Konark Sun Temple: A Remarkable Paradigm of The Kalinga Architecture


Konark Sun Temple is a thirteenth-century Sun Temple (otherwise called the Black Pagoda), at Konark, in Orissa. It was developed from oxidized and endured ferruginous sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I (1238-1250 CE) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple is an illustration of the Orissan engineering of Ganga tradition. The temple is quite possibly the most famous sanctuaries in Indium and is a World Heritage Site. It is one of the Seven Wonders of India (according to the survey done by NDTV). Rumours have spread far, suggesting that the temple was built by Samba, the child of Lord Krishna. It is said that Samba was distressed by infection, achieved by his dad’s revile on him. Following 12 years of atonement, he was relieved by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honour he constructed the radiant Konark Sun Temple.

Konark is derived from the blend of two Sanskrit words, Kona (corner or point) and Arka (the Sun). The Sun temple of Konark, Lingaraj temple of Bhuvaneshwar, and Puri Jagannath temple structure a respective triangle, and the Konark temple is one Kone (rakish mark of a triangle). This gives the word Kona the importance in making that terminology.

It is around 35 kilometres upper east of Puri on the shore of Odisha, India. Hindu Sun God Surya and the nine planets (Navagrahas) are revered in this temple. Konark Sun Temple is portrayed on the opposite side of the Indian money note of Rs. 10 to connote its significance to the Indian social legacy. The temple in its current form was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1984, albeit many parts are presently in ruins. What survives from the temple Complex keeps on drawing travellers as well as Hindu explorers. This temple remains an exemplary illustration of Hindu temple design, complete with colossal construction, figures, and work of art on infinite topics.


In Hindu Vedic iconography, Surya is ascending in the east and traversing the sky in a chariot drawn by seven horses. He is portrayed ordinarily as a shining standing individual holding a lotus blossom in his hands, a charioteer riding the chariot. The seven horses are titled after the seven measures in Sanskrit prosody:

  1. Gayatri
  2. Brihati
  3. Ushnih
  4. Jagati
  5. Trishtibha
  6. Anushtubha
  7. Pankit

The Goddesses are displayed as giving arrows, an image of their drive-in testing the murkiness. The design is likewise representative, with the chariot’s twelve sets of wheels compared to the year of the Hindu schedule, every month matched into two cycles (Shukla and Krishna). Sun Temple of Konark is eminent all through the world for its stone models. The temple was planned to look like a huge chariot drawn by seven strong, energetic horses on 12 sets (all-out 24 wheels) of perfectly adorned wheels at its base. The wheel’s dimensions are 9 feet 9 crawls in measurement, and every single one of them has eight more extensive spokes and eight more slender spokes. Out of these 24 wheels, six are on one or the other side of the natural temple; four are on each side of the Mukhasala, and two wheels are on each side of steps at the eastern front. The gigantic wheels of the Konark Temple are one of the significant attractions for guests.

The Konark wheel has eight more extensive spokes and eight more slender spokes. The distance between two more extensive spokes is of 3 hours (180 minutes). The more slender talk between two more extensive spokes is 1.5 hours (an hour and a half). There are 30 globules between one more extensive represented the following more slender talked and each dab represents 3 minutes. The Sundial shows time in enemy of clockwise, and the top community more extensive spoke represents noon.


Different speculations have been pushed concerning the meaning of the Konark wheel. From specific perspectives, the seven horses represent the times of the week, the 12 sets of wheels represent the year of the year, the 24 wheels imply 24 hours of a day, and the eight significant spokes mean praharas (three-hour time) of a day. As indicated by others, the wheels of the chariot have been deciphered as the Wheel of Life. They depict the pattern of creation, conservation, and accomplishment of acknowledgement. These 12 sets of wheels may likewise perhaps represent the 12 zodiac signs. Some additionally accept that the Wheel of Konark is as old as Dharmachakra of the Buddhists – The Wheel of Karma, The Wheel of the Law.

Sun God And Konark Temple

There are three portrayals of the Sun God at three unique sides of the temple. These three portrayals of the Sun God are situated in such a manner to get the beams of the Sun at daybreak, early afternoon, and evening. In the Vedas, Surya is considered as a brought together appearance of the Brahmanical Trinity.

  • Pravhata Surya – Morning Sun –  The Creator: The First portrayal of Sun God on the Southern side divider called ‘Mitra’ is portrayed as the Pravhata Surya (Morning Sun or Rising Sun). As the temple arrangement somewhat makes a point with the cardinal headings, the portrayal of the south is overflowed with the beams of the morning Sun. It is in this way critical for its appearance of youth and movement, legitimizing the portrayal of Pravhata Surya. It is brightened with the commonplace arrangement of adornments on the arms, neck, and ears. The hood is likewise standard. The abdomen band is furnished with tufts hanging down from it. This is known as the avyanga (midriff band) and is the Indianised type of Aiwiyonghen, the mysterious abdomen support of the Iranians. The curtain, coming up to the knee, is brilliantly cut. The sculpture’s hands hold two full sprouted lotuses, one of which exists over the figure’s right hand. The lower part of the platform is enriched with figures of ladies in different postures.

Some are playing on the instrument, and some are in moving stances. It is likewise brightened with the figures of seven horses driven by Aruna, the charioteer of Surya, sitting close to the sculpture’s feet with the horses’ reins in his grasp. The King and the Queen are perched on the platform with collapsed hands, and the sword is lying close by. Two standing male chaperons are seen on the board with safeguards and swords in their grasp. Rajani, Rikshubha, Chhaya, and Suvarsasa, are seen simply over the two specialists. Bramha and Vishnu are sitting at a somewhat more elevated level. At the top corners of the board, Vidyadhars are seen offering laurels of blossoms from Heaven.

  • Madhyanha Surya – Mid-Day Sun – The Destroyer: The second portrayal of Sun God on the Western side divider called Punsani is depicted as the Madhyanha Surya (Mid-day Sun), remaining with full force and character. Improvement of the board, adornments, and curtain utilized, the presence of King and Queen, the seven horses, and the figure of Aruna are practically like the Prabhata Surya (Morning Sun) who likewise wears upanat (boot). Some portray the Sun with Upanat-Pinaddha-Padayugalam (wearing boots on his two legs). It is expressed in the Brihat Samhita that the Sun God ought to be wearing the design of a northerner, called Udichyavesa.
  • Astachala Surya – Evening Sun – The Preserver: The third portrayal of Sun God on the Northern side divider called Haritasvai is portrayed as the Astachala Surya (Evening Sun or Setting Sun). The figure brings out wonderfully the drained articulation, which is the aftereffect of a hard day’s worth of effort; when the wide range of various horses is worn out, he is, in any case, finishing his excursion by riding on the rear of the last pony who is additionally observed to be stooping with its collapsed legs.

Other Major Sun Temples in India

The Sun Temple in Gaya, The Modhera Sun Temple on the banks of Pushpavati stream in Mehsana District of Gujarat, The Surya Pahar Temple close to Goalpara town in Assam, The Suryanar Temple in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, The Surya Narayana Temple in Arasavalli in Srikakulam Dist., In Andhra Pradesh, The Brahmana Dev Temple in Unao close to Jhansi in Madhya Pradesh, The Martand Sun Temple in Jammu and The Sun Temple in Gwalior.

Konark Navagraha Temple

Navagraha Temple/Nine Planets Temple is found right external to the Sun Temple compound. It houses a gigantic chlorite section, 20 feet (6 meters) in length, four feet (1.2 meters) high, and 7 feet (2 meters) profound with icons of nine planets made with dark chlorite stone and lavishly ornamented. This stone slab was initially set over the temple’s fancy entryways (Jagamohana) is currently kept inside the Navagraha Temple.

The compositional utilization of the Navagrahas is, as indicated by the middle age show, a sort of protective measure for the security of the temple and can be seen practically in each temple in Orissa. The lintel slabs of the earlier temples of the Bhaumakara time frame contain just eight grahas. Ketu was showing up on the architraves from the Ganga time frame onwards. In cutting out the portrayals, their characteristics are not effectively taken care of. They are made generally indistinguishable in form, except for a couple in the gathering. The majority of them are grasping rosary and kamandalu, wearing high pointed crowns, and sitting on lotuses; the portrayals in the Puranas imagery are as follows:

Sun, Moon, and Mars:

  • Surya (Sun) remains on a vehicle of seven horses and holds two lotuses in his two hands.
  • Chandra (Moon) rides on a swan and conveys circles of Moon in his right and left hands.
  • Mangala (Mars), being the warlord, carries a kattara (shaper) in his right hand and the left, a few human heads, in the demonstration of gobbling up. His vehicle is a goat.

Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus:

  • Lotus is the chair of Budha (Mercury), and he holds the bow and arrow.
  • Vrihaspati (Jupiter), being the esteemed cleric of the Devatas (Gods), has a streaming bread and grasps a rosary and kamandalu; however, he must be situated either on a frog or a skull, rather than a lotus.
  • Sukra (Venus) is supposed to be the minister of the Ashuras (evil presences). Leaving aside the visual deficiency of one eye, his symbol is pretty much effectively shown.

Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu:

  • Sani (Saturn) rides on a turtle and holds a bar in his one hand, rather than sitting on a lotus.
  • Rahu (Ascending Node) has just the upper portion of the body. His canine teeth are projecting from his upper jaw to represent him as a beast and a furious part of the Sun and Moon. He is tracked down, holding the Sun in one hand and the Moon in the other.
  • Ketu (Descending Node) is the final remaining one in the gathering. His upper part is like others, yet the lower is framed as the body of a snake curling around. He holds the noose of the snake in one hand and, with the other, a blade.


The remorseless hands of time didn’t allow the slab to stay in its unique situation for long. At last, it tumbled down and was lying unharmed in the debris for a long time; when it was found, the Asiatic Society of Bengal needed to eliminate it to Kolkata showing in the gallery, as an uncommon example of sculptural adornment of India. To work with its expulsion, the slab was longitudinally cut into two pieces in 1893 A.D. However, its greatness and the sandy track surrounding made it challenging to do so even after missing. It was hence left a good way off of around two furlongs from the temple site, where it was lying for over sixty years; as of late, the Government of India set up for its establishment in a different shed, near the temple compound, and presently this is well known as the Navagraha temple of Konark.