About this massive monument, the great poet Rabindranath Tagore said – “here the language of stone surpasses the language of man”. Situated at the eastern coast of India, the Konark Sun Temple was built by King Narsimhadeva I of Ganga dynasty in the 13th century. It was designed in the form of a gorgeously decorated chariot of Sun god mounted on 24 wheels , each about 10 feet in diameter, and drawn by 7 mighty horses. Sun temple of Konark is a masterpiece of Orissa’s medieval architecture. It is a UNESCO world hertiage monument.
- The Konark temple is also known for its erotic sculptures of maithunas.
- In one of the panels at the temple, there is a depiction of giraffe being gifted by West Asian traders to the king of Odisha. It shows Odisha’s long history of trade with Africa and Arabia. Some other experts believe that this animal is Okapi or Dromedary (Arabian camel).
- In another panel, there is lady wearing Japanese style sandals (Geta Sandals), proving the maritime relation of Odisha with east & south-east Asia.
- At present it is located two kilometers from the sea, but originally the ocean came almost up to its base. Until fairly recent times, the temple was close enough to the shore to be used as a navigational point by European sailors, who referred to it as the ‘Black Pagoda’.
Temple is open for public from sunrise to sunset
Entrance Fees are as follows:
Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) – INR. 30 per head.
Citizen of other countries: US $ 5 or INR. 500/- per head
(children up to 15 years enter free)
How to reach?
Konark is connected by good all weather motorable roads. Regular Bus services are operating from Puri and Bhubaneswar. Besides Public transport Private tourist bus services and taxis are also available from Puri and Bhubaneswar.