Sun Temple at Konark
The Sun Temple at Konark was one of my highlights whilst travelling around India. It sits in the middle of nowhere, all alone, on a flat featureless landscape near the Orissan coastline near Puri, which is about 35km away. It was built between 1253 and 1260 A.D. by the Orissan king Narasimhadeva I (1236-1264) to celebrate his military victory over the Muslims and is one of the signature temples throughout the whole of India and, because of this, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple was then sacked by the Muslim Yavana army in the 15th century. The central statue enshrined in the temple was smuggled away to Puri by priests, but the Sun Temple was badly damaged in the attack. Nature took over the destruction from there. Over the centuries, the sea receded, sand engulfed the building and salty breezes eroded the stone. It remained buried under a huge mound of sand until the early 20th century, when restoration began under the British.
Konark is very easy to get to from Puri and more details can be found on my Konark Page.