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A side of the chariot with its erotic carvings

Puri – A trip to Konark Sun Temple

Visiting Konark Sun Temple is one of the most memorable parts of my trip to Orissa. It is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Exploring Konark with friends is even more fun than if you were to visit solo or with family(you will know why I say this when you visit or if you’ve visited:P). The trip to Konark started with the Puri-Konark marine drive, followed by yummy vegetarian food, shopping on the way to the temple, air-conditioned museum, followed by visiting the Sun Temple which I had seen only in pictures.

Konark Sun Temple
The Konark Sun Temple

Entry fee: Rs.35 (Indians) and Rs.500 (Foreigners)
Timings: 6am to 8pm

Story behind Konark

Konark Sun Temple is a huge chariot shaped structure, credited to king Narasinga Deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE.

Dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya, what remains of the temple complex has the appearance of a 100-foot high chariot with immense wheels and horses, which is all carved from stone. The structures that have lasted are well-known for their intricate artwork, kama (erotic) scenes and iconography.

The cause of the destruction of the Konark temple is not clear and remains a source of controversy till date. Theories range from natural damage to deliberate destruction of the temple in the course of being attacked several times by Muslim armies between the 15th and 17th centuries. This temple has served as an important landmark for sailors in the Bay of Bengal.

Konark Sun Temple chariot
A side of the chariot with its erotic carvings

The Museum

The Museum was air-conditioned and very well maintained. It provided us with the facts of everything we needed to know about the Sun Temples in the world, History of Konark Sun Temple, Kalinga Architecture and much more. It had well-maintained washrooms inside. They also had a movie screening about the history of Konark which was quite interesting.
Entry fee: Rs.30

Should I hire a guide? Please, do.

We hired a guide for Rs.250 to understand the facts about the temple. He was able to speak Oriya, Hindi and English. He took 1.15 hrs to explain us about the temple, by taking us to various spots around the temple.

Sun Temple entrance
Konark Sun Temple

Facts we got to know from our guide

It is said that the Konark Sun Temple structure was held by magnetic force. There were said to be tons of magnets in the top and bottom of the temple which held the building together.

The then existed Sun God statue was unmovable because of the magnetic force. Later, when India came under British rule, they faced issues with the magnetic force, because of their ships not being able to receive and transmit the signals. So, they had to remove the magnetic force.
Result: The building started falling one piece after the other, after which the rods were put in the temple to hold its structure.

Konark Sun Temple iron rods
The rods holding the temple structure.

Out of the 24 chakras (wheels) only one is left without any damage. The undamaged wheel showed us the daily routine of a queen.

undamaged Konark Wheel
The only undamaged wheel in the temple

One other wheel showed us the time depending on where our shadow falls when we kept our finger in the middle of the wheel.

A little boy had died during the construction of the temple and hence no pooja ever took place at the Konark Sun Temple.

erotic carvings
You can notice the erotic stone carvings in this picture

There were so many sculptures showing the art of making love, like no other place I’d seen till date.

Konark Sun Temple
Near the broken idols of Sun God and his wives Chayya and Sandhya

If you are from India, you would have heard about the famous Kalinga war after which King Ashoka became a Buddhist and started preaching Buddhism. Will you believe me if I say that Konark came under the kingdom of Kalinga? ?

Konark Sun Temple
Standing near the only unbroken wheel of the chariot in the Sun Temple

To know more about my travel itinerary to places around Puri and Bhubaneshwar click here.

Aarthy Chinnaiya

Hola, you travel-prying soul! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by! My name is Aarthy Chinnaiya, exploring new places, food and people gets me excited. I focus on budget travel and exploring places to the fullest in limited number of days (being a Software Engineer I don't get much leaves you see :P). Follow me for a constant dose of my travel stories, experiences, tips and much more.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Ratna

    Thanks for Your Tips about Konark Sun Temple….keep sharing ?

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