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Encyclopedia > Konark
Konark
Orissa • India
Map indicating the location of Konark
 Konark 
Coordinates: 86°N 19°E / 86, 19
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
District(s) Puri
Population 15,015 (2001)

Coordinates: 86°N 19°E / 86, 19 Konark is a town and a notified area committee in Puri District in the Indian state of Orissa. Orissa   (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା), is a state situated on the east coast of India. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Locator_Dot. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... A time zone is a region of the Earth that has adopted the same standard time, usually referred to as the local time. ... Location of Mirzapur and the 82. ... The divisions of a district. ... Puri is a district of Orissa, India. ... 2001 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and also: The International Year of the Volunteer The United Nations Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations Events January January 1 - A black monolith measuring approximately nine feet tall appears in Seattles Magnuson Park, placed by an anonymous... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... Puri is a district of Orissa, India. ... India is subdivided into twenty-eight states and seven union territories; the states and territories are themselves further subdivided. ... Orissa   (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା), is a state situated on the east coast of India. ...


Konark (or Konarak) (Sanskrit: कोनार्क) is a small town in the state of Orissa, India, on the Bay of Bengal, sixty-five kilometres from Bhubaneswar. It is the site of the 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), built in Orissa Red Sand Stone (Khandolite) and Black Grainte by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1236-1264) of the Ganga dynasty. The temple is one of the most well renowned temples in India and is a World Heritage Site. It takes the form of the chariot of Surya (Arka), the sun god, and is heavily decorated with stone carving. The entire complex was designed in the form of a huge Imaginary chariot drawn by seven spirited horses representing seven basic clours of Sun on Twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels. The entrance is guarded by two lions, which are each shown crushing a war elephant. Each elephant in turn lies on top of a human body. The temple symbolises the majestic stride of the Sun god. At the entrance of the temple is a Nata Mandir. This is where the temple dancers used to perform dances in homage to the Sun god. All around the temple, there are various floral and geometric patterns. There are also human, divine and semi-divine figures in sensuous poses. The poses contains couples in various amorous poses, and are derived from the Kama Sutra. The temple is now partly in ruins, and a collection of its sculptures is housed in the Sun Temple Museum, which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India. The poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote of Konark: "here the language of stone surpasses the language of man." The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is an old Indo-Aryan language from the Indian Subcontinent, the classical literary language of the Hindus of India[1], a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... Look up Bay of Bengal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Bhubaneswar   (Oriya: ଭୁବନେଶ୍ବର, Hindi: भुवनेश्वर, in Sanskrit and Oriya/oDiA, The Lord of the Universe) or the temple city of India is a city located on the eastern coast of India. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... // Events May 6 - Roger of Wendover, Benedictine monk and chronicler of St Albanss Abbey dies. ... July 18 - Great fire of Rome: A fire began to burn in the merchant area of Rome and soon burned completely out of control while Emperor Nero allegedly played his lyre and sang while watching the blaze from a safe distance, although there is no hard evidence to support this... // For other uses, see Dynasty (disambiguation). ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Hittite chariot (drawing of an Egyptian relief) Approximate historical map of the spread of the chariot, 2000 –500 BC. A chariot is a two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicle. ... In Hinduism, Surya (Devanagari: सूर्य, sÅ«rya) is the chief solar deity,one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wife Aditi[1] ,in Nordics Tyr he is said to be the son of Dyaus Pitar. ... Modern translated version of the original Sanskrit. ... Archaeological Survey of India is an Indian government agency under the Department of Culture that is responsible about archaeological studies and preservation of cultural monuments. ... (Bengali: , IPA: ) (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), also known by the sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali poet, Brahmo Samaj philosopher, visual artist, playwright, novelist, and composer whose works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. ...


Konark is also home to an annual dance festival, held every December, devoted to classical Indian dance forms, including the traditional classical dance of Orissa, odissi. Odissi (or Orissi) is the traditional style of dance that originated in the state of Orissa in Eastern India, where it was performed by the maharis (temple dancers). ...


On February 16, 1980, Konark lay directly on the path of a total solar eclipse. February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ...


Konark beach is a popular tourist destination, though the waters are deceptively calm. Its main attraction lies in its views of the temple.


Besides Konark, there is also another sun temple in Orissa called Biranchi khetra (Biranchi Narayan Temple) in Buguda, Ganjam District, Orissa. Buguda is a town and a notified area committee in Ganjam district in the state of Orissa, India. ...


Sun Temple, Modhera is a sun temple in Gujarat, created by raja Bhimdev of Solanki dynasty. The Sun Temple, Modhera (Gujarat) was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty and is dedicated to Lord Surya, the Sun God of Hinduism. ...

Contents

Architecture Of The Sun Temple

Sun Temple, Konâraka
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Wheel of Konark
State Party Flag of India India
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, vi
Identification #246
Regionb Asia-Pacific

Inscription History UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Download high resolution version (1280x960, 326 KB)Wheel of Konark, taken by Jyotirmaya. ... As of 2006, there are a total of 830 World Heritage Sites located in 138 State Parties. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_India. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Asia, Australia and the Pacific (Australasia). ...

Formal Inscription: 1984
8th Session

a Name as officially inscribed on the WH List
b As classified officially by UNESCO
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State...

The Sun Temple, built in the thirteenth century, was conceived 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 architectural grandeur with plastic allegiance. Every inch of the temple is covered with sculpture of an unsurpassed beauty and grace, in tableaux and freestanding pieces ranging from the monumental to the miniature. The subject matter is fascinating. Thousands of images include deities, celestial and human musicians, dancers, lovers, and myriad scenes of courtly life, ranging from hunts and military battles to the pleasures of courtly relaxation. These are interspersed with birds, animals (close to two thousand charming and lively elephants march around the base of the main temple alone), mythological creatures, and a wealth of intricate botanical and geometrical decorative designs. The famous jewel-like quality of Orissan art is evident throughout, as is a very human perspective which makes the sculpture extremely accessible. The temple is famous for its erotic sculptures, which can be found primarily on the second level of the porch structure. The possible meaning of these images has been discussed elsewhere in this book. It will become immediately apparent upon viewing them that the frank nature of their content is combined with an overwhelming tenderness and lyrical movement. This same kindly and indulgent view of life extends to almost all the other sculptures at Konark, where the thousands of human, animal, and divine personages are shown engaged in the full range of the 'carnival of life' with an overwhelming sense of appealing realism. It is admittedly the best in Orissa. Its fine traceries and scrollwork, as well as the beautiful and natural cut of animal and human figures, give it a superiority over other temples. Orissa   (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା), is a state situated on the east coast of India. ...

Stone Work at Konark
Stone Work at Konark
Image:Konark temple night orissa india.jpg
Konark at Night

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 along with 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 only small portions of the Dancing Hall (nata Mandir) and the Dining Hall (Bhoga-Mandap) have survived the vagaries of time. The Temple compound measures 857 ft. by 540 ft. Download high resolution version (1280x960, 432 KB)Stone Work at Konark, taken by Jyotirmaya. ... Download high resolution version (1280x960, 432 KB)Stone Work at Konark, taken by Jyotirmaya. ... Orissa   (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା), is a state situated on the east coast of India. ...


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, which grow on sandy soil. The environment is by and large unspoiled. Gentle undulating topography around the Sun Temple lends some variation to the landscape. Konark is also home to an annual dance festival, held every December, devoted to classical Indian dance forms, including the traditional classical dance of Orissa, odissi.


On February 16, 1980, Konark lay directly on the path of a total solar eclipse.


Konark beach is a popular tourist destination, though the waters are deceptively calm. Its main attraction lies in its views of the temple.


Besides Konark there is also another sun temple in Orissa called Biranchi khetra (Biranchi Narayan Temple) in Buguda, Ganjam District, Orissa. Orissa   (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା), is a state situated on the east coast of India. ...


Fall of Konark

Incomplete Temple

It is opined by some historians that, due to the early death of the king Langula Narasimha Dev, builder of the Konarak temple, the construction of the temple had been left in a haphazard state. As a result of this, the incomplete structure eventually collapsed. But this view is unsupported by historical data. The records of Madala Panji of Puri Jagannath temple, as well as from some copper plates dated 1278 A.D., state that the king Langula Narasimha Dev reigned till 1282. Many historians are of the opinion that the construction of the Konark temple was completed between 1253 and 1260 A.D. So the argument that the temple collapsed due to non-completion during construction is not tenable. Then Harshith Dev, the emperor of India reconstructed the temple and made it a world heritage site. From then on, the piligrims considered Harshith as divine. Example of a Chola inscription in Tamil from the 12th century C.E. Siyakas Harsola Paramara copper plate of 1005 Indian copper plate inscriptions play an extremely important role in the reconstruction of the history of India. ...


Lodestone

Legends describe a lodestone on the top of the Sun temple. Due to its magnetic effects, vessels passing through the Konark sea were drawn to it, resulting in heavy damage. Other legends state that magnetic effects of the lodestone disturbed ships' compasses so that they did not function correctly. To save their shipping, the Muslim voyagers took away the lodestone, which was acting as the central stone and keeping all the stones of the temple wall in balance. Due to its displacement, the temple walls lost their balance and eventually fell down. But there is no record of this occurrence in any historical records, nor is there any record of the existence of such a powerful lodestone at Konark. Magnetite Lodestone or loadstone refers to either: Magnetite, a magnetic mineral form of iron(II), iron(III) oxide Fe3O4, one of several iron oxides. ...


Kalapahad

The most popular theory about the root of the fall of Konark temple rests with the Kalapahad. According to the history of Orissa, Kalapahad invaded Orissa in 1508. He destroyed Konark temple, as well as a number of Hindu temples in Orissa. The Madala Panji of Puri Jagannath temple describes how Kalapahad attacked Orissa in 1568. Including Konark temple, he broke most of the images in most of the Hindu temples in Orissa. Though it was impossible to break the Sun temple of Konark, the stone walls of which are of 20 to 25 feet thick, he somehow managed to displace the Dadhinauti (Arch stone) and thus made a way for the temple to collapse. He also broke most of the images and other side temples of Konark. Due to displacement of the Dadhinauti, the temple gradually collapsed and the roof of the Mukasala was also damaged, due to the stones falling down from the temple top.


Consequently, Orissa came under Muslim control in 1568. There were constant attempts to destroy the Hindu temples. The Pandas of Puri, to save the sanctity of the Puri temple, took away the Lord Jagannath from the Srimandir and kept the image in a secret place. Similarly, it is said that the Pandas of Konark took away the presiding deity of the Sun temple and buried it under the sand for years. Latter on the image was said to have been removed to Puri and kept in the temple of Indra, in the compound of the Puri Jagannath temple. According to others, the Puja image of the Konark temple is yet to be discovered. But others hold the view that the Sun image now kept in the National Museum of Delhi was the presiding deity of the Konark Sun temple.


However, the Sun worship in the Konark temple was ended upon the removal of the image from the temple. This resulted in the end of pilgrimages to Konark. The port at Konark was also closed, due to pirate attacks. Konark was as glorious a city for Sun worship as it was for commercial activities, but after the cessation of these activities, Konark became deserted and was left to develop as a dense forest for years.


In 1626 the then king of Khurda, Raja Narasimha Dev, son of Purusottam Dev, took away the Sun image to Puri along with two other moving deities - Sun and Moon. Now they are found in a temple in the compound of Puri Jagannath temple.


It is recorded in the Madala Panji of Puri temple that in 1028, Raja Narasimha Dev ordered measurements to be taken of all the temples at Konark. At the time of measurement, the Sun temple was in existence up to its Amalak sila, i.e. about 200 feet in height. Kalapahad had only destroyed its Kalas, the crowning stone and the Padma-dhwaja, the lotus finial and the upper portions.


As described earlier there was a big block of stone called Navagraha Paata placed in front of the Mukhasala. The then king of Khurda removed the block. The king had taken away many sculptured stones from Konark and constructed some portions of Puri temple with them. During Marahatta's time the outer compound wall of the Puri temple was constructed of stones from Konark temple.


It is reported that among all the temples the Naata Mandir or the Dancing hall of Konark was in its original form for the longest period, and that it was broken intentionally since it was considered an unnecessary structure during the Marahata administration.


In the year 1779, a Marhatta Sadhu had taken away the Arun Pillar from Konark and put it in front of the Lion's Gate of Puri Jagannath temple. Thus by the end of 18th century Konark lost all its glories and had been turned to a dense forest. In course of time, the temple area thus became devoid of people, covered with dense forest, full of sand, filled with wild animals and became the abode of pirates. It is said that even the locals feared to go to Konark in broad daylight.


Legends

The legend says that King Narasimha Deva-I of the Ganga Dynasty had ordered this temple to be built as a royal proclamation of the political supremacy of his dynasty. A workforce of 12 hundred artisans and architects invested their creative talent, energy and artistic commitment for an exhausting period of 12 years. The king had already spent an amount equivalent to the state's revenue receipts of 12 years. However, the completion of the construction was nowhere in sight. Then the king issued a final command that the work be completed by a stipulated date. The team of architects headed by Bisu Maharana was at their wit's end. It was then that Dharmapada, the 12 year old son of the chief architect Bisu Maharana, arrived there as a visiting onlooker. He became aware of the anxiety looming large among the architects. Although he did not have any practical experience of temple construction, he was thorough in his study of the theories of temple architecture. He offered to solve the confounding problem of fixing the last copping stone at the top of the temple. He surprised everyone by doing that himself. But soon after this achievement the dead body of this adolescent prodigy was found on the sea beach at the foot of the temple. Legend says that Dharmapada laid down his life to save his community.


The temple was dedicated to the Sun-God(Arka) popularly called Biranchi-Narayan, and the tract in which it is situated was known as Arka-Kshetra as well as padma-kshetra. According to mythology, Samba, son of Lord Krishna, was smitten with leprosy due to the curse of Lord Krishna. Samba for twelve years underwent severe penance at Mitravana, near the confluence of Chandrabhaga river with the sea at Konark, and ultimately succeeded in pleasing the god Surya, the healer of all skin diseases, and was cured of his illness. In gratitude, he decided to erect a temple in the honour of Surya. The day following his cure, while Samba was bathing in the Chandrabhaga, he discovered an image of the god, which had been fashioned out of Surya's body by Viswakarma. Samba installed this image in a temple he built in Mitravana, where he propitiated the god. Since then throughout the ages this place has been regarded as sacred.


Demographics

As of 2001 India census,GRIndia Konark had a population of 15,015. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Konark has an average literacy rate of 57%, lower than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 64%, and female literacy is 49%. In Konark, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age. 2001 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and also: The International Year of the Volunteer The United Nations Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations Events January January 1 - A black monolith measuring approximately nine feet tall appears in Seattles Magnuson Park, placed by an anonymous... 1870 US Census for New York City A census is the process of obtaining information about every member of a population (not necessarily a human population). ...


Further reading

  • G.C. Chauley, Sun Temple of Konark: History and Preservation ISBN 81-86867-73-2

External links

Coordinates: 19°53′15.32″N, 86°05′40.28″E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


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