The temples of India are unique for its rich architecture and the interesting legends behind them. From devotees to travellers, these temples see a rush of people from every part of the world. The Konark Sun Temple is one such wonder which you would find interesting.
The name Konark derives from the Sanskrit words ‘kona’ and ‘ark’ which mean ‘angle’ and ‘the Sun’ respectively, and the temple is dedicated to Sun God Surya. Let’s check out some of the interesting facts about this temple. Konark Sun Temple Photo Courtesy: Supriya.ratnaparkhi
12 pairs of wheels
The 12 stone-carved wheels of the Konark Sun Temple represent the 12 months of a year. These wheels that are found at the base of the temple, also show time. The spokes of the wheel form the shape of a sundial. The exact time of the day can be calculated seeing the shadow cast by the wheels.
The Spokes of Each Wheel
Each structure built in Konark Sun Temple represents the passage of time. Each wheel here has 8 spokes, each representing a ‘prahar’ which is a 3-hour period, adding up to 24 hours which is a day.
The temple is shaped in the form of a huge sun chariot. This chariot is drawn by 7 horses, which represents seven days of a week.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The temple is one of the UNESCO sites in India for its unique model of antique architecture. It is also featured in various lists of Seven Wonders of the World.
Depiction of Wealth and Power
At the entrance of the Sun Temple, you can find two lions at either sides of the entrance, that are seen crushing an elephant each. Beneath each elephant is a human being.
Here, lion represents power and the elephant portrays wealth. The whole illustration symbolises the major problems faced by man in his life – money and power.
The temple was also known as Black Pagoda or Kaala Pagoda by the European sailors, as the temple was dark in colour and a major landmark for the sailors.
Sculptures Of Daily Pursuits of Life
Like the temples of Khajuraho, the Sun Temple at Konark also has an abundance of sculptures that depict kama, artha, dharma and moksha that are the four major pursuits of life.