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Simar Nagi | 05 Jun 2023

Konark Sun Temple: Discovering Architectural Mystery & History

Konark Sun Temple: Discovering Architectural Mystery & History

Table of Content:

  1. Konark Sun Temple: An Overview​
  2. Konark Temple: History
  3. Konark Sun Temple: Architecture
  4. Konark Sun Temple: Stories & Importance
  5. Konark Sun Temple: Why The Sun God Is Not Worshipped Here?
  6. Konark Sun Temple Architecture: Mysterious Tale Behind The Floating Idol
  7. Konark Sun Temple: Hidden Secrets

Konark Sun Temple is a testament to the ancient world-class architectural brilliance of Puri, Odisha, at the heart of eastern India. As one of the major attractions in the state, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a striking model of ancient artistry and an enticing historical pedagogic treasure. 

Prepare yourself as we embark upon a journey that will unlock the buzz around Konark Sun Temple information, its architectural brilliance, history, and hidden secrets. 


Konark Sun Temple: An Overview

Every nook and corner of the Konark Sun Temple tells a story about the efforts of skilled artisans who dedicated their lives to crafting this intricate marvel. 

Established in the 13th century, the Konark temple was built by Narasimhadeva I and is dedicated to the Hindu sun god "Surya." "Konark" is derived from two words in Sanskrit: Kona, a corner or angle, and Arka, the Sun. The sun's first rays fall on the temple's entrance, making it look surreal and divine

As one of the archaeological marvels of India, the story of Konark Surya Mandir comes with some plot twists. Let's explore!

Konark Temple: History

The historic region of Kalinga consisted of major parts of modern Odisha and several parts of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal. It was ruled by the Eastern Ganga dynasty between 1238-1250 CE. Konark Temple is one of the architectural marvels from that same era. In 1244, the Konark temple was built by Narasimha Deva to worship the Sun God. 

Konark ka Surya Mandir is a holy place with an interesting mention even in ancient textbooks. A quite intriguing piece about Konark Sun Temple information is that back then, the temple was known as the "Black Pagoda" by the Europeans as it had a dark facade to navigate their ships.

It was also said that the Konark sun temple sculpture could draw ships to the shore due to its magnetic powers. 

Quite interesting, isn't it?

Konark Sun Temple: Architecture 

The Konark temple is an impressive example of Kalinga architecture. 

  • At the entrance, you will see the shrine of the deity Surya, made of chlorite stone. 

  • The Konark temple shows a 100ft high chariot pulled by horses and wheels carved out of a single stone. 

  • The temple consists of erotic sculptures on its Shikhar belonging to the tantra tradition. 

  • The Konark sun temple sculpture portrays the imposing chariot of the sun god. 

  • Historically, inside Konark Sun Temple, there was a 128 ft high audience hall, a dance hall, and a dining hall. 

  • The seven horses in Konark Sun Temple architecture represent the week, the stand represents 12 months, and the eight spokes in the wheels symbolize the day cycle. 

Konark Sun Temple: Stories & Importance

Konark Sun Temple is considered important for worshipping the Sun God. 

  • Some people consider Konark Sun Temple the first place where the first Sun Temple was created. 

  • It is believed that the Konark temple was built by Samba in the 19th Century BC at the end of his 12-year-long worship of the Sun at Maitryeavana. It is said that worshipping the temple cured him of the leprosy that Samba was suffering from. 

  • Some people call it a hidden secret, and some believe that the Samba Purana, an ancient text dedicated to the Surya, tells that the Samba, the son of Lord Krishna, built the Konark temple to worship the sun. 

  • The Konark wheels represent zodiac signs, and it is said that just by looking at the shadows cast by the spokes of the Konark wheels, one can predict the exact time. 

  • According to some research findings, the wheels at Konark Sun Temple are identical to the Buddhist Dharmachakra, also known as the Wheel of Karma or the Wheel of Law. 

Konark Sun Temple: Why The Sun God Is Not Worshipped Here?

Call it ironic, but the Konark Surya Mandir is a mysterious temple in India where its deity (Lord Sun) is not worshipped. 

As per the ancient tales, in the 13th century, around 1200 laborers consistently worked for 12 years to construct the Konark sun temple. The temple was well constructed with stones and interlinked with metals. It is said that Lord Sun's sculpture was built of eight metals and was hung in mid-air with a magnet. 

King Narasimhadeva I gave a deadline to the laborers and warned them to behead them if the construction was not completed in the given time. Nevertheless, the temple project was completed just in time, but in Dadhinauti, the crown stone could not be installed due to a malfunction. 

With a fear of losing his father, a 12-year-old laborer's son rushed to his father's rescue and installed the crown stone. But he feared that the king would learn about this, so with this fear, the poor child sacrificed his life by drowning himself in the "Chandrabhaga" river from the top of the Konark temple. 

Because of this unholy incident, the Lord Sun has never been worshipped in the Konark Surya Mandir.

Konark Sun Temple Architecture: Mysterious Tale Behind The Floating Idol 

Another mysterious tale is about the tall idol inside the Konark Sun Temple, suspended mid-air. For centuries, people have tried to figure out how this happened. 

Later, it was discovered that magnetic fields were present on all four sides, which caused the idol to stay suspended in the air. Although the mystery was never proven, it is believed that a 52-ton weight stone (also known as Lodestone) was installed inside the temple that worked as a natural magnet and allowed the idol to stay up in the air. 

The most popular theory about this mystery is that the Konark Temple was situated near the seashore, but the decreasing sea levels led the temple to be shifted a few kilometers away from the coast.

Konark Sun Temple: Hidden Secrets

  • The Konark Surya Mandir is inspired by the Kalinga architectural style.

  • Temple is dedicated to Lord Sun, but it was never worshipped due to some mysterious historical reasons. 

  • The walls are decorated with iconography known as Mithuna sculptures inside the Konark Sun temple.

  • The Konark temple was once known as the "Black Pagoda" or "Kala Pagoda" by the Europeans because of its dark color.

Konark Sun Temple is a major tourist attraction in Odisha that has boosted the state's tourism and put Odisha on the real estate map. 

Whether you are a resident or a tourist in Puri, if you plan to visit Konark Sun temple, do so in the winter. The timings will be 6 AM to 10 PM. Also, don't forget to visit Jagannath Mandir in Puri. The lovely weather of Odisha will make your trip worth a while.

Suggested Read: Bhulekh Odisha RoR: Access Land Registry Records Online


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