About the Book:
This guidebook on the Sun Temple of Konarak is part of the World Heritage Series published by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The Sun Temple of Konarak, a monument of vivid architectural imagination, was conceived in the form of a mammoth, twelve-wheeled chariot drawn by seven galloping horses. Dedicated to Surya, the Sun-god, this temple on the coast of Orissa was built in the thirteenth century.
Although the tower of the sanctuary collapsed long ago, the Konarak Sun Temple is still a monument of colossal magnificence. What remains of the Sun Temple is the porch or jagamohana, which originally shared a platform with the sanctuary, and the pillared bhoga-mandapa in front. The entire structure is covered with a wealth of intricate sculpture which pulsates with life.
There is also a section on the other monuments of Orissa including Jagannatha Temple at Puri and the temples of Bhubaneswar. A brief Practical Information section give tourism-related information.
The guide to the Sun Temple at Konarak is part of the World Heritage Series being brought out by the Archaeological Survey of India. The temple, fashioned in the form of the chariot of Surya, the Sun-god, is a truly magnificent monument. The artisans of medieval Orissa embellished the shrine with twelve exquisitely-carved wheels and seven spiritual horses, besides an incredible number of sculptures.
There are explanations offered regarding what led to the collapse of the rekha deul or sanctuary at Konarak. The monument we see today is the jagamohana or the pidha deul, and the pillared bhoga-mandapa which is approached by a flight of carved steps. Of the sanctum, only the heavily-carved platform it shares with the jagamohana remains to bear testimony to the original glory of the Konarak Sun Temple.
The bas relief's, bold free-standing images of deities, panels of musicians and numerous nymphs and salabhanjikas on the exterior walls of the temple make the monument a rhapsody in stone.
The Sun Temple at Konark represents the most evolved example of the well-defined order f Orissan temples. Erected towards the middle of the thirteenth century by the Eastern Ganga king, Narasimhadeva, it is unrivalled for its unique architecture and exquisite sculptures. The sanctum symbolizes the majestic stride of the Sun-god and marks the culmination of the Orissan architectural style.
A number of conservation and improvement programmes are in hand. With the implementation of these programmes, the Konark Sun Temple complex would be developed into a great hub of activity, incorporating elements of culture, tourism and clean civic life.
Our overall endeavour is to ensure that the tourist to India should get physically invigorated, mentally rejuvenated, culturally enriched and spiritually elevated and, on return to his country, should feel India within him.
Legends and History
Sun Temple Complex
Other Monuments in Orissa
Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves
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