The Konark Temple is deemed as one of the most famous world heritage sites by UNESCO, It dates back to the 12th century and is both a historian and a pilgrim’s paradise. Also known as the Black Pagoda, this majestic Hindu Monumental structure was built in dedication to the Sun God or Surya by King Narasimha Deva I. To this day, this architectural piece of beauty leaves its visitors bewildered and dumbfounded with its enormous structure, symmetry, precision and intricate detailing.
Konark Temple architectural marvel was designed as a chariot of the Sun God, pulled by seven horses and driven on twenty four intricately carved wheels. The Konark Temple was constructed using three different types of stones – laterite, khondalite and chlorite, and is estimated to be around 227 feet, making it one of the tallest standing temples of the country. Although most parts of this architectural monument have faded against the ravages of time, some parts of the grand Jagamohana (Entrance Hall) and the Natya Mandap still stand glaring bright amidst the ruins.
Archaeological experts are of the opinion that the Sun Temple was built in sea giving an impression of the sun god rising out of the water at day break. Apart from its beauty, what bewitches historians and archaeologists are the scientific intricacies, for example, the wheels are designed in a way that one can estimate the time of the day by observing the shadow casted on the spoke of the wheels by the Sun.
Located right near the Chandrabhaga Beach, the Konark temple is a hotspot of tourists from all around the globe, always bustling with people as it is a sanctum symbolizing the majestic stride of Surya Dev and marks the culmination of Orissan Architectural Style. For photo enthusiasts to capture the ideal aura of this heritage, the best time to visit the temple is from 6:00 to 6:30 am in the morning so as to witness the first falling rays of the Sun adore the temple in its golden hue. But December to January is the ideal time of the year to explore the Surya Temple as the famous and prestigious Konark Temple Dance Festival is held from the 1st to 5th of December every year followed by the splendid Chandrabhaga Mela in January.
As Tagore had said, The Konark Temple is truly a land where, “the language of stone surpasses the language of man”. Every being, from expert to commoner is bound to be mesmerized and awestruck by its exceptionally magnificent glory and thus should top every wish- list of every traveller as a significant must-visit!