India is well-known all over the world for magnificent temples and architectures. The Konark Sun temple at Orissa is one of those magnificent architectures that has thousands of visitors every year. The Sun Temple of Konark is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This temple was constructed by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in Orissa.
It is one of the most famous tourist locations in Orissa. The name Konark is derived from ‘Kona’ and ‘Arka’ which means ‘Corner’ and ‘Sun’ respectively.
Some interesting facts about The Sun Temple are:-
1. It was built by King Narasimhadeva I, the ruler of Eastern Ganga dynasty. To build this temple, around 1200 craftsmen worked together. It was built in the 13th century. It took around 12 long years to build this temple.
2. Konark Sun Temple is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site and it is the only site of Orissa in World Heritage Site.
3. Konark Sun Temple was designed in the form of a chariot which was considered to be the chariot of Lord Sun. It was a chariot with 24 wheels which were beautifully decorated. Each of these wheels were about 10 feet in diameter. The chariot was drawn by 7 horses.
4. As the temple is designed in the form of the chariot of Lord Sun, the temple worship Lord Sun. It is famous for beautiful minute stone carvings that covers the entire piece of architecture.
5. There was a great science behind the construction of the temple. A huge magnet was placed at the top of the temple while two stones of the temple were inserted in by iron plates. Due to such construction, the idol was said to have been floating in the air. The arrangement of magnets and iron plates made the idol to float in the air.
6. Everyday, the rays of the Sun would reach the Nata mandir in the temple from the coast. The rays were reflected from the diamond placed at center of the idol.
7. It was built on the sea bank but now, the temple is away from the sea at some distance from the beach. Because of the dark color of the temple, it is also referred as ‘Black Pagoda’. On both the sides of entrance of the temple, there are two huge lions graving elephant and elephant graving human body.
Each and every piece of the Konark Sun Temple is covered with statues, dancers, paintings, deities, scenes, devotees, historical events, etc.