The mythical land of Orissa boasts a plethora of impressive architectural marvels and Konark Sun Temple is one of its eminent archaeological wonders. Nestled by the beautiful coast of the Bay of Bengal, the temple is a charming concoction of precision and beauty. Not only is it a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the architects and craftsmen who designed it, but also it is a significant cultural emblem of India. Today, the Konark Sun Temple is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been described as one of the Seven Wonders of India. In this blog, explore the fascinating history and significance of the Konark Sun Temple Wheel.
Konark Sun Temple is a stunning example of ancient architecture and design, but one feature that has captured the imagination of visitors for centuries is the famous Konark Sun Temple Wheel. Established in the 13th century during the reign of King Narasimhadeva-I, it was designed to honour the Sun God, Surya. The temple consisted of two main structures - the dance mandapa and the great temple. While the smaller mandapa structure has survived today, the great temple collapsed sometime in the late 16th century.
The early theories suggested that the temple collapsed during construction, but this is contradicted by textual evidence and inscriptions indicating that the temple was completed and an active site of worship. Textual evidence suggests that the temple was damaged between the late 16th-century and early 17th-century.
The Significance of the Konark Wheel
Konark Wheel consists of 8 wider spokes and 8 inner spokes and it is 9 feet in diameter. The temple features 24 (12 pairs) wheels representing the wheels of Lord Surya's sun chariot. The 12 wheels signify the 12 months of the year and the 8 spokes represent the 8 prahars or time divisions of the day. According to legend, it is said that the Konark sundial was used to calculate the precise time of day based on the position of the sun.
The wheel was crafted with incredible precision, and its intricate design allowed sunlight to pass through it and cast shadows that could be used to determine the exact time. Besides that, the carvings on the wheels depict scenes from Hindu mythology, including images of gods and goddesses, animals, and humans. The wheel is also said to symbolize the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
The Sundial at Konark Sun Temple has great astronomical significance. It is said that the temple's architects used their knowledge of astronomy to create the sundial, and its design is based on complex mathematical calculations that took into account the earth's rotation and the movements of the sun, moon, and stars. It can track the movement of the sun throughout the day and throughout the year. The wheel was designed to align with the sun's rays at different times of the year, indicating the changing seasons and the solstices. It is believed to have been used to calculate the precise time for various religious ceremonies and rituals.
Things to do in Konark
While you are visiting Konark Sun Temple, you can also visit other iconic spots in this coastal town. Take a stroll along the nearby Chandrabhaga Beach as you soak in the picturesque view. It is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. You can even catch a glimpse of the temple in the distance while you sunbathe on the beach. Another must-visit attraction in the area is the nearby Puri Jagannath Temple. This centuries-old temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath and is considered one of the holiest sites in the Hindu religion. The architecture and intricate carvings on the temple's walls will certainly leave you in awe.
If you are looking for a stay near Konark Sun Temple, Lotus Eco Beach Resort, Konark is the perfect place for you. With its spacious and rustic villas and cottages and breathtaking views of the Bay of Bengal, our resort is the ultimate destination for those seeking peace, tranquillity, and luxury. Apart from that, we boast a plethora of activities and amenities to keep you entertained, including a spa, a fitness centre and a restaurant and cafe serving delicious local and international cuisine.