Konarka Travel Guide

  • The Sun Temple
    The Sun Temple
    by Willettsworld
  • Wheels of the Chariot
    Wheels of the Chariot
    by Willettsworld
  • The Jagamohan, main structure of the Sun Temple
    The Jagamohan, main structure of the Sun...
    by NedHopkins

Konarka Things to Do

  • Sun Temple: worth a special trip

    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...

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  • Archaeological Museum

    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.

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  • Horses

    The entire chariot is hauled along by seven spirited horses, in which only a few have survived today, that are located along the steps of the main temple itself.

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  • Court Scene

    This enchanting relief of the king being presented with a giraffe indicates the existance of maritime trade between Orissa's Eastern Ganga kings and Africa.

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  • Repairs & maintenance

    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!

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  • Surya

    Three life-size images of the Sun God, Surya, made of contrasting coloured chlorite stone, are positioned so that the sun's rays fall on their faces, turm by turn, at dawn, noon and sunset. Surya is seen flanked by his wives and other deities.

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  • Entrance (jagamohan)

    The main entrance or Jagamohan to the temple was closed off when the temple was excavated and restoration began in 1901. The entire entrance has been filled with rocks and sand to prevent it from collapsing inwards which is a great shame.

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  • Bhogmandir

    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...

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  • Erotic Sculpture

    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.

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  • Wheels of the Chariot

    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...

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  • Carvings

    The temple takes the form of the chariot of Surya (Arka), the sun god, and is heavily decorated with stone carvings. Statues of graceful maidens in a variety of poses are carved on the temples facade.

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  • The Sun Temple - General

    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...

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Konarka Transportation

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    by Willettsworld Written Oct 2, 2007

    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.

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Konarka Warnings and Dangers

  • Liatris1's Profile Photo

    by Liatris1 Written Sep 3, 2011

    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.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Arts and Culture

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Konarka Tourist Traps

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    by Willettsworld Written Oct 2, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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Konarka Favorites

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    by Willettsworld Written Oct 2, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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