Konark Sun Temple – surya mandir- Puri – Odisha

On the north-eastern side of the humble city of Puri, is Konark Sun Temple, a man-made architectural marvel. This temple dedicated to Sun god ( also called as surya mandir ) is a must visit/

It is along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The distance from the capital Bhubaneshwar is about 60 km.

It is an ancient Sun temple ( surya mandir ) built in the 13th century. It has been known as the Black Pagoda as well since it is made of black granite.

Konark Sun Temple - main
Main temple

image source

Why is Konark Sun Temple ( surya mandir ) famous?

The Konark temple ( The Konark surya mandir ) is famous for its unique architecture. There are unique patterns in the geometrical and wheel shapes.

The Sun temple konark is made of granite which black in colour. It has been called the black pagoda.

Used by the sailors in the yesteryears for navigation, as it was visible from far off.

The Sun temple konark has been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site.

About Konark Sun Temple :

The surya mandir has been built in the shape of a giant chariot. This is believed to represent the chariot of the sun god.

The structure depicts the chariot being pulled by seven horses. There are four horses on the left and three horses on the right.

Three deities have been made as statues on three sides of the temple to catch the rays of the sun in the morning, afternoon, and in evening.

Sun temple konark ( surya mandir konark ) is a prime tourist location. There is an archaeological museum in the complex as well.

In the month of February each year, the temple holds a Konark Dance festival.

Many tourists from abroad visit the temple as well. It is believed to be the oldest and one of the last structures made before the 15th century that are still standing.

Konark sun temple magnet

The sun rays infiltrate the Nata Mandir and are reflected through a diamond which is built in an idol.

The idol seemed to be floating mid-air. This occurred due to the special arrangements of magnets on the top of the temple.

image source

They were later removed due to the disturbances caused by the coastal voyages. Though it has had a toll of time of more than 2 thousand years, it still stands tall.

The marvelous engineering and architectural monument will make the visitor awe-struck.

Best time to visit Konark Temple ( surya mandir konark )

You can visit the Konark Temple from September to march.

In the other months due to summers, there is a lot of humidity.

If you have a pre-planned trip you must visit the temple in the month of February as the Konark Dance Festival is held this month. You can witness the folk dance.

How can you reach Konark

The temple is well connected by the means of roads, rail or air. The closest city is Puri at a distance of 35 km.

By road: you can reach the temple from Puri in around half an hour by cab or state transport buses, they ply regularly.

By rail: the nearest railway station is Puri. From the station, the distance to the temple is merely 15 km. You can come to Puri station from almost all parts of the country. From here you can hire a taxi or bus to go to the temple.

By air: the nearest airport that one can fly to is Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneshwar. The distance is 64 km to the temple. It can be covered in 1 hour by cab or bus.

Brief History of Konark Sun Temple

The construction of this magnificent temple was ordered by Narsimha deva 1, one of the rulers from the eastern Ganga dynasty.

It was built to commemorate his victory over Tughral Tughan Khan in the 1255 CE. It is believed that there were magnets on top of the temple which used to interfere with the magnetic compasses of the sailors.

This used to lead to shipwrecks. The wheels built in the temple are actually sundials that tell time accurately to date.

The temple was commonly known as the black pagoda due to its colour. The temple we see today is just the entrance of the original temple, the rest is believed to have fallen with time.

There had been the destruction of the temple at the time of invasion by the Muslim invader Kala Pahad in the year 1568.

The architecture of the sun temple

The basic design of the temple is in the traditional Kalinga style. The temple is in the shape of a large chariot of the sun god.

There are 12 beautifully engraved pillars and 7 horses. The temple is east slanted so that the first rays of the morning sun shines right upon the main entrance. On the entrance, there are two huge lion structures that seem to be crushing a man and an elephant.

 simha-gaja - konark sun temple
 simha-gaja statue at entrance

image source

Monsters, animals, beasts, and warriors have been carved out on the walls. There is a similarity of the structures and carvings with those of the Khajuraho temple.

The main sanctum was 70 meters tall, but it fell in the year 1837 due to the weak soil. There is a surviving structure of a 30-meter-high hall.

The temple was originally right on the seashore but there is a considerable distance from the sea now as the sea has changed course.

There are a few more temples in the complex. They are believed to be the Navagraha temple, one of Lord Vishnu and another for the wife of Sun God.

Legend Behind Konark Sun temple

Why Sun God is not worshipped in the Konark temple?

There is a legend according to which when the temple was about to be completed the ruler had ordered a deadline to finish it. Failing which all the 1200 workers would have been beheaded.

The whole structure was ready but there was difficulty in installing the main idol due to the placement of magnets.

Dhramapada the son of the ruler came forward and solved the problem. But the ruler would kill the workers now as well if he came to know that the small boy was able to solve the problem while all the artisans were struggling for a solution.

So, he killed himself to save the lives of all the 1200 workers. But this death made the whole temple impure.

As a result, no worship is done. A myth also says that the young boy was an avatar of Lord Sun to destroy the big ego of the King which he had grown for the construction of this temple.


You may also like – Jagannath Puri Temple – Char Dham Yatra

 4,312 total views

Jagannath Puri Temple – Char Dham Yatra

Shri Jagannath Puri temple is a sacred temple built in the 11th century in the city of Puri. Its construction was ordered by King Indrayumna. The place is called as Jagannath Puri .

This magnificent puri temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu also known as Lord Jagannath. This temple is among the pious pilgrims that have been included in the Char Dham yatra. Others being in Badrinath, Rameshwaram, and Dwarka.

Jagannath Puri Temple

image source

The whole puri temple complex has many small temples as well, so it feels like a small city for Gods. There are four main gates of the Jagannath Puri.

The mahaprasadam is a must-have. The food is not just scrumptious but also feels like it comes straight from heaven. Cooked in one of the largest community kitchens in India.

The Rath Yatra is a very colourful festival which is the speciality of this temple. The rituals and the vigour among the devotees are something you are sure not to miss.

History and legend of Shri Jagannath Temple:

In the beginning, Lord Jagannath was worshipped in a forest secretly as Lord Neela Madhaba by King Viswavasu.

King Indrayumna was very curious and wanted to know more about the deity. He sent a brahmin named Vidyapati to inquire.

But all the efforts made by him went in vain. During all this, the brahmin fell in love with the daughter of Viswavasu.

After marriage, the king took his son in law blindfolded to the spot in the cave to see the god he was worshiping.

image source

On his way, Vidyapati started to drop mustard seeds to form a secret pathway. Thereafter king Indrayumna went there to see the idols but could not find them.

One night in sleep a voice told him to construct a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The voice also directed him towards logs floating in the sea.

He ordered to make idols out of that wood. The idols had been made of Jagannath, Subhadra, and Balabhadra.

The architecture of the Shri Jagannath Puri Temple:

The Jagannath temple is among the most sacred pilgrims in India for Hindus. It has mesmerising architecture. The temple is made in classical oriyan style.

The area covered is around 4,00,000 sq feet. The outer wall is called Meghananda Pacheri. It is around 20 feet high. The main Shikhar is higher than others in the complex.

The four main structures are The Vimana, the Nata Mandir, Jagamohan (porch), and the Bhoga Mandap. There are four main gates named Singhadwar-the lion gate, Ashwadwar-the horse gate, Vyaghrasan-tiger Gate, and the Hastidwar-elephant gate.

The Lion Gate is the main gate for entrance. On top of the temple is a wheel called the Neela chakra because of its blue colour.

This is made of many different metals together. A new flag is hoisted on the wheel every day.

Best time to visit Puri Temple

The temple is open all throughout the year. But the time of Rath Yatra is the best time to visit in the month of June or July.

You will be able to feel and experience the real devotion of the devotees. There special timings for the arti.

One can go there in the winter season as it will be pleasant as compared to the summers when it is quite hot and humid. You will be able to stay out in the sun longer.

How can you reach Jagannath Puri?

  • If one wants to go by air then the closest airport is the Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneshwar. From there it is 56 km by road. You can take a cab or go by bus; it will take around 1 hour.
  • For going by rail, Puri is a well-connected railway station. Trains from all over the country come here.
  • You can come to Puri by road from anywhere in India. It is situated on national as well as interstate highways. You can come here from any place in India.

Festivals celebrated:

India is a country where all the festivals are celebrated with great excitement and it is a very colourful and musical event. Many such festivals are celebrated here in the Jagannath Temple.

Rath Yatra:

This is the most important festival; in fact, the whole country celebrates it in honour of this Jagannath temple each year.

It occurs in the month of June or July. In this, the three main idols are taken out of the temple and mounted on three huge and amazingly decorated chariots. The route is from Bada Danda to the Gundicha temple.

Jagannath Puri Temple Rath Yatra

image source

After completing nine days the idols are brought back to the main temple. This yatra too has a special name, Bahuda yatra.

The chariots are pulled by thousands of devotees, while the prince of the state brooms the road ahead.

This is done to show that he does not hold any ego in front of the Lord. All the devotees dance and sing prayers while pulling the chariots.

Snana yatra:

The deities are bathed on a full moon day. The deities are taken out of the temple for this process as well.

Chandan Yatra

This is a 21-day festival. The idols along with the idol of Lord Shiva from 5 temples are taken to the Narendra temple and placed in beautifully decorated boats. They are then worshipped there.

Makar Sankranti

special dresses are made for the deities. Boiled rice mixed with candy and juices is offered as a part of the worship. This festival is related to agriculture.

Other places close to Jagannath Puri Temple :

Below are the two places which you must visit if you are visiting Shri Jagannath Puri Temple

Puri Beach:

It is a fine beach in the eastern part of India. it is just 35 km from the sun temple.

On a sunrise, the sun reflects in the pristine waters and creates a magical aura. Devotees also take a dip in the sea before visiting Jagannath Temple.

Many sand sculptures by famous sand artists can be seen on this beach. There are a few water sports also available. Horse riding is very common.

Sudarshan craft museum:

This has been set up to showcase the art and craft of the local artisans. One can witness the changes that have taken place in the art and craft from being traditional to modern.


You will also like – Char Dham Yatra Temples:

 4,256 total views

error: Content is protected !!