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The Sun Temple of Konark marks the highest point of achievement of Kalinga architecture depicting the grace , the joy and the rhythm of life all it's wondrous variety. There is an endless wealth of decoration from minute pattterns in bas-relief done with a jeweller's precision to boldly modelled free standing sculptures of exceptionally large size. Under the crackling wheels of past events , the Sun Temple has lost its main sanctuary but the remaining structure and the ruins arouns testify till today the boundless creative energy of Orissan artistes and their impresive contribution to the treasury of Indian Art and building technique. Standing majestically on the sandy coast of the Bay of Bengal, the porch, in its solitary grandeur is an eloquent testimony of a gracious and mysterious past. Dedicated to Sun God, this temple was constructed by Raja Narasinghs Deva-I of the Ganga Dynasty was dazzling supreme in the political firmament of India

                   

FAME OF THE SUN TEMPLE

That the fame of the this temple as a wonderful monument  has spread  far beyond the limits of Orissa in the sixteen century is amply borne out not only by the great Vaishnava Saint Chaitanya's (AD-1486-1533) visit to the place but also by the following pithy description which appeared in the A'in-i-Akbari of Abu'l-Fazl, the famous chronicler of the court of Akbar (AD-1556-1605)

  ..........."Near Jagannath is a temple dedicated to the Sun. Its cost was defrayed  by twelve years revenue of the province. Even those whose judgement is critical and who are difficult to please stand astonished at its sight." ......

 

ARCHITECTURAL GLORY OF THE SUN TEMPLE

The Sun Templ e built in the thirteenth century was  conveived as a gigantic chariot of Sun God, with twelve pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven pairs of horses. Majestic in conception, this Temple is indeed one of the most sublime monuments of India, famous as much for its imposing dimensions and faultless proportions as for the  harmonious integration of of architectural grandeur with plastic allegiance. It is admittedly the best in Orissa. Its fine traceries and scroll work , the beautiful and natural cut of animal and human figures, all give it a superiority over other temples. The chief quality is its design and architectural details. The Sun temple belongs to the Kalinga School of Indian Temples with characteristic curvilinear towers mounted by Cupolas. In shape, the Temple  did not make  any major departure from other sikhara temples of Orissa. The main sanctum which (229 ft. high) was constructed alongwith the  audience hall (128 ft. high) having elaborate external projections. The main sanctum which enshrined the presiding deity has fallen off. The  Audience Hall survives  in its entirely but of the other two viz the Dancing Hall(nata Mandir) and the Dining Hall (Bhoga-Mandap), only small portions have survived the vagaries of time. The Temple compound measures 857 ft. by 540 ft.

  The alignment of the Sun Temple is on the east-west direction. The Temple is located in natural surroundings, abounding with casuarina plantations and other types of trees, wchich grow on sandy soil. The environment is by and large unspoiled. Gentle undulating topography around the Sun Temple lends some variation  to the  landscape

 

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