Konark Sun Temple in Orissa | Arts and Culture | UPSC IAS IPS IFS

In this article, we will see all the important points related to Konark Sun Temple in Orissa. Konark Sun Temple depicts the rich art and cultural heritage of India. Even today this temple holds a special place in hearts and minds of local people. This temple is a very hot topic from exam point of view as well. Hence we will go through all the relevant points which can be asked in multiple competitive exams.

Konark Sun Temple in Orissa | Arts and Culture | UPSC IAS IPS IFS

Konark Sun Temple in Orissa

  • The name Konarka is made up of two words Kona and Arka, here Kona means corner and Arka means Sun God Surya.
  • Konark Temple is located in the village of Konark and about 35 Km northeast of Puri and 65 km southeast of Bhubaneswar adjacent to the Bay of Bengal coastline in the State of Odissa.
  • Konark Sun Temple was constructed in 1250 A.D. during the reign of the Eastern Ganga King Narsimhadeva- I from stone in the form of a giant ornamented Chariot dedicated to the Sun god, Surya.
  • It is believed that the Narsimhadeva- I was the best King of that kingdom and constructed the Konark temple after winning a battle with Muslim invaders.
  • The foundation stone of this temple was laid by King Narsimhadeva in 1243 A.D, and after 12 years of complete hard work done by the 1200 experts chosen from all over the country, the temple was completed in 1255 A.D.
  • At the Konark temple there is a beautiful carving of the Sun God made in red sand stone.
  • The temple is built as the giant Chariot of Sun god drawn from 7 horses with 12 wheels.
  • At current, out of seven horses only one horse is left.
  • The Konark’s temple famous wheel can be seen in many places.
  • There are three idols of sun god in this temple first is the rising sun (8 ft), second is the afternoon sun (9 ft) and the third one is available at the sunset which is situated near the entry gate (3.5 ft) and carved like an attacking lion.
  • All the Statues of this temple are made from one single stone.
  • The beautiful carvings can be seen in the walls of temple which describes the different situations of life.
  • The 24 wheels signify 24 hours of a day.
  • The 12 pairs of wheels represents 12 months of the year.
  • The 7 horses represents the 7 days of the week.
  • The size of the wheel is of 9.9 ft in diameter.
  • The sundial has 8 wider spokes that divide 24 hours into 8 equal parts, which means that the time between two wider spokes is 3 hours.
  • There are 8 thinner spokes as well, each thinner spoke runs exactly in the middle of 2 wider spokes.
  • The Konark wheels are used as Sundials in ancient times to know the time of the day.
  • According to many experts Konark sun temple has been directly attacked by Mughals many times in the past thousand years.
  • It finally got destroyed and deserted in the year 1568 by a Muslim invader Kala Pahad.
  • After this the British attacked the temple and they stole many statues and took them to England.
  • In 1903, the British claim that the temple’s magnet is causing problems in navigation and so they filled the interior of the temple with sand and closed it. Even after more than 100 years, the temple is still closed. More on PIB.

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