SUN TEMPLE, KONARK
A monumental representation of Sun God Surya’s chariot, Konark temple stands at the shores of Bay of Bengal, bathed in the rays of rising sun. Built in 13th century under the reign of Narasimha Dev I (1238-1264 AD) the site became a UNESCO World Heritage in 1984. The aesthetical and visual overwhelming structure forms a narrative window into the political, religious, social and secular life of the people in that period. It’s a culmination of Kalinga temple architecture and has its roots in tantric belief system. The peculiar feature of the temple structure, the wheel, is decorated with symbolic designs. It symbolizes ‘cycle of seasons and the months’. The classical texts in India, including the Vedas personifies the Sun God, and the Sun Temple at Konark in Odisha can be understood as directly associated with the idea and belief of personifying the Sun God. The legend has it that, the architect of the temple, Bisu Moharana, devoted himself to construction of this temple, away from home. His son, immolated himself by jumping into space after he became part of his father’s workshop and completed the cupola of the temple, which his father was unable to complete.