Places Around Konark

  Index      Content
Sea Beach
Museum
Ramchandi
Vishnu temple
Astaranga
Konark Matha
Belesore
Balighai
Kakatapur
Pipli
Puri
Bhubaneswar
Kuruma
Chaurasi

SEA   BEACH

The Konark Sea Beach is at a distance of 2 miles from the temple. The Romantic Beach has the distinction of being considered as one of the finest beach in the world. Quiter than Puri beach, it offers beautiful sunrise and sunset. The scene charm in a seclusion has made it the "Lovers Paradise". The Beach is especially lovely early in the morning, or when it is illuminated during the evenings.

 

MUSEUM

There is a small Museum outside the temple compound. Run by Archaelogical Survey of India, the Museum has an excellent collection of sculpture from the temple ruins.It remains open from 9.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M. of Saturday to Thursday. Friday is closed. Entry is free of cost.

RAMACHANDI

To the south west of the Sun temple there is the temple of Goddess Ramachandi. There are, however, difference of opinion about the presiding deity of this temple. It has been surmised by some

that this was the temple of Mayadevi, wife of Surya (Sun god) while others opine that it was the earlier Sun temple in which Sun was being worshipped.

Now the temple has collapsed leaving remains of its broken walls and the empty throne. There is no historical evidence to conclude about its presiding deity. Mrs Debala Mitra has given a brief explanation about the temple meant for Surya (Sun), She writes --

"Since the reclamation of the temple from sand in the first decade of the present century, it has assumed its present name as the temple of Mayadevi who is popularly believed to be one of wives of Surya. In reality, this temple was meant originally for Surya, a presumption substantiated by its Parsvadevatas. That this temple with its own compund wall of laterite was earlier than Temple1 (Sun temple) is proved by the southern wall of the present enclosure itself. In the western flank of this wall exists an opening which served as the southern gate of Temple2 (Mayadevi temple) and was blocked up with the construction of the larger enclosure of Temple1 (Sun temple). The front (east) and the north walls of the earlier enclosure were dismantled when Temple1 (Sun temple) with its enclosure was built. The south-eastern corner of this earlier enclosure is still distinctly perceptible in the extant southern wall. It is not known if an image of one of the wives of Surya was consecrated in it after the erection of the new temple, Temple1 (Sun temple). The pedestal inside the sanctum was found empty when the temple was unearthed."

There are a number of popular stories involving Ramachandi as the chief goddess of the Konark kshetra and most probably Ramachandi was the presiding deity of this temple. As found in Puri Jagannath temple as well as in Bhubaneswar Lingaraj temple, so also Ramachandi, the chief goddess of the kshetra was perhaps enshrined in the enclosure of the main temple of Konark. There is also a popular story current about leaving of Konark by Ramachandi due to attack of Muslim Suleman Kalapahad in 1568.

It is stated that after destroying the Sun temple, Kalapahad came to Ramachandi's temple in the back side of the Sun temple in south estern corner. The goddess Ramachandi dressed as a Maluni (maid servant) told Kalapahad to wait at the door till she returned with water for the goddess. Kalapahad waited anxiously to get some cold water for a long time. But when it was too late he entered into the temple and found the throne empty. Then he followed the Maluni with great anger thinking that the Maluni carried away the goddess. He reached the bank of the river Kushabhadra and found the goddess Ramachandi floating in the middle of the river. The river was as in full spate, he came back without being able to cross the river. Being advised by goddess in a dream, a Panda (priest) built a temple on the bank of the river Kushabhadra, near the sea shore which is a sandy deserted place. Now the place is called Ramachandi and every year many visitors come here to enjoy the charming sight of nature and to make amusement.

So it is evident that from the time of Kalapahad i.e. 1568 A.D. the temple has been deserted and has collapsed in course of time. The main temple along with its Mukhasala had been built on one platform of 3'.2'' (965 cm) high. On the three sides of the temple walls i.e. south, west and north there were three figures of Sun god as side Gods. Now one can see these side gods in north and southern side, where as the figure of the western side has been displaced and is said to have been preserved in the National Museum at New Delhi. This image is said to have some sculptural specialisation and is regarded to be one of the beautiful images of the Sun god. Though smaller in size, the side-gods of this temple are of similar type in all respet with the side-Gods in the Sun temple. Only we find today the side images of the northern side is somewhat in good condition while the image in the southern side has no head and the hands broken.

There is only one door to enter into the temple through the eastern door of the Mukhasala. The throne of the presiding deity inside the main temple has also been broken in architectural totality this temple is of high order and attracts visitors.

VISHNU TEMPLE

There is a broken brick temple just behind the Ramachandi temple unearthed in the year 195 . It is said that this was the temple of Lord Vishnu. The roof of the temple has been broken completely leaving only its half broken walls. On the sides of the temple walls we find figures of Goddess Laxmi and Saraswati on the temple walls. There is no deity inside the temple.

There stands a pillar in front of the temple which is said to be the seat of Garuda, the cosmic charioteer of Lord Vishnu. Most probably twin images of Lord Krishna and Radha had been established in this temple.

 

ASTARANGA

Right on the Sea-shore, it is 91 kilometers from Puri and 10 kilometers from Kakatapur. Astaranga presents a panaromic view especially during sunset on a multicoloured horizon as if to justify the literal meaning of its name. It is a center of salt production and fishing.

KONARK MATHA

One Math (monastery) is situated in south just close to the compound wall of the Sun temple. There is no deity and only Nirakar Brahma (or void) is being worshiped in the Matha. Sunya Sadhana or the contemplation of the Eternal void is associated with the concept of Budhism. Local people identify it as 'Samba Ashram', place where Samba had raised his hutment for worshipping the Sun. There is a Dhuni Kund (fire place) where it is said, the fire has been reserved undiscontinued since the beginning of the Matha.

BELESORE

Balasore is 214 kilometers away from Bhubaneswar and 16 kilometers from
Chandipur (northern coastal region). This district headquaters town was
formerly an important maritime port, with trading links to Holland, England,
France and Denmark. In 1634, it became the site for first British East India
Company factory, in what was then Bengal. There are interesting temples in the
nearby town of Remune (Khirachora Gopinath Temple) and at Devagiri Hill
(Panchlingeswar Temple, known for its five lingams).

BALIGHAI

Balighai is 8 kilometers away from Puri.Just north of Puri,the Naunai River
meets the see at Balighai. The juxtaposition of gentle, casuarina-lined river
with crashing, desolate oceans coast is a strange and extremely beautiful one.
Scroll along the river bank in the late afternoon, asending asending your way
down to the sea. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the graceful
small Baliharina deer who inhibit in the area. If not, stop at the sea turtle
research project area, where you can watch the large creatures flapping around
in their tanks. Approach to the beach and the river is through a path off
Marine Drive, near the hotel Toshali Sands

PIPLI

Pipli 45 kilometers away from Konark.This town has become famous for its brightly coloured applique work, produced by dozens of craftsmen and their families. Their small workshops line the road, and one can wonder in and out, buing small bags, mediumsized wall hangings, or huge garden umbrellas. Pipli work is also available at the emporia in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, and Delhi (who can ship larger items home for one who orders), but it is fun to visit the craftsmen at work

 

KAKATAPUR

Situated on the Prachi Valley 61 kilometers from Bhubaneswar and 45 kilometers from Konark, Kakatapur is   famous for housing the shrine of Goddess Mangala and Ranadurga. Ritualistically, Goddess Mangala is related to Lord Jagannath during the Navakalebar (Renovation Ceremony). The direction for locating the holy log which forms the icon of Lord is believed to come from Her. "Jhamu Yatra", celebrated in the month of Chaitra (April-May) is the major festival is her. The special attraction of the festival is walking of the devotees over a narrow trench containing lightened embers. In the Natamandira (dancing hall ) of Goddess Mangala there is a big bell on which "Grace fifteenth May 1527" is inscribed in English. It is not known how this bell came here. Regular bus service are available from Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack

 

PURI

Puri, the city by the sea, is a major pilgrim centre in India. Adi Sankara founded one of the Peethas here. Puri is also famous for its golden Beach, idal for swimming and surfing. It is 35 kilometers away from Konark.

Puri combines its dual identities of a relaxed seaside resort and of an important pilgrimage centre with great ease, and the visitor will enjoy both aspects equally. Puri is one of the four holiest places in India for Hindus, and the presence of the Jagannath Temple  has dominated life there since at least the twelfth century Throughout the year, the temple is a pulsating center of pilgrimage. The pulsations turn to electricity each sumer, when the temple images are taken on an annual pilgrimage themselves, carried from the temple in immense 40 feet chariots, in the spectacular Rath Yatra festival. Although the temple precincts are off-limits to non-Hindus, everyone can enjoy the lively bazaar area surrounding the temple, and can peer into the temple itself from the roof of the Raghunandan Library opposite. In addition to the bazaar area near the temple, superb shopping can be done in and around Puri by visiting the area's traditional painters and stone carvers. The beach area has been a popular seaside resort for decades, and some of the older hotels capture the charm of bygone days. There are also new hotels of great style and comfort, and it is quite possible to spend an entire vacation based at one of these lovely places, using Puri as a base for excursions to other parts of the state and returning to the solace of the sea in between.

 

BHUBANESWAR

Bhubaneswar, 65 kilometers away from Konark and the mordern capital of the state of Orissa, has been a political, religious, and cultural center for more than two millenia. It is the arrival point for most visitors to Orissa, and with its excellent hotels, headquarters Tourist Department offices, and central location, it is an excellent base for visiting other parts of Orissa, as well as an engrossing destination in its own right.

There are hundreds of temples remain standing in Bhubaneswar. Among them the Lingaraj temple dominates all other temples. Some kilometers away from Bhubaneswar on the way to Konark there is Dhauli where Emperor Ashok  converted to Bhudhism after defeating the ancient kingdom of Kalinga (the previous name of Orissa). The effect of this was to have on the rest of India and Asia was profound. One contemporary monument is the Peace Pagoda on the hill oposite Dhauli, built in collaboration with Japanese Budhists in the twenteeth century, serving as a reminder of the continuity and strength of faith in this land. Norhwest of the temple town are the twin hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri the silent observer Jainism. There are many more  important temples like Parasurameswar, Mukteswar, Rajarani, Brahmeswar  and State Museum serve the visiting purpose of the visitors very well.

KURUMA

Eight kilometers from the world famous Sun temple at Konark, Kuruma is a small village. Recent excavations here have brought to light the remeniscence of some ancient antiquities like the image of Budha seated in Bhumisparsa Mudra along with the image of Heruka and a 17 meters long brick wall (brick size 22 cm *17 cm). Scholars are of opinion that this was once of the sites containing Budhist stupas described by Hiuen T'Sang. The place is approachable by jeep

CHAURASI

Fourteen kilometers from Kakatapur on the way to Konark one can visit the shrines of Amareswara, Laximinarayana and Barahi at Chaurasi.

Barahi is the Mother of Goddess with the face of a boar.Pot bellied, she holds a fish in one hand and a cup in the other. The deity belongs to ninth century A.D. and is worshipped according to tantric practices.

 

 

 

 

 

                   

OTHER ATTRACTIONS  
ARCHIOLOGICAL MUSEUM AT KONARK

The archiological Museum , Konark with it's brilliant collections of the exquisitely carved image from the ruins of the great Sun Temple together with the heading off or many a broken image with the touch of artistic hand deserves worth visiting.

Opening Time: From 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. on all Government Working days
Closing Time: Friday Closed instead of Sunday and other Government Holidays.

Entry Fee: Rs 5/- per person

 

 
PICNICS/CUTINGS

Sl. No.     Name of the PICNIC Spot         Distance                          Remarks

1               Bhagabati                                   1.5 KM

2.             Picnic spot on the marine           3 to 11 KMs              Drinking water is
                drive   from  Chandrabhaga                                          available in
                to Ramchandi                                                              chandrabhaga and ramchandi                                                                                                     only

3.             Beleswar                                    23 KMs

4.             Balidokan                                   10 KMs      

N.B. since the entire Konark area is surrounded with lush forest growth, there are many spots which can be  a venue for picnic at the choice of the visitors.           

 

Introduction    Sun Temple    Subsidiary Shrines   Fall of Konark  Conservation   Festivals  Art & craft    Tourist Information  Maps     Photo Gallery