KONARK SUN TEMPLE
3rd January, 2022 Culture and Heritage
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- The Archaeological Survey of India insists that Konark is among the best looked after monuments; however, its conservation history is uneven to say the least.
- It is a 13th-century CE (year 1250) Sun temple at Konark about 35 kilometres (22 mi) northeast from Puri on the coastline of Odisha, India.
- The temple is attributed to king Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE.
- Dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya, what remains of the temple complex has the appearance of a 100-foot (30 m) high chariot with immense wheels and horses, all carved from stone.
- Also called the Surya Devalaya, it is a classic illustration of the Odisha style of Architecture or Kalinga Architecture.
- This temple was called the “Black Pagoda” in European sailor accounts as early as 1676 because it looked a great tower which appeared black.
- Similarly, the Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the “White Pagoda”.
- Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984, it remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela around the month of February.
- Konark Sun Temple is depicted on the reverse side of the Indian currency note of Rs 10 to signify its importance to Indian cultural heritage.