India is very famous for its cultural diversity as well as traditions. Based on cultures, ancient Indians constructed many temples with great architecture and art. Most of them have unique features and symbolise the ancient culture. And one of them is the Konark sun temple. Konark sun temple is a unique sun temple of India dedicated to the god Surya of Indian mythology and also represents the culture of ancient Odisha. In 1984, it was recognised as a UNESCO heritage. It is located in the Konark town in the Puri district of Odisha.
History and construction
The Konark temple was constructed by King Narasimhadeva 1 of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty between 1238-1264 EC. Temple was constructed with black granite and it took 12 years to complete. It has a 100 feet chariot with large wheels on both sides. They are 12 in number on each side and all of them were carved from stone. Also, it has large statues of horses in front of the chariot. The height of the Konark temple used to be 200 feet, most of which are currently in ruins now.
According to Kapila Vatsyayan, the temple follows square and circle geometry. The ground was constructed in square shape and upper parts are in circle shape and also added many sculptures which have many in-depth meanings.
Unique among temples
Unique features of the temple include a floating idol and also its architecture which symbolises a giant chariot of the Hindu god “Sun”. All of them were constructed from stone. And also there is a picture of the temple on the Indian Ten rupee note which signifies its cultural importance to the people of India.
Other temples and constructions
Along with the original temple, there are many additional temples. They include
- Mayadevi Temple:- It was located in the west side of the main Konark temple and also it was constructed before the main temple. It was found during the excavations done from 1900 to 1910. It was dedicated to the wife of the “Sun” god.
- Vaishnava Temple:- It was located south-west of the Mayadevi temple. And it was found during the excavations that were done during 1956. And it was very important because it proves that the temple was not specifically constructed for the “Sun” god, but other gods also.
- Kitchen:- It was also found during the excavations in 1950. It had some pathways to bring water inside and also had a cooking floor etc.
- Wells:- there were two wells located inside the Konark temple. One was located in the north direction of the Kitchen and another one was located in front of the northern staircase of the main temple. Both of them were used for water and other purposes.
Most of the temple was destroyed for unknown reasons. And there are many controversies associated with this matter. Despite this destruction, the Konark temple is a historic monument that shows the skills and dedication of ancient Indians. It is worth visiting the temple once in a while. Many tourists visit the Konark temple every year from all around the world.