gayasura, after killing the demon.

Sun temple is located on the shores of Bay of Bengal (the sea has receded over a period of time) and was an important landmark for the European sailors who referred it as 'Black Pagoda'.

The temple, though in its ruin state, is known for its architectural grandeur. Konark is also known as Konaditya and Arkakshetra. The temple is built in the form of the chariot of Sun god with 24 wheels. Each wheel is almost 10 feet diameter with elaborate carvings on the spokes.
Seven horses pull the chariot and two lions guard the entrance of the temple. There is a flight of steps that lead to the main temple.
Unlike other Hindu temple, Sun temple at Konark is not a place of worship. Presently there are no idols of Sun god in the temple. Earlier, there were 4 stone idols of Sun god on four sides. But seems these are now preserved by the govt. No idea.

Konark Sun temple is one of the famous tourist attractions of India. A visit to this wonderful place gives a feeling that yes, India, in fact, incredible.

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