Sun God Temple, Surya Mandir – Inside Jagannath Temple
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Close to Laxmi temple, towards east there stands a full-fledged sapta ratha temple dedicated to the Sun God. The temple is consisting of all the components like Vimana, Jagamohan, and Natamandira. The Vimana is elongated and stand on a developed platform having usual Odishian style. This temple was taken first for deplasterer by ASI. The temple as Madalpanji says, built during 17th century.
In the sanctum there is sun image seated on a pedestal with seven horses. This image is very small, Surya is the only Vedic god who came to be given a Puranic orientation. To his Vedic association, and foreign impact, his early images were of the standing Persian type. Images of the Sun rising on his chariots drawn by seven horses were common. Surya lost its separate identity by the medieval period.
On the backside of the main image, there is another life size seated image kept which is generally skips from eye of the devotees. On inquiry. one can see it partially. It is still a myth or legend as why this image is not shown to public. Some scholar opine that it the original image of Sun, some others opine that it is image of seated Budha and few other say it is image of Indra. But on enquery it looks like a seated Budha image in bhumispara mudra.
N.K Bose, Canons of Odishaan Architecture, Cosmo, Delhi, 1982, p.78
V. Dehejia, Early Stone Temples of Orissa, Delhi. 1979, p.20