Konark Sun Temple History Narrated by Tourist Guide

After covering approx. 50 km via 316 National Highway from our hotel in Puri we reached Konark while stopping before at Chandrabhaga beach (36 km) to have a glimpse of the beach as well as nariyal pani to quench our thirst. As soon as we get down at Konark from our hired car a middle age guide accompany us requesting to show Konark temple along with narration.

How much the charges? – I question.

Rs. 200 – He said.

Ok – said I.

We purchased Rs. 10/- ticket per person to enter the temple area and what guide narrated was really very useful.

My name is Madhusudan Patra. I will show your Surya Mandir in Konark. For the last 40 years since 1975 I am here working as a guide. I have learnt knowledge from Archeology Survey. 1984-85 professional guides have started. I will show you and tell you about the Sun Temple.

Why the name is Konark?
Konark is a Sanskrit language word i.e., Kon + Ark – Konark.
Kon is angle and Ark is Sun. Angular of the Sun.

You are here because of blessings of Lord Jagannath.
Shankh, Chakra, Gada, Padma
Jagannath ie., Puri is known as Shankh shetra.
Chakra shetra is Lingraj at Bhubaneshwar.
Gada shetra is Girija devi ma at Jajpur in Cuttack.
Konark shetra is Padam shetra. Padam is lotus. When Sun rises, lotus opens.

Konark temple is built by Odisha King Languda Narasimhadeva to create importance of the political supremacy of his dynasty.
1238 – 1250 – 12 years to complete the temple.
1200 architects and artisians built the temple.
The temple cost 40 crores gold Coins at that time but was not completed. The King order to complete the temple on a final said date and wanted to place a Kalash (Urn) on top of the temple. It is believe the King ordered - If not done all artists/architects will be killed.

Vishnu maharana was the main architects. His child name was Dharmapada who was 12 years old. On last day 12 year old child placed the Kalash to complete the temple. Later his body was found on sea beach. Few said he committed suicide to save all 1200 laborers life. Thus, 12 is very important in this temple construction. Because Dharmapada did suicide here there is no offering or puja here in the temple.

The temple is built in three stages – 1. Balya (child) 2. Yuva (youth) and 3. Vridha (old).

Lingraj temple at Bhubaneshwar was built in 10th century. Jagannath temple in Puri in 11th – 12th century. Sun temple at Konark was built in 13th century.

Before temple there was a port name as Kainapura on the confluence of Chandrabhaga river and sea.

It is also believed – Sambha was Lord Krishna and Jamvati son affected from leprosy. Narad rishi sent him here to do tapasya (penance) for 12 years to cure from leprosy. Since then this place is regarded as sacred.
for leprosy cure there was three medicines available here.
1. Early Sun rays
2. Neem trees all around (early known as Maitrivana)
3. Chandrabhaga river and sea confluence which cures skin disease
Because there things can’t be easily found at one place that is why this place is important. It is said and believed visiting this location removes all sins and cures diseases of a person.

Thus, Konark importance as a kshetra is much earlier than the present Sun temple.

There are four temples here.

Sun temple is designed in the shape of chariot of Lord Sun with seven horses and twenty four wheels carrying Sun God.
7 horses represent 7 days in week/7 colors of light, 24 anti-clock wheels – 24 fortnights, 8 spokes indicates eight pahar (division).

Iron and monolith stone was used to make this temple. The first temple name is Rangmahala showing classical dance such as Odisi, Manipuri, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Mridung etc etc.
There are three points from where Sun rays enters the temple. Each point Sun rays pass for 4 months.

There is three idols made from one stone – Nara, Singha, Gaja. Lion on top, then white elephant and then man this indicates Sanatan, Budha and Hindu religion.

The wall of the temples contain wonderful artistic work showing various human emotions such as Darpan Sundari, Pigeon as messenger, Towels used to dry hairs, Women wearing Mangal Sutra, Classical Dance, sensuous modelling, Dragon, Narsingh, Pilgrimage, Shrawan Kumar, Marriage, Sunset, Bullock Cart, Cross table and many more..

Rabindra Nath said - “Here the language of stone surpasses the language of man”

Earlier Aruna pillar was here in front of the Sun temple. Shivaji maharaj placed this pillar at Puri.

1903 the main temple door was closed due to falling stones but before that from three points Sun rays directly place on top of idol which was placed on throne. That idol is right now at Puri.

The other temple here is Chayadevi – wife of Lord Sun. Saturn is the son of Chayadevi.

Wonderful information shared. It was time to say bye. Thanks a lot. Amount paid. I was happy with the tour guide narration.

for more knowledge you may read www.konark.nic.in/