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Konarak Tour (Temple in Puri)

Konark, near the sacred city of Puri is about 65 km from Bhubaneswar. It is famous for the great Sun Temple, dedicated to the Sun God or Surya, which showcases Orissa's medieval architecture. Konark temple, Puri in India has been designated as an United Nations (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. Tour Bokking

The Temple structure:

Konarak TempleThe enormous structure of the Konark temple in Puri, now in ruins, stands in solitary splendour surrounded by the drifting sands. The entire temple is in the shape of a chariot carrying the Sun God across the heavens. The major attractions of the temple are the huge intricate wheels of the chariot, which are carved around the base of the temple. The spokes of these wheels act as sundials, and the shadows formed by these can give the precise time of the day. The pyramidal roof of the temple made of sandstone, towers over 30 metres in height. The Konark Temple in Puri is also covered with erotic sculptures like the temples at Khajuraho. All these make the temple one of the prime pilgrimage sites in India.

The major attraction of Konark, as an east India pilgrimage destination is this magnificent Sun Temple. Dedicated to the Sun God, the Konark temple in Puri was constructed by Narashimhadev of the Ganga dynasty, in the mid-13th century. It was to celebrate his victory over the Muslims. But in the early 17th century, an envoy of the Mughal emperor Jahangir desecrated this famous temple that was one among the famous Hindu pilgrimage sites in ancient India.

History of the temple:

Konark was a bustling port of Kalinga. In the medieval period, when the temple was on the shore (the shoreline has receded more than 3 km today), it was used as a navigational aid by the European sailors on their way to Calcutta. They used to call it the "Black Pagoda" to distinguish it from the "White temple" the Jagannath (dedicated to Lord Shiva) Temple at Puri. An earlier Surya temple existed in Konark as long back as the 9th century but most of the existing structure dates from the 13th century. The Puranas and other religious texts have proven the fact.
Konark derives its name from Konarka, the presiding deity of the Sun Temple. Konarka is actually a combination of two words, kona(corner) and arka(sun), which, when combined, means the sun of the corner. Konark was one of the earliest places of worship in India, of the sun. The worship of the Sun was a prominent phenomenon in many parts of the world. In India, the tradition of sun worshipping can be traced back to the period of Rig Veda (Religious text of the Hindus).

The vicinity of the Konark temple in Puri forms the venue for a dance festival every year. Also called the Konark Dance Festival, it attracts a large number of tourists from India and abroad every year. The dance festival is a treat to those who love classical dance and music. The best season to visit Konark is between October and March though one can go there throughout the year.Tour Bokking

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