Here’s why Konark Sun Temple is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Odisha

If you visit Odisha, you must visit the 13th century Konark Sun Temple, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state. The temple, which is an architectural marvel, was built in the shape of a huge chariot of the Sun God, which is pulled by seven horses. Read on to know interesting facts about Konark Sun Temple.

The name Konark is derived from two words – kona, meaning corner and ark, meaning sun, and is dedicated to the Sun God. It was constructed on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River. It is built in such a way that the first ray of the sun falls on the huge Surya idol inside the main temple complex. And, to this day, you can tell the time by the rays of the sun falling on the wheels, which act as sundials.

Who got the Sun Temple built?

King Narasimhadeva of the Eastern Ganga dynasty built this temple in 1250 AD. Narasimhadeva is said to have built the Sun Temple at Konark after defeating the Muslim invaders. However, in the 15th century, invaders looted this temple but the priests managed to preserve the idol of the Sun God. At that time, the entire temple was seriously damaged, and it was gradually covered in sand. Then, the Konark Sun Temple was discovered in the twentieth century after restoration work began under the British rule.

Why is the Sun Temple special?

This temple was built in the shape of the chariot of the Sun God. This chariot has 24 wheels and 7 horses pull it. The seven horses represent the seven days of the week while the 24 wheels represent the 24 hours of the day. It is also believed that the 12 wheels of the chariot represent the 12 months of the year. And, as there are Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha in the Hindu calendar, the remaining twelve stand for the same. The idol of the Sun God is now preserved in the Jagannath Temple of Puri. As a result, there is no idol of a Hindu deity in this temple, which reflects the passage of time.