Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India

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Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India

Konark is a town located in the Puri district of Orissa and is the home to the Konark Sun Temple, a World Heritage Site. Built in the 13th Century by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty, the temple is designed as a gigantic chariot supported by twenty-four chariot wheels, dedicated to the Sun/Surya God. Some other temples dedicated to Sun God include Martand in Jammu and Kashmir, Modhera in Patan, Gujarat and Katarmal in Uttarakhand.

Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Konark Sun Temple

There is quite an interesting legend associated with the Konark Sun temple - it's called 'Story of Dharmapada'. The legend also explains why the temple was never used in it's entire history and also gives a logical story of why it fell apart.

Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Konark Sun Temple - the entrance
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Konark Sun Temple

Konark Sun Temple Architectural

The Konark sun temple follows the Odissa style of temple architecture, though much of the original structure has now collapsed and it survives only in parts (the main structure seen today is only the Mandapa).

"The Konark temple was conceived as a huge and colossal chariot drawn by a team of seven horses depicted in the galloping mode. The entire temple was planned in such a way that it is fitted with twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated stone wheels. The horses were conceived in such a way that the Sun God (Surya) himself drives this chariot, his place being inside the garbhagriha. The Konarak temple also marks the culmination of the temple building architecture in Orissa. The humble beginning made in temple building activities in the 7th century A.D. (Parasuramesvara Temple being a classic example) passed through a process of efflorescence (e.g. Lingaraj Temple in the 11th century A.D. and the Jagannath temple in the 12th century A.D.) and finally culminated in the Konarak Temple in the 13th century A.D." - Archaeological Survey of India. 

Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sanjeev with the wheel
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Konark Sun Temple

There are some interesting theories about the temple, some claim it was never completed and the construction was left mid-way and later the half-done temple turned into ruins, while others are of the opinion that it was completed in about 12 years during the reign of Narasimhadeva I. There are theories about its eventual collapse as well, the most popular being the attack by the Muslim king Kalapahad in the 16th Century.

 

Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Wheels at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Wheels at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Wheels at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Wheels at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Wheels at the Konark Sun Temple

The scared idol was removed in time and buried deep inside sand; some believe it is yet to be found, while others believe the Sun God idol in the National Museum of Delhi was the presiding deity at Konark. With time, different images were removed from Konark temple and placed in other temple, Puri Jagannath temple being the major beneficiary. The temple survived still, despite the odds.

Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sculpture on the wheel
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Carvings at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Dancing damsels at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Konark Sun Temple

We saw the temple on our second day in Konark. The temple opens up early in the morning and we were one of the first ones to get in, the fact that our hotel was so close by helped. The view was very different from what I saw in the morning, though as imposing and stunning as I had expected it to be.

Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
The protector of the temple!
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
A view from the top
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Another view from top
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
The majestic columns
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Some stunning sculpture on the wall

Sex and Erotica at Konark Sun Temple

I had never seen a temple with so much carving before and Sanjeev and I spent hours going through different sculptures and analyzing their meanings. Our favorite were, of course, the highly erotic sculptures that the place is already famous for. Some of these were straight forward, while others took quite some time to interpret; a few were too stunning to be believed! I am including a few images here.

Btw some of these are quite controversial and many would be completely unacceptable to the modern society. Images of implicit homosexual and lesbian love are found, and also controversially enough even animals and children are also part of some carvings.

Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings on Konark Temple walls
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - hand job
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temle - lesbian love
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - more interesting wall erotica
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - almost there :)
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - getting ready for a blow-job!
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - this man is BIG!
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - every column has a different sculpture
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - in a group again
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - more love on the wall
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - another well endowed man!

Exquisite carvings!

But it’s not just the erotica which moved us; everything at the temple takes your breath away. You can even climb up and see a few portions from top as well. There are even bigger idols there, and in different stones as well. And I even found the climb up a bit adventurous, many saree clad aunties didn’t venture that far up.

Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Dancing damsels!
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
The idol on the top
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
More idols in top
Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India
Sculptures on the wall

This set the pace for our upcoming adventures, and there were many! We had a very hectic schedule, and surprisingly we managed to cover it all. More stunning visuals, more engrossing stories, more 'happening' adventures...all to follow soon!

Where to stay at Konark?

There are many different options to stay at Konark, and accommodation is available for travelers of all budgets. We stayed at the the Government guest house called Yatrinivas - nothing fancy but it does have excellent location. It was so well located, that we could even sneak inside the temple complex late in the night.

How to reach Konark Sun Temple?

The best way to reach is to fly into the capital city Bhubaneshwar and then take a cab or bus and come to Konark. Bhubaneshwaris well connected by flights from all major Indian cities, but the frequency of flights is limited.

Bhubaneshwar is only 65km from Konark so it's possible to do a day drip as well, but I would strong recommend staying overnight at Konark to get the complete vibe of the place.


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S
Siddhartha Joshi
Last Updated : Jan 15,2021
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