Konark sun temple was initially built on the sea bank but now the sea has receded and the temple is a little away from the beach. The Konark sun temple was also known as 'BLACK PAGODA' due to its dark color and used as a navigational landmark by ancient sailors to Odisha. A heavy magnet was placed at the temple top and every two stones of the temple is sandwiched by iron plates. The statue was believed to have been floating in air due to the system of magnets. The magnet at the top is said to have disturbed compasses for coastal voyagers and later on removed.
The Konark sun temple is widely known not only for its architectural prosperity but also for the intricacy and sufficiency of sculptural work. The entire temple has been conceived as a chariot of the sun god with 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. Seven horses drag the temple. Two lions guard the entrance, crushing elephants. A flight of steps lead to the main entrance.
The Konark sun temple is a UNESCO world heritage site, declared in 1984. The Konark sun temple remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus after jagannath temple in Puri, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela about February.
The Vedic shastra, Surya is represented as rising in the east and traveling rapidly across the sky in a chariot drawn by seven horses. He is described typically as a resplendent standing person holding lotus flower in both his hands, riding the chariot marshaled by the charioteer Aruna. The seven horses are named after the seven meters of Sanskrit poetics: Brihati, Gayatri, Ushnih, Jagati, Trishtubha, Pankti and Anushtubha. Two females typically flank Surya, who represent the dawn goddesses named Usha and Pratyusha. The goddesses are shown to be shooting arrows, a symbolism for their initiative to challenge darkness. The architecture is symbolic with twelve pairs of wheels corresponding to 12 months of the Hindu calendar, each month paired into two cycles (Shukla and Krishna).
Accessibility: Transportation is not an issue, from Bhubaneswar airport to Konark is just about 64 kilometer and deluxe buses are available at frequent interval during whole day time and taxi/cab service is adequately available. The distance is about 34 kms from Puri and can take a bus or taxi or cab from Puri railway station or can also avail the train service towards the Konark, which is not so frequent.
Accommodation: There are a couples of places to stay in konark, visitors will find affordable guesthouses and budget hotels.
Konark Sun Temple open at 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Indian : 30 INR, Foreigner : 500 INR
Allowed, Free of cost
Konark Dance Festival Ticket
Best Time to Visit
March - June