Sun Temple, Konark
A thirteenth century structure in Konark, Orissa an east coast state of India, Sun Temple was initially conceived as a gigantic solar chariot with twelve pairs of exquisitely-ornamented wheels, dragged by seven rearing horses. The temple comprises a sanctum with a lofty sikhara, a jagamohana and a detached nata-madira (hall of dance) and several subsidiary shrines. The sanctum displays an array of splendid images of Sun-God in three projections that are treated as miniature shrines. Together the sanctum and jagamohana form a common platform garnished with attractive ornaments and sculptures of erotic type.
The roof of jagamohana gives space for three stages with life-size female sculptors adorning each stage. The whole structure surmounted by two stupendous crowning members produces a picturesque contrast of light and shade.
With its harmonious blending of architectural grandeur, structural propriety, imposing dimensions and faultless proportions, the temple is one of the magnificent monuments in India.
Mayadevi Temple (temple no. 2)
To the west of the main temple are the remains of the temple of Mayadevi, one of the wives of Sun-God. The temple facing east consists of a sanctum, which is devoid of a deity, and a porch the superstructures of which are missing. The interior of the porch is noted for its sculptural treatment. Stylistically, the temple is assignable to circa late eleventh century C.E.
Vaishnava Temple (temple no.3)
The small brick temple, datable to circa eleventh century C.E., facing east in south-west corner of the compound was discovered in 1956 during the sand clearance. The temple which is pancharatha on plan consists of a duel and jagamohana and is devoid of any exterior decoration. Though the superstructure is missing, images of Balarama and two Parsvadevatas of Varsha and Trivikrama were unearthed that are now displayed in Archaeological Museum, Konark) proving its Vaishnava affiliation.