UNESCO has marked the Konark Sun Temple Odisha as the world heritage site. It is also known as Black Pagoda among the inhabitants. Narasimhadeva I from the Dynasty in Eastern Ganga in 1250 is believed to establish the temple. The temple was constructed in the form of a big chariot laden with beautifully carved pillars, walls and wheels made of stone. The temple was actually dedicated to the Sun God Surya from which the names kona and arka, both meaning sun arises. It was termed the black pagoda by the European travellers. On the other hand, the Jagannath temple is known as White Pagoda. Sailors used these two temples as important landmarks. The temple was actually built at the mouth of the river Chandrabhaga. With its majestic chariot style, the temple is very unique.
I could see many people thronging there to witness the beauty of the place. The giant chariot belongs to that of Surya and consists of 24 beautifully created wheels of stone. There were fourteen horses pulling the chariot. The temple follows the traditional style of Kalinga. I learnt that Khondalite rocks were used for building the temple. The beauty of the first rays of the sun touching the temple’s entrance is known to be one of the most unique scenes. In the past, the temple had the vimana or sanctum sanctorium and is the main surviving structure. There are numerous small temples beside the sun temple, which have been discovered lately. Each of them carries some significance with respect to the Hindu myth. We were really happy to see such a wonder which belonged to the world heritage site by the UNESCO.
The Konark Sun temple Odisha should be visited once in a life time to explore the beauty of it. I could also see the Nata Mandira or dance hall and Bhoga Mandapa or dining hall. I also got to see the eerie sculptures related to Maithunas. We also visited the Archaeological Museum in Konark to view the sculptures which existed in the temple some years back. Our next destination was the Shanti Stupa in Dhaulagiri.