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Konark

Trip Planner Asia  /  India  /  Odisha  /  Konark
(4.1/5 based on 70+ reviews for 4 attractions)
Things to do: beaches, religious sites, museums
Konark is a medium town in the Puri district in the state of Odisha, India. It lies on the coast by the Bay of Bengal, 65 kilometers from the capital of the state, Bhubaneswar. It is the site of the 13th-century Sun Temple, also known as the Black Pagoda, built in black granite during the reign of Narasimhadeva-I. The temple is a World Heritage Site. The temple is now mostly in ruins, and a collection of its sculptures is housed in the Sun Temple Museum, which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India.Konark is also home to an annual dance festival called Konark Dance Festival, held every December, devoted to classical Indian dance forms, including the traditional classical dance of Odisha, Odissi.On 16 February 1980, Konark lay directly on the path of a total solar eclipse.EtymologyThe name Konârka is derived from the Sanskrit word Kona (meaning angle) and word Arka (meaning sun) in reference to the temple which was dedicated to the Sun god Surya.The Sun TempleThe Sun Temple was built in the 13th century and designed as a gigantic chariot of the Sun God, Surya, with twelve pairs of ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses. Some of the wheels are 3 meters wide. Only six of the seven horse still stand today. The temple fell into disuse after an envoy of Jahangir desecrated the temple in the early 17th century. The Sun temple belongs to the Kalingan school of Indian temple architecture. The alignment of the Sun Temple is along the East-West direction. The inner sanctum or vimana used to be surmounted by a tower or shikara but it was razed in the 19th century. The audience hall or jagamohana still stands and comprises majority of the ruins. The roof of the dance hall or natmandir has fallen off. It stands at the eastern end of the ruins on a raised platform.
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