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Konark (Orissa)

The word ‘Konark’ is derived from two Sanskrit words- ‘Kona’ which means ‘angle’ and ‘Arka’ which means ‘Sun’. Konark refers to the Temple, which was dedicated to Surya, the Sun God.

Konark is a historical town, situated at the bank of Bay of Bengal. Built in the thirteenth century, the Sun Temple of Konark is world famous for its exotic Orissan architecture. It is also famous as ‘Black Pagoda’ as it was built by black granite stone. The World famous poet Rabindranath Tagore said about Konark, ‘Here, the language of stone surpasses the language of man’. Konark is a prominent place to see the total Solar Eclipse. Konark is also very popular for its classical dance forms. Every year, in the month of December, the grand Konark Dance Festival is organized here. Dancers come from different areas of country to take part in this festival and show their mind blowing performances.

Location: 66 kms from Bhubaneshwar, 35 kms from the sea beach of Puri  

Climate: Summers are hot and humid, winter season brings along cool sea winds and mild cold weather.

Light cotton clothes are preferable. You can wear warm clothes if needed, in winters.

Best time to visit: September-March

How to reach:

By Air: Nearest is Bhubaneswar Airport (65 kms).

By Train: Puri Railway Station is nearest railhead to Konark (31 kms)

By Road: HPTDC Luxury and Volvo coaches available regularly

Places of Interest

Konark Sun Temple

Location: 1km far from City centre

Timings: Open all days from 10.00 a.m.- 5.00 p.m.

Konark Sun temple is the most popular attraction of Konark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Made entirely from black granite, it is featured on the list of Seven Wonders of India. This astonishing temple was built in the thirteenth century during the kingdom of Narasimhadeva I, king of Ganga Dynasty. This wonderful temple is dedicated to Lord Surya. The structure of the temple is fascinating, as it is designed in the form of a colossal chariot, having 12 wheels and 7 horses. Most parts of the temple are now in ruins and are collected in the Sun Temple Museum.

Konark Beach

Location:  3 kms from Konark Sun Temple 

Best month to visit: September-March

Also known as ‘Chandrabhaga’ which means ‘A part of the Moon’, Konark Beach is one the most beautiful beaches of the east coast of India. It is a pristine beach, which is characterized with golden sand. At the time of Sunrise and Sunset, the beach will mesmerize you with its charming beauty. You can sit and enjoy the pleasant cool water splashes and the winds, which will rejuvenate your mind and soul. Sun bathing and fishing are a big attraction of this place.

The pond where Samba, Lord Krishna’s son was cured from leprosy can be seen near the beach. Every year, Maha Saptami Mela is organized at this beach, where thousands of devotees come at this time to take a dip in the sea water before visiting the Konark Sun Temple.  

Ramachandi Temple

Location: 10 kms from Konark Beach, 8 kms from Sun Temple

Timings: Open all days from 10.00 a.m.- 5.00 p.m.

Famous as one of the Sakta Pithas of Orissa, Ramachandi Temple is an old and famous sanctuary situated at the bank of Kushabhadra River. It is a beautiful tourist spot of Konark. As per the Indian mythology, this temple was dedicated to Goddess Ramachandi. The legend says that in the seventeenth century, when Kalapahada, a rebel Hindu Brahmin changed his religion to Islam, he vowed to destroy all Hindu Temples. After destroying the Sun Temple, when he came to destroy this Temple, Goddess Ramchandi dressed as a Maluni and saved the Temple from being destroyed by Kalapahada.

The wide variety of birds at this place, are most fascinating. The intriguing natural beauty of the surrounding areas of the temple, make it a perfect place for worship and picnic.

Kuruma

Location: 43 kms from Puri, about 8 kms to the South-East of the Sun Temple

Timings: Open all seven days from 10.00 a.m.- 5.00 p.m.

A small village in Puri, Kuruma is an ancient excavation site, which is fampous for its historical significance. It is believed that this place was set-upin the early eleventh century and had a Buddhist Stupa. It is said that Brajabandhan, a local school teacher, spotted this spot with the image of Lord Buddha. Two more images were also found nearby, of the Death God, Yama and the Dharma or Sun God, Heruka.

This exotic Buddhist Monastery serves as a remembrance of Lord Buddha with its antique items of Buddha. All these items belong to eighth to the ninth century A.D.  King Asoka also mentioned this place in his Buddhist text. The Monastery with 12 blocks and an open courtyard in the centre is a historic site, which connects you with the rich history of ancient times.

Konark Museum

Location: It is located near the main Temple, in the North direction.

Timings: Open all days except Friday from 10.00 a.m.- 5.00 p.m.

The Konark Museum was established in 1968 and is maintained by The Archaeological Survey of India. The museum is divided into 4 galleries. These galleries exhibit a wide variety of 260 architectural sculptures and pieces collected from the clearance work of the Sun Temple. The stone models and sculptures presented here define the Orian architecture of the Sun Temple.  The unique antiques, manuscripts and paintings which were recovered from the Sun Temple represent the rich heritage of the Temple.

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