Konark, a historical town in Odisha, is well-known worldwide for the Sun Temple, which is even one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Furthermore, Konark’s Sun Temple is an architectural wonder and one of India’s most beautiful monuments.
Scroll below to read some interesting facts about Konark Temple.
Table of Contents
- About Konark Temple
- Guide to cover Konark Temple
- How to Plan a trip to Konark Temple
- Hotels and Resorts near Konark Temple
About Konark Temple
Recognised globally for its glorious Sun Temple, Konark is a notable tourist destination in Odisha, roughly 65 km from Bhubaneswar. Encompassed by lush forests, Konark is a spectacular place full of colours mirrored in the sheer handcrafted articles sold in its market. Hence it might not be wrong to say that everything about this site is spectacular. Furthermore, the Sun temple in Konark is one of the architectural marvels that delight visitors with its aesthetic rendition and magnificent craftsmanship performed on stones.
Constructed as a chariot of the Sun god drawn by seven parading horses, the temple echoes the artistic superiority of the architects and sculptors of the era it was constructed. Its exquisite construction illuminates awe and amuses sightseers worldwide who wish to have an unforgettable experience of the society and culture of ancient Kalinga. Keep scrolling to read the comprehensive travel guide Konark temple and other relevant information about Konark sun temple.
Konark Temple History
The history of the Konark temple dates back to the 12th century, and the temple was built by King Narasimhadeva I, a trooper and ruler of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. In addition, this majestic temple got constructed near an ancient temple devoted to Surya, the Sun God. Engravings dating back to the period exhibit that the statue in the older temple was re-sanctified into the newly-built temple. According to ancient folklore, this laboriously engraved temple was constructed with the help of 12,000 craftspeople.
Several old texts praise the exquisite allure of Konark Sun Temple, which was a vibrant place of adoration till the mid-16th century. Nevertheless, the magnificent structure couldn’t avoid the harm and devastation caused by time, and the reason behind this large-scale devastation is still unclear. Some ancient tales believe that natural causes destroyed the temple, while others indicate that the temple was deliberately harmed by Muslim invaders, primarily Kalapahad, an officer general of the Gour Sultanate.
Whatever the reason, the temple suffered extensive damage between the late 15th and the 18th century. Moreover, during the late 18th century, an embellished pillar known as Aruna Stambha was repositioned from Konark Sun Temple to the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri, which is still present. And the remaining portion was restored by the archaeological teams, and the temple was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 19th century.
Konark Temple Architecture
The famous temple flaunts a classic Odisha style of architecture, popularly known as Kalinga architecture. It is designed as a giant chariot ascended on 12 pairs of laboriously engraved big stone wheels marked by a set of seven powerful stone horses. Also, you might be fascinated to know that the temple got constructed with a slight slant towards the east, so the first rays of the rising sunlight fall on the central entrance.
This primary entrance remains decorated with two massive stone lions on both ends. Furthermore, the temple spreads over 25 acres of land, constructed primarily of three stones, Chlorite, Laterite, and Khondalite rocks. Additionally, the original temple comprises the central sanctuary, known as Rekha Deul or Bada Deul, surrounded by smaller structures called the Bhadra Deul, or the assembly hall.
Interesting Facts About Konark Sun Temple
- The word Konark combines two Sanskrit terms – Kona, meaning corner or angle and Arka, meaning the sun.
- Each of the massive wheels of the Konark Temple is a sundial that can assist in estimating time accurately to a minute.
- The temple was constructed near the Chandrabhaga River, which used to stream within a mile. Nevertheless, the river has switched paths over the years and no longer rushes near the temple.
- If you watch the temple from the inland during the sunrise and sunset, it looks as if the chariot-shaped temple is rising out of the sea, holding its god, the sun.
- The new ten rupee note published by RBI in 2018 has the design of the temple on its back side.
- The seven horses of the temple depict the seven days of the week.
Comprehensive guide to cover Konark Temple
Snuggled on the east shore of the Bay of Bengal, the temple is one of the most breathtaking vistas that await you in Odisha. The ancient temple complex is developed as a giant decorated stone chariot run by seven stone horses and is devoted to the Sun God. Popularly known as the Black Pagoda, the Konark temple is an outstanding masterpiece of architecture that draws travellers, archaeologists and historians from all over the world. Here are some exciting things to do in the temple.
Things to do
- Seek blessings at the renowned Sun Temple: Devoted to Lord Surya, this ancient temple in Konark is a prime attraction and an outstanding example of Oriyan architecture. The temple structure is a giant chariot with extravagantly engraved pillars, stone wheels, and walls that would amaze you with its intrinsic architecture. And the mesmerising statue of Lord Surya will fill your mind and senses with devotion and spirituality.
- Visit the Ramchandi temple: Ramchandi Temple is a spot of deep spiritual significance as it is one of the major Shakti Peeths of Puri. Located on the banks of river Kushbhadra and fronting the Bay of Bengal, it’s quiet and green ambience makes it a sight to behold.
- Witness the beauty of Konark Math: The renowned Konark Math is primarily a sanctuary located in the southern part of the Sun temple. The math is devoted to Nirakar Brahma and observes the precepts of Buddhism. Moreover, for people residing in the Konark city, this Math is also known as the ‘Ashram of Samba, Lord Krishna’s son.
[Also read: Things to do in Somnath]
Things to do in Konark Temple with friends
- Spend some time at Chandrabhaga Beach: Located 3 kms east of Konark Temple, where the Chandrabhaga River merges with the sea, Chandrabhaga Beach is one of the country’s most spectacular and pollution-free beaches. Also, owing to its immaculately pristine beachfront and crystal clear waters, the beach has been granted the Blue Flag Certification by the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE). In addition, dotted with towering trees and extensive stretches of golden sands, the coast holds historical and cultural significance as many religious and cultural fests happen here.
- Witness the Konark Dance festival: Konark Dance Festival is an event conducted yearly in the backdrop of the magnificent temple in Odisha. Classical dance performers of every age group visit Konark to exhibit their dancing and musical aptitudes to promote this renowned monument. Moreover, sculptures and handicrafts are also displayed to showcase the area’s hidden talent.
Things to do in Konark Temple with family
- Tour the famous ASI Museum: The Archaeological Museum of Konark is home to many antique articles and one of the best places to visit in Konark temple. The museum has four galleries that display antiquities retrieved from the clearance job of the temple. Moreover, the museum also exhibits a rich resource collection. The first alley has 62 antiques retrieved from the Sun temple complex, followed by 108 antiques in the second gallery and 45 objects in the third gallery.
[Also read: Things to do in Vrindavan]
Places to visit near Konark Temple
- Take a quick trip to Kurma: Kuruma is another famous sightseeing spot open for tourists in Konark. It is a Buddhist archaeological excavation site roughly 8 km from Konark city. It is cited in several Buddhist textbooks from Ceylon and Asoka and appeared in the writings of the Chinese wanderer Hieun Tsang. The site’s origin dates to the 9th century AD and is a must-visit for people who love exploring ancient history.
- Take a stroll at Astaranga Beach: Astaranga Beach is a visual treat to the mind and eyes alike. The environment of the beach becomes more attractive during the sunsets when the horizon shines up with the yellow and red glare from the sun, making your sightseeing even more delightful.
- Konark Urban Haat: Situated near Sun Temple, the Konark Urban Haat links the handicraft industry and the sightseers visiting the Konark Sun Temple. This famous tourist spot in Konark accommodates approximately 40 stores, five exhibition halls, one amphitheatre, two green chambers, and one utility structure.
How to Plan a trip to Konark Temple
Konark Temple Visiting Time
The famous temple remains open to the public from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. And the Temple Light and Sound show ticket price is INR 50 per person.
Best time to visit
Being a coastal town, the weather in Konark is the most delightful during winter. Therefore, the most suitable time to visit this place is from September to March, i.e. winter. Summers in Konark are exceptionally hot and humid, and you must avoid reaching here during this time.
How to reach
Konark Temple is situated in the Puri district, roughly 60 km from Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha. Konark is a well-known tourist spot owing to the magnificent Sun Temple, and thus it remains well-connected to Bhubaneswar and Puri by trains, buses, and taxis. Here are some reliable ways to reach the temple.
The Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar is around 65 km and roughly an hour-long drive from the Temple. Upon reaching, you can hire a Bhubaneswar airport taxi to reach your destination.
The well-built roads of Odisha present exceptional transportation services for travellers. So if you wish to take the road route to the temple, you can reach your destination by booking a cab in Konark or bus facility.
Puri Railway Station is the closest railway station to the Konark Temple, roughly 30 km away. You can take Bhubaneswar to Puri trains and then book a cab to reach the temple.
Hotels and Resorts near Konark Temple
|Hotel Name||Address||Phone Number|
|Lotus Resort||Konark-Puri Marine Drive Road, P.O. Khalkatapatna, near Ramachandi Temple, Konark||09169166789|
|Nature Camp Konark Retreat||Puri-Konark Marine Drive Khalakata, Konark||09337505022|
|Toshali Sands||Puri-Konark Marine Dr, Puri||09937003223|
|Mayfair Heritage||Plot No 122, 124, 125, ChakraTirtha Road, Puri||09237500101|
The Sun Temple in Konark is a magnificent sight to behold, and its majesty and splendour are something you must experience firsthand. So why wait?