Being a lover of Art & Architecture, our visit to the Sun temple of Konark was a treat for me. As there was still a day left here, I planned to go to the Konark Sun Temple. So I managed to book a cab for next morning, from our residence to Konark which is 35Km north away near the Konark village and is located on the coast of Bay of Bengal.
Built in 1250 A.D. by East Ganges King Narsimhadeva, the temple touches the highest point of “Kalinga Architecture” depicting the marvellous rhythm of life and its variety, joy and grace, also known as Black Pagoda as being called by European sailors who used it as a landmark.
On taking few steps ahead, I was supervised that temple is actually made in the form of a Huge Chariot for the Sun God “Surya” which personifies “ the transit of time”which is being executed by seven galloping horses to the east, which represents the days of the week. The twelve pair of wheels represents the twelve months of the year and the eight spokes in each wheel symbolize the eight ideal stages of a woman’s day.
Then its main entrance faces the East of the Sea and is known as Hall of Offerings (bhogamandapa) which was used to do ritual dance performances as its walls around are carved with sculptures of dancers, musicians and erotic scenes. The long sanctuary tower which used to be the centrepiece of the Konark Sun Temple today is nothing more than a mixture of sandstone slabs.
The uneven structure with pyramid roofs covered with statues of musicians and dancers seems like they are serenading themselves to the God Sun and above it there is acentre stage which was actually the Porch (jagamohana) at that time and at the bottom there is a platform that includes sculptures of Lord Shiva “Nataraja”, performing the cosmic dance.
Moving further beyond the porch there is a double staircase that leads to a giant beautiful shrine Statue of Surya, the sun god. The image is carved with high-quality Green Chlorite stone and is one of the precious masterpieces of Konark.
On stepping out of the temple, the exterior surfaces of the temple are carved with sculptures with a wide variety of subjects implying erotic scenes based on the Kama Sutra which reminded me of the temples of Khajuraho along with other scenes like animals, luscious women,floral patterns, aquatic monsters and mythical beasts. While returning back I bought a metallic statue of Nataraj as a souvenir so as to hold and cherish the memories and wonderful experience of my visit to the temple of the Sun.