India is a country rich in Culture and Heritage. When it comes to the art, craft, science and architecture; each and every monument in India is a masterpiece in itself. One such example is Konark Sun Temple in Odisha (formerly Orissa).
The name Konark is derived form the words Kona – Corner and Arka – Sun; it is situated on the north eastern corner of Puri or the Chakrakshetra.
Here are some fascinating facts about Konark Sun Temple:
1. Konark Sun Temple is the only UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in Odisha
2. The Science behind the Construction
A heavy magnet was placed at the temple top and every two stones of the temple is sandwiched by iron plates. The idol was said to have been floating in air due to the arrangement of magnets.
The unique arrangement of the main magnet along with the other magnets caused the main idol of the temple to float in air.
3. The Wheels at the Sun Temple can show accurate “Sun Dials” and are kind of inspiration for the modern day watch technologies.
The main attraction of the temple is its twelve pairs of wheels located at the base of the temple. These wheels are not ordinary wheels but tell time as well – the spokes of the wheels create a sundial.
One can calculate the precise time of the day by just looking at the shadow cast by these spokes.
4. Construction based on Chariot
Konark Temple was designed in the form of a gorgeously decorated chariot mounted on 24 wheels. Each about 10 feet in diameter, and drawn by 7 mighty horses.
5. It is also known as “Black Pagoda”
Sun Temple was created on the banks of the sea, and was often used as a landmark by Sailor. Over the years, the sea have receded and now the Sun Temple is little away from the shores.
6. The temple is dedicated to Lord Surya
7. Huge lions on either side of the entrance teaches MORTALITY
The Konark Sun temple has two huge lions on either side of the entrance. Each lion is shown crushing an elephant. Beneath each elephant lies the human body.
Lion represents pride and elephant represents money.
Problems faced by Human beings shown in one shot.!
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8. Orientation on the Shore
Everyday, the Sun’s rays would reach the Nata Mandir from the coast and reflects from the diamond placed at the center of the idol.
During the colonial period, these magnets were removed by the Britishers to get the magnetic stone.
9. Artistic Magnificence and Engineering Expertise
King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of the Ganga dynasty had built this temple, with the help of 1200 artisans from 1243-1255 AD (13th Century).
It took 12 long years to complete the construction of the Sun Temple.
10. An Architectural Wonder
Every single piece of the Konark Sun Temple is covered with sculpture consisting of deities, dancers, scenes of life at court, etc.