Sun Temple, Konark

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Year : 13th century | State : Odisha | City : Konark

Being one of the most renowned temples, it is one of the Seven Wonders of India considering the poll collected by NDTV. Located three km from the sea, the temple is made in form of the chariot of Sun God, decorated with stone carving. The entire complex is designed in the God’s huge chariot, which is drawn by seven horses.

Huge wheels at the base of the temple are rare example of Indian classical architectural art along with erotic sculptures that are somewhat similar to temple of Khajuraho. The entrance guarded by two giant lions, the temple symbolizes the majestic stride of the Sun God where the temple dancers used to perform dances in homage to the Sun God. Considering that temple at present is partially in ruins, collection of its sculptures is put in the Sun Temple Museum, run by the Archaeological Survey of India. The famous Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore appreciated the uniqueness of Konark, saying “Here the language of stone surpasses the language of man.”

Among important monuments, The Audience Hall survives in its entirety, but only small portions of the Dancing Hall, which is also known Nata Mandir and the Bhoga-Mandap (Dining Hall), have also survived. The large structure seen today is actually the mantapa, which once stood in the front, only the remains can be seen. The nearest airport to Konark is at Bhubaneswar at a distance of 64 km. Bhubaneshwar via regular flights is connected to major cities of India, especially Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad. Puri, at distance of 31 km is the nearest railway station to Konark.

Map of Sun Temple, Konark