Sun Temple, Konarak

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The Sun Temple, Konarak is a 13th-century tmeple complex in the form of a huge chariot.

The temple is also known as the Black Pagoda. It was built in Orissa red sandstone (Khandolite) and black granite by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1236-1264) of the Ganga dynasty.

The temple takes the form of the chariot of Surya (Arka), the sun god, and is heavily decorated with stone carving. The entire complex was designed in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels.


Community Reviews

Sangita Rathi - October 2015

Best seen monument after the Taj ever......its beautiful carving and its location makes it more unique and different....loved to go and see the interactive scenario too at Orissa

Manju Das - June 2011

I visited Konark SunTemple years ago. It's beauty and architecture is rare. Chariot shaped drawn by seven horses as per HINDU miths are clear. Only broken parts of horse is there.Sun God's first beam of light enters in the early morning on Sun God's temple.If you see the wheels around 4 sides,you can imagine a new architectural design within it.Dance festival held every year in the temple itself is amazing. ( ODDISSI).The entire site is well maintained.

Sri Ganesh - September 2006

I visited Konark years ago with my parents and grand parents. The sun temple is an architectural marvel. Even though some parts of the temple were in ruins, there were still a few wheels of the chariot that were in very good shape. The sculptures are just amazing. To avoid the embarrassment of leisurely viewing the erotic sculptures in front of my parents, we split and went our own ways sight seeing! The splendid details of the sculptures are vividly etched in my heart! A must see!

kalyani lal - December 2005

I had not expected to see such an architectural marvel, when i first set out to see the Sun Temple at Konark.The brilliantly carved temple tells the stories of the generations past and holds the onlooker awestruck at first sight.

Each of its wheels works as a sundial and the carvings on it bear some philosophical story or the other.

If you do go to see the Sun Temple, do not miss the Navagraha temple on its right hand side(where a row depicting the nine planetary gods from the sun temple has been kept).

Do take a pair of binoculars(to see the higher part of the temple),a cap(the sun is strong) and a camera along.It would be helpful if a guide could show you around as it would help one understand the relevance of certain sculptures and their philosophical importance in the indian tradition.

The government tourist hotel is located close to the temple itself and is quite cheap.The beach too is nearby and is a good place to unwind after one has looked around the main temple.

Murali Udatha

The visit to Konarak was one of the most memorable experiences in my life. Inspite of the decay over the centuries the beauty of this monument to Sun sparkles. The intricate and complex carving on the stone is mind-boggling. The erotic depiction of human passion is not the only highlight of the sculpture. It seems as if the people have frozen in life and some miracle may bring them back into life any time. This is one of the sites in the world which any one seriously interested in architecture and sculpture must visit.

The hotel maintained by Orissa government's tourism department is cheap and value for money. The nearby beach is a bonus.

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Full name: Sun Temple, Konarak

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Religion and Belief

  • Hindu pilgrimage sites  "Orissa came under Muslim control in 1568. There were constant attempts to destroy the Hindu temples....the Pandas of Konark took away the presiding deity of the Sun temple and buried it under the sand for years. Latter on the image was said to have been removed to Puri and kept in the temple of Indra, in the compound of the Puri Jagannath temple. According to others, the Puja image of the Konark temple is yet to be discovered. But others hold the view that the Sun image now kept in the National Museum of Delhi was the presiding deity of the Konark Sun temple..... The Sun worship in the Konark temple ended upon the removal of the sacred image from the temple. This resulted in the end of pilgrimages to Konark. " (Wiki)
  • Pagoda Also known as Black Pagoda: the temple was used as a navigational point by European sailors. They referred to it as the 'Black Pagoda' due to its dark colour and its magnetic power that drew ships into the shore and caused shipwrecks


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