From the Muktesvara Temple, we went towards our next destination which was the Konarak Sun Temple. I had been waiting to visit this temple from the very start of the trip as it attracts millions of tourists from different parts of the country every year. On reaching the temple, I could easily understand the reasons behind the popularity of the temple. It is definitely in the list of the most spectacular monuments I have seen in India.
The place has deep association with religion and is a true masterpiece as far as architecture is concerned. The temple has been built using a fine blend of different forms of architecture. The stone used for building the temple had a separate language of its own due to which we were left dumbstruck.
We came to know that the temple has been standing tall since the thirteenth century. King Narasimhadeva holds the credit for the construction of the temple which represents the shape of a royal chariot driven on twelve wheels and by seven horses. And on the chariot sits Surya, the sun God, for travelling across heavens.
One of the locals told us that the term Konarak has been derived from two different words. While the first part Kona stands for corner, the second part Arka stands for Sun. The literal meaning of the term stands for the fact that Konarak is the name of the Sun God being worshipped in Ark Kshetra. According to one of the legends, Lord Vishnu had placed some of his belongings at this place in order to celebrate his victory over a demon named Gyasur. It is believed that the conch was placed in Puri, the mace in Jajapur, the disc in Bhubaneswar and the Lotus in Konarak.
The British people used to call the temple as Black Pagoda due to its strategic location on the eastern coast which acted as a coastal voyage for European sailors. Some of the guides told us that the Sun God has always been regarded as one of the supreme lords of the Hindu mythology and he is regarded to be bestower of wishes and healer of sufferings.