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Konark also known as Arka-Tritha is known for its Temple of lord Surya, the Sun god. It is situated on the seashore, 33km north of Puri and 65 km from Bhubaneswar. It was Constructed of black stone in the beginning of the 13th century, and it is considered one of the vivid architectural showpieces of Hindu India. Despite the fact that the Black Pagoda is in ruins, the remaining porch area and the structures of this temple complex remain as a crown jewel of Odisha artwork.SUN TEMPLEThis temple was built in the 13th century by the Odishan king Raja Narasimahadeva. It took 1200 workman over 16 years to build. It is believed that the temple was no longer used from the early 17th century when the temple was desecrated by Muslim invaders. In1904 the sand around the temple base was cleared.The story of the temple is that Samba, the son of Krishna, was cursed to suffer from leprosy for 12 years. Because Surya cured him, the sun god, he built a temple dedicated to Surya.The impressive temple resembles a huge chariot with 24 huge wheels being pulled by seven horses. Great pairs of large intricately carved wheels were carved on both sides of the 4m high platform that the temple is on. There are two rows of 12 wheels on each side of the temple. Some say the wheels represent the 24 hours in a day and others say the wheels represent 12 months. The seven horses are said to symbolize the seven days of the week. There is a dancing hall here, an audience hall and high tower. The main tower which, has since collapsed, was 220ft (70 m) high. The Jagmohan (porch) is over 120 feet (39 m) high and is filled in and fortified with rocks to it from collapsing. Both the tower and porch were built on a high platform. The temple is covered with many intricately carved sculptures. Sailors once called this temple the Black pagoda because it was supposed to draw ships into the shore and cause shipwrecks.There are three impressive chlorite figures of Surya facing different directions to catch the sun at dawn, noon and sunset. The three statues of Surya change their facial expressions from wakefulness in the morning (south) to weariness towards the end of the day (north). The main entrance has large statues of two stone lions crushing elephants. There is a small shrine dedicated to Mayadevi, the wife of Surya, in the southwest corner of the enclosure. At the north part of the enclosure, to the right of entrance, are a group of elephants. At the south side is a group of horses rearing and trampling men. Between the entrance and the main part of the temple is an intricately carved dancing hall. All over the base, walls and roof of the temple are intricate carvings. You can climb down to the inner sanctum of the temple at the west side of the temple. All over the temple there are many erotic carvings.There is a temple vicinity of the main temple of nine Planets: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. It is situated to the right of the main entrance, before you enter main Temple.
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