The magnificent temple of Orissa, Konark Sun temple reflects the genius of architects who proposed the project and built it. This massive construction is dedicated to the God ‘Sun’. Bhubaneswar, Konark and Puri constitute the golden triangle of Orissa, visited by the large number of tourists and pilgrims every year.
Situated at the convenient distance of 35kms from the seat of Lord Jagannath, Puri, the Konark Temple is 65 kms far from the capital city of Bhubaneswar. The name of Konark is the combination of two words these are Kona- which means corner and Arch- which means Sun. That is to say that the God ‘Sun’ is worshipped in the Arch Kshetra known as Konark.
As per the famous Legend, the story goes like this, after killing the demon Gyasur, Lord Vishnu placed his belongings at various places to venerate his victory. With placing of his conch in Puri, Disc in Bhubaneswar and Mace is Jajapur; the Lotus had been placed in Konark by him.
Another renowned story of Konark temple was led by Samba; the king of Krishna and Jambavati entered in the bathing chamber of Krishna’s wives and was cursed by Krishna with disease ‘leprosy’. It was decreed that he would be relieved from the curse only by worshiping the Sun at seacoast, North East of Puri. As per the verdict, Samba reached Konark Kshetra and discovered an image of Surya seated on Lotus, worshipped him and got relieved from the curse.
The Temple is not only known for its exemplary architectural grandeur but also for its exquisite craftsmanship and profusion of sculptural art. The entire Temple had been designed in a way that the whole monstrosity can be conceived as a chariot of the ‘Bhagwan Surya’ with 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, with the set of spokes and ostentatious carvings. The temple is metaphorically dragged by seven horses, two wild lions and enormous elephants guard the entrance. A flight of steps lead to the main entrance.
Some of the interesting and fascinating facts about The Sun Temples, of India
1. Since it is the month of June, the days are longest and it is the hottest month in the northern hemisphere. People seek to get a relief from the scorching heat of the sun. Time for offering our prayers to the God ‘Sun’ for bearable summers.
2. If we look over the ancient history of ‘Bharatha’ we will find that we had the sun temples from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Afghanistan to Assam those which were built as per the movement of sun in between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
3. Each of these temples have been designed in a way to receive the rays of sun inside the sanctum sanctorum (garbha graha) and illuminate the idol with the natural glow, on the special days specially the period of summer Solstice.
4. The sages of the ancient period used to live in harmony with cosmos; their way of living was synced with change of seasons. Hence, the result is the prototypical architecture, we are experiencing today.