The Temple of the Sun in Konarak is one of the oldest attractions in the Indian state of Orissa, which is located in the eastern part of the country. The religious building is known for its erotic bas-reliefs and difficult history.
Surya in Konarak is a sanctuary where believers came to pray and where the priestesses performed ritual dances. This is a 13th-century monument built near the Bay of Bengal. Located in the central part of Konarak in the state of Orissa.
The attraction is known in history under a different name – “Black Pagoda”. Historians believe that such a name was given to the monument by English sailors, for whom the Surya temple served as a kind of lighthouse – thanks to the dark stones it was visible from afar in any weather.
Surya Temple was built in the 13th century by Raja Narasimhadeva I on the shore of the Bay of Bengal in India. However, over the course of 7 centuries, the sea receded, and “hid” the attraction in the center of Konaraki.
According to legend, the place of construction of the temple was not chosen by chance. The Temple of the Sun was erected where Heaven and Earth converge, which means that doors to other worlds are open. Interestingly, scientists partly agree with believers – this is indeed a very unusual area where compasses and other modern devices stop working.
The heyday of the Sanctuary of the Sun (Surya) fell at the end of the 13th century, and already in the 16th century the historical monument was destroyed. Why this happened is still unknown – in the annals these events are described very vaguely, and historians suggest that either Christians from Europe or Muslims came to these lands. A version of natural disasters is also being considered.
Despite the fact that the builders of that time could not rebuild the Surya temple, pilgrims regularly came there anyway. Especially a lot of them were at the end of January – at this time Paramasura day is celebrated in India.
The rebirth of the temple took place in the 18th century, when the brahmin Baba Brahmachari made a pilgrimage to the sanctuary. He found it in a terrible state: crumbling walls, broken sculptures and a huge rainforest, which completely engulfed the monument.
In 1984, this landmark of India was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Surya (Sun) Temple in Konarak consists of three parts:
- The dance hall. This is the part of the temple where the priestesses performed ritual dances. Modern scholars say that these were not simple dances, but specially selected movements that meant Sanskrit symbols. This was done so that only truly religious people could understand what the dancer was “talking about”.
- Jagamonaha – a hall for worshipers. Over the centuries, people have come here who worshiped the sun god. Here are the famous figures of copulating people. Scientists also suggest that previously there were soft padded stools for believers.
- Deula is a sanctuary. Unfortunately, this is the only part of the temple that has not reached our time.
The building reaches a height of 75 meters, and the weight of the slab that covers the temple is 2000 tons. Before entering the attraction, you can see 7 stone horses with chariots, and on the facade of the Surya temple – several suns.
As for the interior of the temple, on almost all walls you can see images related to the sun, love and procreation. Sculptures carry the same subtext.
Since Konarak is located on the east coast of India, it is hardly possible to meet random tourists here – everyone goes here purposefully. Usually from the following cities:
- From Puri (33 km)
Buses to Konarak from Puri depart from the main bus station of the city (Gundicha Ghar) as they fill up. Price – 10 rupees.
- From Bhubaneswar (64 km)
Buses from Bhubaneswar to Konarak run every hour, but it is more convenient to take a minibus – only 1.5 on the way, and the cost will be 20 rupees.
- From Jagarsinger (130 km)
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get directly from Jagarsinger to Konarak – you have to go through Bhubaneswar. In this regard, it is most convenient to get to Bhubaneswar by bus (10 rupees), and then transfer by taxi (20 rupees).
- From Kordha (76 km)
From Kordha to Konaraki, buses and minibuses run every hour. Landing – at the main bus station of the city. Travel time is 1.5 hours. Cost – 18 rupees.
- Location: 19 ° 53’15.5 ″ N 86 ° 05’40.7 ″ E.
- Opening hours: 6.00 – 20.00.
- Cost of visit: 500 rupees.
- Official website: www.konark.nic.in
- Every year, at the end of January, thousands of pilgrims come to the Sun Temple in Konarak, India to celebrate Paramasura. It is believed that on this day you can meet Surya himself – the god of the Sun. This celebration is very similar to our New Year or Christmas. In the same month, an Indian dance festival takes place in India.
- Believers claim that after visiting the Temple of the Sun in India, a person’s life will not be the same, because in everyone’s soul remains a piece of Surya.
- Scientists say that the location of the temple in an abnormal place contributes to the fact that a person (especially a pilgrim) ceases to need food and sleep, greatly increases sexual desire. At the same time, it is emphasized that people with a weak mentality are better off not attending the temple at all.
- Tourists recommend visiting the Surya temple in Konarak only with a guide. You can hire a guide right at the entrance to the attraction.
- Travelers say it is best to visit Surya Temple in the evening, when the last rays of the sun illuminate the ancient walls.
The Sun Temple in Konarak is a great place to recharge your batteries and get to know the culture of India.
Virtual tour of the temple: