The Platform

The main temple along with the Mukhasala of the Sun temple are built in the form of a chariot on a platform (Pitha). The height of this platform from the ground is 16'.6'' (5.029 m.). It is divided into some division or parts. The first part just on the ground level is of one feet in height . In this part a panel of elephants numberings about 2000 has been carved out. Besides one can see the marching of royal armies, hunting pictures, palanquin with their bearers. On the platform (pitha) the wheels stand and above the wheels there is another upper pitha having similar architecture as in the lower part of the pitha.

From the lower portion of the pitha there begins another pitha. This has been divided into two parts--the lower one is lower Prustha and the upper one is Khur Prustha. Again this lower prustha is divided into 3 parts--Jangha, Barandi, Bandhana, Upper Barandi and Upper Jangha. The height of the different parts of the platform is given below--

scu11.1.gif (48918 bytes)

Foundation of the Pitha ..... 1'.0''

Lower Pitha ..... 13'.3''
(Lower Jangha = 2'.11''
Lower Barandi = 2'.9''
Bandhana = 1'.6''

Upper Barandi = 3'.10''

Upper Jangha = 2'.9''



Upper Pitha or Khur Prustha..... 2'.3''

Total = 16'.6''(5.029m)

In the lower Pitha besides the wheels, there are other beautiful sculptures like hunting scene, royal court, worship of gods, etc. There are  some obscene sculptures found on this pitha.


Wheels And Horse


The Sun temple, as stated earlier, was constructed as a chariot of the Sun. Twenty-four wheels and seven horses have been affixed on the platform. 12 wheels on both sides of the main temple, 8 wheels on the sides of Mukhasala and 4 wheels on the both sides of the flight of steps of the eastern front. The diameter of each of these wheels is about nine feet ( 2.73 meters ) and each of them has a set of eight thick and eight thin spokes, dividing the day into eight equal parts. They are elaborately carved all over. The thicker ones are all carved with circular medallions at their centers on the widest part of the face. The axles of the wheels project by about one foot from the surface, having similar decorations at their ends. The rims are carved with designs of foliages with various luxurious poses, mostly of exotic nature. These wheels may also possibly represent the twelve Zodiacs. The entire wheel is full of fine art works. The seven spirited horses seems as if they are speeding the chariot through the heaven. Those seven horses, have been named in Bhagabat Gita as 'Gayatri' ,'Ushika' ,'Anustuv' ,'Vrihati', 'Pangti' , 'Tristup' and 'Jagati', which possibly stand for the rhythmic representation of the secret verses of the vedas.


wheel1.2.jpg (43994 bytes)
wheel10.1.gif (31063 bytes)

Mythologically the Sun god moves in the sky with his chariot. The chariot of the Sun god has only one wheel and drawn by 7 horses. Since building a huge temple on a single wheel is not at all possible on the earth the artisans of Konark made the number of wheels as 24. This 24 wheels signify 24 hours of the day and the 7 horses stand for 7 days of a week. Some also say that this 24 wheels stand for 24 fortnights of the year and 7 horses represent 7 colours of the Sun ray. The 8 spokes in the wheel symbolize 8 Praharas of the day and the entire wheel has been worked out as a Sun-clock to know time according to the position of the Sun during the day time. All the wheels are decorated with scroll-work, floral motifs creepers and beaded strings, besides figures of various gods and goddesses





The basements of the temple are decorated with a band of about 1452 elephants in different poses. In some places the King himself is seen moving on elephant's back, attendants holding the Raja-Chhatra ( Royal umbrella ), warriors were found proceeding on the elephants and horses for a fight, holding swords and shields in their hands. Dear are chased by the hunters in the forest or killed with bow and arrow.

platform2.1.gif (57792 bytes)The pathetic departing scene of an old lady going on pilgrimage, is most touching. She is seen blessing her son while the doughter-in-law bows down to her feet and the grand child clings to her.

The pilgrims carrying foodstuffs and other usable things along with them and a bullock cart, are seen husking rice and cooking their food on the way side.

The middle row of sculpture on the temple walls, is decorated with all sorts of imaginary figures like Gaja-sardula ( lion upon an elephant ), nara-Vyala ( lion upon a man ) and Naga-Mithunas with half-human and half-serpent couples, who fabulusly live in deep waters of the sea, where they hoard their treasures. Male and female figures in different poses can also be seen in the same row.



scu6.2.jpg (40542 bytes)


scu27.2.jpg (42619 bytes)


scu33.jpg (18338 bytes)

                           The next higher row contains a number of bigger sculptures, mostly erotic. In some carvings, the obscenity is to such a great extent that Vatsayana, the famous author on sex-psychology, even did not mention about similar poses in his books. Not withstanding with the vulgarity presented in the erotic scenes, the sculpture reveals the thorough knowledge of human anatomy that the artists head. In one scene a man is lifting a woman with both his hands and the woman clings to his neck. In this case the sculptures have wonderfully shown the expanding and contraction of the muscles, as a result of his lifting the woman. It is proof of their technical experiences of centuries.





                                                                        Index      Content

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