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The glory of the sun at Konark Sun Temple, Odisha

Possibly one of the most exquisite dedications to the Sun God, Odisha’s Konark Sun Temple was built in the 13th century by king Narasimhadeva of the Eastern Ganga dynasty. Legends attribute the structure to Samba, the son of Lord Krishna, who is said to have built it as a mark of gratitude towards the Sun God for curing his illness.

The name Konark has been derived from two words ‘kone’ meaning ‘the sides’ and 'arkka', which is another name for the sun. The temple is in the shape of a chariot, with 7 horses—which stands for the days of the week—and 12 wheels. This beautiful structure is covered in exquisite and erotic sculptures of divine, semi-divine, human and animal figures. The complex consists of a 39-meter high audience hall, a dance hall, two monolithic elephants and two horses.

Positioned to provide a complete view of the sun at all times, the cosmic philosophy of the temple is the endless dialogue between time and all objects, living and non-living.
The sanctum displays superb images of the Sun-god in the three projections which are treated as miniature shrines.