Artifacts of Konark Sun Temple currently under worship at Siddha Mahavir Temple, Puri

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Writer: Kumar Aurojyoti


The Sun Temple of Konark is an architectural wonder. If we appreciate the beauty of it’s artifacts now, even though it is almost in ruins, just imagine how wonderful would have been it’s beauty when the temple was at it’s prime!

Whatever might be the reason (enemy invasion or gross neglect), there was a time when Konark laid neglected in ruins. At that time the precious artifacts were either illegally sold by antique dealers or transferred to some temples for worship or found a place in collectors’ places. Later on many of those artifacts found a place in various museums of the world including the most famous of them all, the British Museum.

According to author Thomas Donaldson, in his book “Konark, Monumental Legacy”, some artifacts of Konark were later on placed in the Siddha Mahavir Temple of Puri (pictures attached). They are –

Artifacts of Konark Sun Temple currently under worship at Siddha Mahavir Temple, Puri

1) A Shikshadana Motif – it portrays a Guru giving discourse to his disciples. It is placed at the right side of the entrance of the main temple where usually the Dwarapala is placed. (Another Shikshadana motif from Konark is currently under display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Please check it out in the comments section.)
2) A scene of Royal Personages riding an elephant. It is placed on the right side wall of the main temple.
3) A five headed Ganapati with his Shakti (the faces of Ganapati have been smeared with vermilion and his Shakti is not visible as the Ganapati is wearing a garment that hides his Shakti). It is placed at the left side of the entrance of the main temple where usually the Dwarapala is placed. (Another five headed Ganapati from Konark is currently under display at the British Museum. Please check it out in the comments section. Picture courtesy Santanu Pal).
4) A frieze fragment from Konark.

It is a matter of some contentment that some artifacts of Konark are still under worship even though the place of worship is different.

 

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