This huge 800-year-old complex was pillaged by invading Muslims in the 16th century. The main structure, the Jagamohan, later suffered damage due to natural causes. Upon its excavation early in the 20th century, archaeologists decided the only way to prevent its collapse was to fill its interior with sand and stone. The Jagamohan is huge; the...more
The Archaeological Museum is just outside the main entrance into the Sun Temple complex. It contains main stone sculptures including a 'spare' wheel of the chariot and that of Surya, the sun god. More photo's can be found in one of my travelogues.Open: 10am-5pm Sat-Thur. Closed Fridays. Admission: Rs5 for all.more
From the west, you can see the repairs that have had to be undertaken in order to keep the temple from collasping. It's a shame that the new smooth stone blocks look so out of place from the temple but I suppose it's better that they're there to help keep the temple upright than there being no temple at all!more
The Bhogmandir means "Hall of Offerings" and stands in ruins before the entrance to the main temple itself. The entrance to the hall is guarded by two giant lions, which are each shown crushing a war elephant. This symbolises the supremacy of the brahmin Hinduism (lion) over the Buddhism (elephant). Each elephant in turn lies on top of a human...more
The temple is famous for its erotic sculptures, which can be found primarily on the second level of the porch structure. Gods and emons, kings and peasants, elephants and horses jostle for space on its walls with dozens of erotic couples. The erotic sculptures at Konark are a celebration of the joys of life.more
The entire complex was designed in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels. The 12 pairs of exquisitely carved wheels represent the months of the year, while the eight large spokes mark the division of the day into three-hour sections. The seven horses pulling the chariot represent...more
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...more
To get to Konark, which is about 35km from Puri, I took a small bus from the eastern end of Grand Road in Puri which is the broad road where the Jagannath Temple is located (although this is at the western end). The journey takes you through a few villages and along a bit of the coast and over the Nau river. It takes about an hour and costs Rs25. As the bus is small, I had to squeeze my legs in at an angle whilst sitting down, it does get awfully full up so bear this in mind. It drops you off at a road junction and you have to walk through the hoards of tourist traps stalls in order to get to the temple's entrance.
It is really worth the visit to se the beautiful carvings for your self. But remember to respect the old temple building and carvings. Do not touch! If every visitor touch the carvings the erotion will be faster.
As you approach the temple from where the bus drops you off, you'll have to pass through a long row of stalls that line the road leading up to the entrance of the temple. There's very few tourist attractions in India that don't have these tourist trap stalls. In fact, during my four months in India, I only ever encountered one temple attraction, at the Jain Temple at Ranakpur in Rajasthan, that didn't have endless rows of stalls. But I suppose these people have to make a living and it's up to you if you want to buy anything.
Favorite thing: This is a picture of me (on the left) with an Irish couple, Louise and Garrett, who I met up with in the German Bakery in Puri. We travelled to Konark together and when we got here, Louise and Garrett decided to hire a temple guide. They got an official guide, (who wore an ASI badge), who knew his stuff for an hour which cost Rs100.