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Konark
 
Konark
 

Konark is a small town in Puri district of 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 black granite by King Narasimhadeva-I (AD 1236-1264) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple 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 chariot drawn by seven spirited horses 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."

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 16 February 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.

Tourism

Nearby Tourist Spots

* Chandrabhaga 3.5 km From Konark Temple
* Ramachandi 8 km From Konark Temple
* Bhagabati Temple, Konark 2 km From Konark Temple
* Kuruma 6 km From Konark Temple
* Puri 35 km From Konark Temple
* Beleswar
* Chilika 70 km From Konark Temple
* Bhubaneswar
* Gopalpur Beach
* Kenduli Sasan

The victorious King of Orissa, Narasimhadeva erected a victory pillar designed as a war chariot. This temple was dedicated to Surya the Sun god, at a location near the temple town of Puri. He named this place Konark which means “Essence of the Corners” While the structure commemorates the victory in the battle against the Muslims, the name Konark commemorates the science of astronomy of which the King was an avid student.

Konark Sun Temple,    Konark Tour
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    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konark
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