Description : Perched on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, the Sun Temple of Konark is an excellent example of innovative and symbolic architecture of medieval period. Built in the 13th century, this temple is one of India’s most popular Brahman sanctuaries. Dedicated to Sun Goa, Konark temple was constructed in the form of a massive chariot fitted with 24 wheels and it was pulled by seven horses.
The 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), was built in Orissa red sandstone (Khandolite) and black granite by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1236-1264) of the Ganga dynasty.
The Sun temple takes the form of the chariot of Surya (Arka), the sun god, and is heavily decorated with stone carving. The entire complex was designed in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels.
Kainapara of the Periplus (first century AD), is an important port of the Orissan coast. The most notable marvel of Orissan art is the stately Sun Temple. Built in c.AD 1250, during the reign of the Eastern Ganga King Narasimhadeva-I (AD 1238-64), it was to enshrine an image of Sun (Arka), the patron deity of the place. The entire complex was designed in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely carved wheels. The sanctum symbolises the majestic stride of the Sun-god and marks the culmination of the Orissan architectural style. The vimana of the deul has collapsed, while that of jagamohana and the nata-mandapa are better preserved, The walls of the temple contain superb carving of divine, semi-divine, human and animal figures amidst floral and geometric ornamentations. The vivacious kanyas and danseuse are remarkable for their sensuous modelling, pulsating with human emotions which are absorbed in a variety of gestures and rhythmic actions. Such sculptures render the Orissan temple a class unto themselves. Mighty simha-gajas welcome the visitor at the porches.