Konark Sun Temple

Abodes of Surya Temples of Orissa

Konark is one of the well known tourist attractions of Orissa. Konark, Konark houses a colossal temple dedicated to the Sun God. Even in its ruined state it is a magnificient temple reflecting the genius of the architects that envisioned and built it. Bhubaneshwar, Konark and Puri constitute the Golden triangle of Orissa, visited in large numbers by pilgrims and tourists.

Konark is also known as Konaditya. The name Konark is derived form the words Kona Corner and Arka - Sun; it is situated on the north eastern corner of Puri or the Chakrakshetra. Konark is also known as Arkakshetra. This temple built in 1278 CE by the Ganga King Narasimha Deva is one of the grandest temples of India and was referred to as the Black Pagoda. The ruins of this temple were excavated in late 19th century. The tower over the Garbagriha is missing, however the Jagmohana is intact, and even in this state, it is awe inspiring. Legend has it that Samba, the king of Krishna and Jambavati entered the bathing chamber of Krishna's wifes, and was cursed by Krishna with leprosy. It was decreed that he would be relieved of the curse by worshipping the sun God on the sea coast north east of Puri. Accordingly Samba reached Konaditya Kshetra and discovered an image of Surya seated on the lotus, worshipped him and was relieved of his curse. It is said that the temple was not completed as conceived because the foundation was not strong enough to bear the weight of the heavy dome. Local beleif has it that it was constructed in entirety, however its magnetic dome caused ships to crash near the seashore, and that the dome was removed and destroyed and that the image of the Sun God was taken to Puri. The Temple: The Konark temple is widely known not only for its architectural grandeur but also for the intricacy and profusion of sculptural work. The entire temple has been conceived

The high walls of Lingaraja temple. as a distant descendant of Kulottunga I on the female line. which is commonly known as the ‘Simhadwara’ or the ‘Lions' Gate’. Temples dedicated to the Sun are not a common feature in the Tamil speaking region of the Indian subcontinent. positioned to catch the rays of the sun at dawn. However. when viewed from outside. milk and bhang (marijuana). warriors on horses and other interesting patterns. Seven horses drag the temple. built in the form of a chariot during the age of Kulottunga Chola I (1075-1120). There are images of animals. One of the oldest temples of Bhubaneshwar. and thefamous Eastern Ganga ruler Narasimha Deva. with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. Lingaraj Temple Founded In: Eleventh century Dedicated to: Lord Shiva (Lord Lingaraja) Lingaraj temple is one of the most popular temples of Orissa. The nata mandir in front of the Jagamohana is also intricately carved. There are three images of the Sun God. the SomaVanshi King. lend it the look of a fortress. noon and sunset. which have been carved on the spire. some parts of the temple have been there since the sixth century. Lingaraja has 150 smaller shrines inside its huge courtyard. and up the walls and roof. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A flight of steps lead to the main entrance.as a chariot of the sun god with 24 wheels. The deity is bathed everyday with water. Lingaraj temple of Bhubaneswar is believed to date back to the later half of eleventh century. Two lions guard the entrance. foliage. men. each about 10 feet in diameter. made up of granite. also known as ‘Lingaraj’. crushing elephants. It is adorned with beautiful sculptures.8 metres high and enshrines a huge statue of Lord Shiva. Lingaraja temple is approximately 54. The Melakkadambur Shiva temple. Around the base of the temple. Lingaraj . lies its solitary entrance point. and is still in a well preserved state. that have been made by using solid red sandstones. However. are carvings in the erotic style. is the earliest of this kind. It is also said that the temple was constructed by Jajati Keshari. there are no historical records to authenticate the claim. built the Sun Temple at Konark in the form of a chariot in the 13th century. It is believed that this temple set the pace for the ratha (chariot) vimana temples in India. some people are of the belief that. On the eastern side of the temple. The idol is 8 feet in diameter and is placed on a platform that is about 8 inches above ground. Kulottunga Chola is also credited with having built the Suryanaar temple near Kumbhakonam.

Anangabhima Deva. Dedicated to Krishna. Hotels in Bhubaneswar Jagannath Temple (Puri) Jagannath Temple Puri . the conical tower of the temple is 58 mts high on which the flag and the wheel of Lord Vishnu can be seen. The Jagannath temple in Puri was built approximately 12th Century AD by King Chodaganga of the Eastern Ganga dynasty. Protected by two surrounding walls. The completion was later brought about by his descendant. Balabhadra and Subhadra. in the form of Saligramam idol. the temple has these three as principal .The land of Lord Jagannath. the 'Yajna Shala'. is one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots in India. namely the main temple. One of the four divine abodes lying on four directions of the compass. it also enshrines Lord Vishnu. the 'Bhoga Mandap' and the 'Natya Shala'. the Jagannath Temple was built in the classical temple building phase.temple is basically made up of four parts. One of the most revered of all temples of Lord Vishnu in eastern India. Along with Lord Shiva. The main gates of the temple have Lord Shiva’s Trishul on one side and Lord Vishnu’s Chakra on the other. meaning 'Lord of Universe'. during the 12th century.

The preparations are made traditionally and no onion. Just by eating this mahaprasada one makes great spiritual advancement. after being made to Lord Jagannath. Similar to the Lingaraja temple in Bhubaneshwar. in the inscriptions. about six km west of Bhubaneswar. This is sold outside the sanctorum area but within the temple premises. The Mahaprasadam remains hot for a long time as it is kept in the same earthen pots which are used to cook it. Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves One of the earliest groups of Jain rock-cut shelters. separated by a highway. chillies or many varieties of vegetables (considered alien) are not used. with very little amenities even for small comforts. Normally. The height being too low. rock-cut architecture. mahaprasadam means a few small pots of vegetables. they simply provided dry shelter for meditation and prayer. the caves of Udayagiri and Khandagin are essentially dwelling retreats or cells of the Jain ascetics. 56 varieties of prasada are offered to Lord Jagannath. Mostly excavated near the top of the ledge or boulder. are then offered to Goddess Bimala Devi in the temple precincts which then becomes Mahaprasadam. dhal. garlic. These offerings. the caves of Udayagiri (Hill of Sunrise) and Khandagiri (Broken Hills) command a unique position in the filed of history.deities. Called lena. this temple is also close for Non-Hindus who contend themselves by just viewing it from outside its precincts. This Mahaprasadam is available daily after 3-5 pm. Mahaprasada Maha-prasada is pure vegetarian spiritual food offered to Lord Jagannath. and a pot of rice ten times the size of the small pots. Everyday. art and religion. The two hills rise abruptly from the coastal plain. opening directly into the verandah or the open space in front. This Mahaprasadam is considered very efficacious for spiritual liberation. . One should respectfully honor the Mahaprasadam sitting on the floor. does not allow a man to stand erect.

Cave 1. At the angles. etc. etc. Excavated on three sides of a quadrangle with fine wall friezes and some recently restored pillars. flanked by two pilasters.Each cell was tenanted by several monks. off the pain path to the right is double storeyed. The largest and the most beautiful. The main central wing. In the better preserved Upper Storey there are six cells. and friezes depicting scenes laid in wild surroundings story reminiscent of Dushyanta's first meeting with Sakuntala. On the walls. Rani Gumpha or Queen's Cave. all the important caves have been numbered for to avoid confusion in nomenclature. The austere later additions. hunting expeditions and scenes of daily life. fruits laden trees. where the right and left wings meet. The cells are austerely plain. Udayagiri From Bhubaneswar. All the four cells of the main wing are provided with two doorways each. not exactly architectural marvel. royal processions. are carved two dwara palas (sentries). sporting elephants in lotus pools. etc. Udayagiri is the hill on the right and access to its 18 caves is provided by a flight of steps. a dance performance for the royal couple. court scenes. one each in the left and right wings and four in the rear. show 24 Jain tirthankars. Over them there are toranas (arches) relieved with religious and royal scenes-couple standing reverentially with folded hands. but has some beautiful sculptures. . starting from his capital and returning back after passing through various lands. when Jainism no longer enjoyed royal patronage in this part. consisting of four cells. are two small guard rooms which are lavishly decorated-springs cascading down the hills. wild animals. At present. The pilasters of entrances to the cell are embellished with side pilasters crowned by animals. flanking the terminal pilasters of the verandah. The right wing of the lower storey consists of a single cell with three entrances and a pillared varandah. from which springs a ornately carved torana (arch) with auspicious Jain symbols (snake and lotus). a female dancer with accompanying female musicians. has themes apparently indicating victory march of a king. but their facades are encrusted with sculptures depicting auspicious objects worshipped by Jains.

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