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JAGAMOHANA (Porch)

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(Mukhasala)

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The Jagamohana(Porch) or the Mukhasala is the  audience hall of the Sun Temple.  It  stands on the same plinth as the Vimana (main temple). Among all the architectures of Konark, now only the remains of Mukhasala exist resembling the richness of its past





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Now it is estimated that the present height of the Mukhasala is 130 feet. The upper portion consisting of Kalasa and Khwajapadma has been broken. And this broken portion is stated to be of 20 feet in height. So the original height of the Mukhasala was about 150 feet (45 meters). Almost all historians as well as the Engineers have agreed to this measurement. Sri Manmohan Ganguly has described the present height of the different parts of the Mukhasala as follows:-

Pitha (Platform) ..... 16'.6'' (5.029m.)
Wall ..... 39'.10''(12.141m.)
Lower Jangha = 10'.11''
Lower Barandi = 8'.10''
Bandhana = 2'.7 1/2''
Upper Jangha = 9'.4''
Upper Barandi = 8'.1 1/2''
................39'.10'')
Pidha roof ..... 46'.1''(14.046m)
(1st Pidha = 15'.5''
Between 1st and 2nd Pidha = 8'.10''
2nd Pidha = 10'.7''
Between 2nd and 3rd Pidha = 5'.7''
3rd Pidha = 7'.4''
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46'.1'')
Beki, Sree, Khapuri and Amalak .....25'.9'' (7.848m)
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Total.....128'.2'' (39.064m)

Excepting the Jagannath temple at Puri the porch of Konark is the heighest of all the other temples in Orissa.

The walls including its roof in western and southern side had been broken to some extent. It has been rebuilt again in the beginning of the current century. The upper portions of the southern door had been broken to a greater extent. Now the repairing portion can be easily imagined.

 

Walls And fiers

The walls of the Mukhasala begins from the Lotus pitha. It has been built in Panch Ratha type containing five divisions- Pabhaga, Tala Jangha, Bandhana, Upper Jangha and Varanda. There are three tiers of Pidha on the walls. Its roof is of a terraced pyramidal shape and the string cornices are separated by three tiers by means of high recesses, which contain a number of beautiful life-sized standing figures of women in various dancing poses, plying on different musical instruments like drums, flutes, vina and cymbals, depicting the usual customs of offering dances, by the devadashis at the time of arati.Among these three tiers have six Pidhas (layers). Each tier is prominently separated from the other. The distance between first and second tier is 7 feet and between second and third is 5'.7'' (1.701m). Just on the doors of east, south and north there are figures of Bhairava (Lord Siva) on the lower parapet. The images have four heads and six arms each.

Above the tiers there exist Sribeki, Sree, Sree Khapuri, Dori, Amalak Beki, Amalak Sila, Amalak Khapuri and Kalasa Pada. The Kalasa and the Dhwajapadma on its top have been broken. There are eight lions around the Sree-Beki. They seem as if they have been pressed by the pressure of the upper portion of the Mukhasala. There are some to have taken pains to support the Amalak stone on their backs and, as is seems, there is every likelihood of falling of the Amalak if they loose their hands at any moment.

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Doors

There were four doors in four sides of the Mukhasala. The western leads to the main temple, whereas the others lead to the porches outside. The doors are made of black chlorite and full of sculptures. The breadth of these door jambs on both the sides are of 14'.6'' (4.42m.) each and the front elevation is 6'.10'' (2.082 m.).

In the past there were two pillars in front of the eastern door extending the door to 16 feet (4.876 m.) forward. Above these pillars the Navagraha Paata was kept on iron beams of 21 feet (6.4 m.) long. This fell down in the year 1628 A.D.

 

Interior

The interior of the porch has been sealed in 1904 by filling it up with stone boulders, lime and stand and the doors have been closed. So its description is not possible presently. According to the available books there were no sculptural works inside the Mukhasala. The length and breadth of the inside floor was of 60 feet (18.288 cm.).

It is also described that there was a lower roof inside the Mukhasala. This lower roof was said to have rested on four pillars and iron beams. This lower roof collapsed in 1848. Due to fall of this tower roof the inside was filled in with stones. The inside walls had been plastered by the mixture of lime and sand.

 

Flight Of Steps

Now there exist remains of flight of stairs in front of the doors of the Mukhasala in east, south and north direction. Each side had 17 steps according to Madalapanji. The length and breadth of these steps were 42'.6'' (12.954 m.) and 3'.6'' (1.66m.) respectively. No regular steps were provided for going up to the their, as, on account of religious sentiments, people were not probably allowed to go there. In spite of that, a few stones were provided in the rear wall above the corridor  of the inner sanctum for climbing up, as and when absolutely necessary.

In front of the eastern staircase there were two big figures of rampant lion each crouching on an elephant. Now these two have been placed in front of the Naata Mandir. Similarly in southern front there were two war horses and in the northern front there were two big elephants. Now they have been placed in separate pedestals in respective sides at a few meters distance from their original position.

 

Horse

In the past there were impetuous life like seven horses in front of the eastern gate in both sides of the flight of steps. Among these seven horses four were in the southern side and three in the northern side. All the horses have been broken. Only remains of a few found standing in their position. As stated earlier the Sun temple had been built as a chariot of the Sun god. It is described in epics that the Sun god was moving in a chariot drawn by seven horses. So here seven horses are affixed to the Sun temple. These seven horses represent seven colours of the Sun's ray. According to others the Sun-ray passes through seven layers before it reaches earth. So the Sun-ray before falling on the Sun image established in the temple passes through these seven horses and these layers are designed as horses.

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