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Famous India > Editorials > Konark - An Epilogue
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Konark - An Epilogue

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By Mukti Sharma

There has been no other word given to the Sun Temple, its there for ages, the majestic Sun Temple at Konark. Konark is one of the Indias Signature buildings and the place Konark stand simply for it. There is another name given by the sailors of the Sea – The Black Pagoda. Its called Black Pagoda in contrast to the whitewashed Jagganath of Puri. Originally, near the coast, Konark was visible from the sea.

Most of the people coming to see the Sun Temple are from Bhuvneshwara in Orissa. Other who are not locals cross the immigration lines to see this wonder of a generation. Constructed in the 13th Century by the Orissan King Narsimhadev to celebrate his victory over the Muslims, this magnificent piece of Architecture stands tall to this date. But the first blow to the Konark Temple occurred in the 16th Century when the Mughals removed the Copper over the upper Cupola. This vandalism by the Mughals led to the partial collapse of the 40 meters high sikharas. Subsequent cyclones added to the damage.

The Konark Temple was conceived as a cosmic Chariot of the Sun God, Surya. Seven mighty pranching horses ( representing the days of the week) rear at the strain of moving this leviathan of stone on 24 stone cartwheels ( representing the hours of the day) positioned around the base Temple. The temple was so positioned as to illuminate the whole of the duel interior and the presiding diety. The presiding diety was later on moved to the Jagganath Temple of Puri in the 19th Century.

The main entrance of the Temple called the Gajasimha is guarded by two stone lions crushing elephants. This gate leads to the intricately carved dancing hall also called as Nritya Mandapa. Steps flanked by straining horses rise to the still standing Jagmohana (the God). Behind is the spireless duel with its three impressive images of Surya (The Sun). The Surya is so aligned as to catch the Sun through the entire day – Morning, afternoon and evening.

The base and the walls of the Konark Temple present the life of Kalinga – The Great Maurya King. (the Emblem used by Kalinga is used as the Government seal of India). Around the grounds of Konark is a small shrine called the Mayadevi Temple, a deep covered well and the ruins of the Temple. Inside the Temple there are images of woman wearing Japanese Sandals, Giraffe ( lot of giraffe trading was done at that time).

The beauty and the silence of the Konark Temple is timeless - something which cannot be explained. The folded mystery still yearns to be told; things explained yet to be discovered – this and many more can be brought into light only when one sees the place himself .....

Fact File :

Direct road from Bhuvneshwara swings around the Konark Temple, so you can easily reach Konark by Road. Book your Konark Guide in advance as there are only 25 guides whose names are listed outside the Konark Temple. These serve in orientation. Non – registered are many but they are not able to guide you properly. If you have a antique camera with Reel, then bring along your own reels as you wont find any here. Near the Konark Temple there is a Post Office which is open from Monday to Saturday. On Saturdays only till 12 o clock. So, even you stay here on the shores of Konark, you can be in touch with your loved ones. There are couple of Hotels and Restaurants around the Konark Temple which serve local snacks and light south Indian Food like Dosa and Uttapam. Coffee is best here. Book your hotels in advance as there aren't many or you can stay at Bhuvneshwara.

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