Konark Sun Temple - A travel guide to the most exquisite Sun Temple in India

Konark is a town located in the Puri district of Orissa and is the home to the Konark Sun Temple, a World Heritage Site. Built in the 13th Century by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty, the temple is designed as a gigantic chariot supported by twenty-four chariot wheels, dedicated to the Sun/Surya God. Some other temples dedicated to Sun God include Martand in Jammu and Kashmir, Modhera in Patan, Gujarat and Katarmal in Uttarakhand.

Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha
Konark Sun Temple
 
There is quite an interesting legend associated with the Konark Sun temple - it's called  'Story of Dharmapada'. The legend also explains why the temple was never used in it's entire history and also gives a logical story of why it fell apart.

Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha
Konark Sun Temple - the entrance
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha
Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings
Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Konark Sun Temple

Konark Sun Temple Architectural

The Konark sun temple follows the Odissa style of temple architecture, though much of the original structure has now collapsed and it survives only in parts (the main structure seen today is only the Mandapa).

"The Konark temple was conceived as a huge and colossal chariot drawn by a team of seven horses depicted in the galloping mode. The entire temple was planned in such a way that it is fitted with twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated stone wheels. The horses were conceived in such a way that the Sun God (Surya) himself drives this chariot, his place being inside the garbhagriha. The Konarak temple also marks the culmination of the temple building architecture in Orissa. The humble beginning made in temple building activities in the 7th century A.D. (Parasuramesvara Temple being a classic example) passed through a process of efflorescence (e.g. Lingaraj Temple in the 11th century A.D. and the Jagannath temple in the 12th century A.D.) and finally culminated in the Konarak Temple in the 13th century A.D." - Archaeological Survey of India. Read more here.

Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism wheels
Sanjeev with the wheel
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Konark Sun Temple
There are some interesting theories about the temple, some claim it was never completed and the construction was left mid-way and later the half-done temple turned into ruins, while others are of the opinion that it was completed in about 12 years during the reign of Narasimhadeva I. There are theories about its eventual collapse as well, the most popular being the attack by the Muslim king Kalapahad in the 16th Century.

Read here about some such theories.

Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism wheel
Wheels at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism wheel
Wheels at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple wheel Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Wheels at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple Wheel Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Wheels at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple Wheel Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Wheels at the Konark Sun Temple
The scared idol was removed in time and buried deep inside sand; some believe it is yet to be found, while others believe the Sun God idol in the National Museum of Delhi was the presiding deity at Konark. With time, different images were removed from Konark temple and placed in other temple, Puri Jagannath temple being the major beneficiary. The temple survived still, despite the odds.

Konark Sun Temple Wheel Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Sculpture on the wheel
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Carvings at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Dancing damsels at the Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Konark Sun Temple
We saw the temple on our second day in Konark. The temple opens up early in the morning and we were one of the first ones to get in, the fact that our hotel was so close by helped. The view was very different from what I saw in the morning, though as imposing and stunning as I had expected it to be.

Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
The protector of the temple!
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
A view from the top
konark sun temple odisha orissa
Another view from top
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
The majestic columns
Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Some stunning sculpture on the wall

Sex and Erotica at Konark Sun Temple

I had never seen a temple with so much carving before and Sanjeev and I spent hours going through different sculptures and analyzing their meanings. Our favorite were, of course, the highly erotic sculptures that the place is already famous for. Some of these were straight forward, while others took quite some time to interpret; a few were too stunning to be believed! I am including a few images here.

Btw some of these are quite controversial and many would be completely unacceptable to the modern society. Images of implicit homosexual and lesbian love are found, and also controversially enough even animals and children are also part of some carvings. 
 
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple
Sex carvings on Konark Temple walls
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple hand job
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - hand job
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple lesbian
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temle - lesbian love
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - more interesting wall erotica
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - almost there :)
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple bow job oral sex
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - getting ready for a blow-job!
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple handjob
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - this man is BIG! 
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple group sex
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - every column has a different sculpture
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple group
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - in a group again
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - more love on the wall
sex erotic art carving konark sun temple
Sex carvings at Konark Sun temple - another well endowed man!

Exquisite carvings! 

But it’s not just the erotica which moved us; everything at the temple takes your breath away. You can even climb up and see a few portions from top as well. There are even bigger idols there, and in different stones as well. And I even found the climb up a bit adventurous, many saree clad aunties didn’t venture that far up.

Erotic Carvings Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Dancing damsels!
Erotic Carvings Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
The idol on the top
Erotic Carvings Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
More idols in top
Erotic Carvings Konark Sun Temple Orissa Odisha stone carvings travel tourism
Sculptures on the wall

This set the pace for our upcoming adventures, and there were many! We had a very hectic schedule, and surprisingly we managed to cover it all. More stunning visuals, more engrossing stories, more 'happening' adventures...all to follow soon!

Where to stay at Konark?

There are many different options to stay at Konark, and accommodation is available for travelers of all budgets. We stayed at the the Government guest house called Yatrinivas - nothing fancy but it does have excellent location. It was so well located, that we could even sneak inside the temple complex late in the night.

How to reach Konark Sun Temple?

The best way to reach is to fly into the capital city Bhubaneshwar and then take a cab or bus and come to Konark. Bhubaneshwaris well connected by flights from all major Indian cities, but the frequency of flights is limited.

Bhubaneshwar is only 65km from Konark so it's possible to do a day drip as well, but I would strong recommend staying overnight at Konark to get the complete vibe of the place.


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Comments

  1. Wow! This temple is fabulous! Another one to put on my list!!
    Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter Two!!

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  2. Thanks a lot, your words are extremely kind :)

    And yes these temples are one of the best that even I have seen in India!

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  3. Awesome pictures. This part of India has eluded me so far. Hope to do it next year some time & will definitely need your inputs on this. :)

    Happy travelling.

    P.S.- You haven't enabled Name/URL option for commenting. Hmmm..
    Below is my URL if you wish to visit my site. :)

    Nisha - Le Monde A Poetic Travail

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  4. Thanks for your feedback Nisha :) I would love to give you any useful tip that I can!

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  5. So many wonderful details!! Think I would love to visit. Your pics is beautiful.

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  6. Excellent images of temple. This is in my wish list for long now.

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  7. thanks rajesh, u should certainly see the place. the beauty of temples is unmatched...

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  8. Agree with Trotter, i am running out of adjectives other than the ones appropriate - "gorgeous"! I am doing my list too! Spectacular details! So beautiful you tend to disregard the fact that it is dotted with erotic images.

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  9. oh but do not disregard the erotic art, it used to pretty much integral with hindu mythology and temple art. kamastura wasn't just a book, it was exemplified on temples all over the country at a point of time!

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  10. great pictorial presentation..
    excellent.

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  11. If you put your finger in one of the wheels, a shadow is cast which tells you the time of the day..

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  12. @sidharth: thats an interesting bit of information; would have tried, had i known about it :)

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  13. This temple is amazing! I've never heard of it before but the intricate carvings really fascinate me.

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  14. @harindabama: Thanks a lot, the place is truly amazing!

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  15. Hey Sid. It's been almost two years since I read this post. Today I happen to stumble upon this old post of yours again and it reminds me why I should go to Orissa (or Odissa as it is called now?) one day. Those reliefs are definitely something not to be missed!

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    Replies
    1. Yes you are absolutely right Bama...you have to visit this place! :) The state is now called Odisha...

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  16. Exquisite pictures that bring back memories of my happy childhood in Odisha. Would you be willing to consider letting us use one of your photos in the cover design of our book? If so please let me know what you would charge for it . Please respond to nokturnelle at gmail dot com. Thank you for a great post !

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