Brief
Aptly described by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore as, "Here the language of stone, defeats the language of man", Konark is the crowning glory of Orissa and an exquisite specimen of Oriya craftsmanship, and is poetry in stone. Famous for its Sun Temple, also known as the Black Pagoda, the  temple stands in solitary splendour, amongst the sand dunes and is a magnificent example of Kalinga architecture. Designed as a huge chariot of the Sun God, drawn by seven exquisitely carved and ornamented horses, it is protected under the World Heritage List.  The temples interior was filled up in 1903 by the British to save it from deterioration.

History
Dedicated to the divine charioteer, Surya, the Sun Temple was visualised, as a chariot for the Sun God, for his daily celestial journey. Raja Narasimhadeva, along the shores of the Bay of Bengal, built it in the 13th century. But now the sea has moved two km away from the temple. Legends say that Samba, the son of Lord Krishna, was afflicted by leprosy, because of a curse by his father. After 12 years of penance, Surya, the Sun God, in whose honour, he built this temple, cured him.

Culture
The Oriyans lead a relatively secluded and archaic mode of life, keeping their core culture intact and reinforcing age-old traditions. They have retained their rich and varied cultural heritage, maintaining their own unique identity and distinctiveness through dance, music, poetry and literature. One of the finest forms of Indian classical dance, the dance form Oddisi, is evolved out of spiritual consciousness and forms an essential part of the ritualistic services, in the important shrines of Orissa. Devotional in spirit, it is marked for its elaborate grace and lyrical charm.

Climate & Geogaphical Location
Being close to the sea, the summers are warm, but the winters are cool and pleasant. And with greenery surrounding the place, rainfall is heavy. Konark is located at 65 kms from the state's capital Bhubaneshwar and 35 km from Puri.

How to Reach
Road, rail and air connect Bhubaneshwar. By air, Konark is not linked with the flight services directly. The nearest airport is at Bhubaneshwar, linking it to Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Rajpur. By rail, the nearest railhead is Puri, 35 km and Bhubaneswar, 60 km away. But Konark is well connected by good motorable roads, and the national highway ,links it to Bhubaneshwar, Puri, Kolkata, Rourkela, Bilaspur, Visakhapatnam and places in neighbouring states.

Tourist Places
The Sun Temple

This exquisite specimen of Oriya craftsmanship, is poetry in stone and is included in the world heritage monuments. Aptly described by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore as "Here the language of stone, defeats the language of man", Konarks Sun temple, stands in solitary splendour amongst the sand dunes. Also known as the Black Pagoda, as was called by the Europeans, the Sun temple is famous for the intricate carvings on the temple walls. Designed as a huge chariot of the Sun God, drawn by seven exquisitely carved and ornamented horses, it is protected under the World Heritage List.  The temples interior was filled up in 1903, by the British, to save it from deterioration.

Beleswar

The Surya shrine and the sea beach, make Beleswar a tourist spot 20 kms from Konark.

Balighai.

The sea turtle research centre here, is known for its work in the protection of the rare sea turtle species. Again the sea beach, makes it a tourist place 25 Kms from Konark.

Others

 

CHOURASI - A typical order of temple architecture. 35 kms from Konark is the temple of Goddess Barahi. KAKATAPUR - 25 Kms from the Sun temple, is the shrine of Goddess Mangala on the river Prachi.  KURUM - An important archaeological site. The excavated Buddhist site is 8 Kms from Konark. RAMCHANDI - 8 Kms from the Sun Temple, is the temple of Goddess Ramachandi. It is here that the river Kushabhadra meets with the sea. Its a nice picnic spot.



 
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