This crowning piece of Orissan Architecture and Sculpture, built in the 13th century A.D., the golden era of Orissan art, is a poetry in stone and a world heritage monument. The Mukhashala, or entrance hall continues to interest both devotees and visitors. The walls of this magnificent ruin have exquisite sculptures covering many aspects of life. Scenes of love and war, trade and court transactions, hunting, catching of elephants, teaching of sages, amorous dalliances, dancers and mythical figures- all vie for attention on the panels and niches of this immortal work of art. Surasundaris, heavenly damsels, freestanding, larger-than-life monoblock female statues playing the cymbals, drums, flutes or trumpets, adorn the top of the temple. Beautifully-carved couples engaged in myriad modes of amorous union, with their incomparable charms, are also attractions for connoisseurs of art as well as ordinary visitors.
Everyday the Sun God rises from the lap of the blue ocean close by and casts His first gentle rays on the sanctum sanctorum and then circles the temple during the course of the day, illuminating the three magnificent images of the Morning Sun, the Mid- day Sun and the Setting Sun. The colossal figures of the war elephants holding aloft a dazed soldier or the lions guarding the entrance to the temple
or the enraged war-horses trampling under their .. hooves a fallen warrior- the last fittingly chosen as the emblem of the State- are a testimony of Orissa’s war time glory. And above all, the twenty four giant wheels of this temple- chariot, symbolizing the divisions of time with their intricate carvings on the spokes and the axle- heads, the seven caparisoned horses representing seven colours of the Sun, the Nabagraha or Nine- .planet panel are living pieces of the glory of Orissa’s past, frozen for a moment on the shores of time. Konark is a many splendoured gem of Orissan art. Its beauty is not for description in words, It is to be seen, enjoyed and savoured, not once but again and again, for it is truly a thing of beauty, a joy for ever.
Konark Festival, The Konark Festival held from 1 st to 5th December every year in the amphitheatre is a most exciting dance events of the country The festive nights serve the essential purpose of highlighting an important facet of lndia’s composite culture. The immense backdrop of the Sun Temple looks breathtaking when illuminated in the evenings. Museum Run by Archaeological Survey of lndia, the Museum has an excellent collection of sculptures from the temple ruins.
The Beach A short walk, ride or drive from Konark, takes one to the beach known as Chandrabhaga, unspoilt by time and men. Quieter than Puri beach, it offers beautiful sunrise and sunset.