Konark Sun Temple


    In Context 

    • Odisha government has planned to run the Sun Temple completely on solar energy
    • Konark is going to be the first model town in Odisha to shift from grid dependency to green energy.

    About  Konark Sun Temple

    • Location:  Konark is situated at a comfortable distance from the famous religious and tourist centre of Puri (35 K.M.) and the capital city of Bhubaneswar (65 K.M.)
    • Meaning of Name: “Konarka” , the place bears a name composed of two World elements: Kona meaning corner and ARKA meaning the Sun.
      • The Sun god worshipped in Ark Kshetra is also called Konark. 
      • In ‘Brahma Purana’ the Sun God in Ark-kshetra has been described as Konaditya. 
        • So it is evident that the place where the Kona aditya (or Kona-arka, the Sun god) was worshipped was also popularly called Konark.
    • The main Temple was called by European sailors “The Black Pagoda” as it formed an important landmark for them in their coastal voyage. 
      • It forms part of the golden triangle of Odisha, along with Puri and Bhubaneswar, and attracts tourists, pilgrims, and history and art lovers.
    • Built by: Built by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga dynasty from 1238-1250 CE.
    • Features: The Sun Temple built in the thirteenth century was  conceived as a gigantic chariot of Sun God, with twelve pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven pairs of horses. 
      • Its fine traceries and scroll work , the beautiful and natural cut of animal and human figures, all give it a superiority over other temples. 
      • The Sun temple belongs to the Kalinga School of Indian Temples with characteristic curvilinear towers mounted by Cupolas.
      •  The main sanctum which (229 ft. high) was constructed along with the  audience hall (128 ft. high) having elaborate external projections. 
        • The main sanctum which enshrined the presiding deity has fallen off. 
        • The  Audience Hall survives  in its entirety but of the other two viz the Dancing Hall(nata Mandir) and the Dining Hall (Bhoga-Mandap), only small portions have survived the vagaries of time. 
    • The alignment of the Sun Temple is in the east-west direction
    • The temple is a World Heritage Site is situated in the eastern state of Odisha and  is  a massive temple dedicated to the Sun God temple 
    • Great poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote of Konark: “Here the language of stone surpasses the language of man.”
    • Protection :
      • The Sun Temple, Konârak is protected under the National Framework of India by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act (1958) and its Rules (1959). 
        • Other relevant protective legislation includes the Forest Act, Konârak Development Act and notified Council Area Act. 

    Image Courtesy: TOI