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Home Facts What's inside Konark Sun Temple? The mystery of Konark Sun Temple

What’s inside Konark Sun Temple? The mystery of Konark Sun Temple

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Konark Sun temple is located about 35 km (22 mi) from Puri (Odisha, India). This temple is dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya.

History of the temple-

The temple was built in the 13th century (1250 CE) during the reign of King Narsimhadeva-1. The name Konark is made of 2 Sanskrit words Kona (corner) and Arka (sun). The temple was considered as a chariot for the Sun God. Konark Temple was designed in the form of a magnificently decorated chariot mounted on 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, and drawn by 7 mighty horses. Beautiful carvings were drawn on the walls of the temple.

What happened to the temple?

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At present, the large structure which is seen today is called the Jagamohana(Audience hall) of the temple. The main temple tower Vimana(also known as Garbha Griha) has fallen off and only the remains can be seen. There were many speculations made for the possible cause of the fall of this magnificent temple. Some historians believed that the temple was not completed, some believed it was an earthquake that destroyed the temple, some argued it was due to thunderstruck, some historians link this with the invasion of rulers, who may have destroyed the temple. The Vimana tower was more gigantic than the Jagamohana, but sadly it is destroyed.

Since the structure was very weak and to prevent it from getting destroyed in 1903 J. A. Bourdillon, Lieutenant governor of Bengal ordered the temple to be sealed and filled with sand to prevent the collapse of the Jagamohana.

image courtesy-Arun Menon(https://www.researchgate.net/figure/a-Record-of-the-sand-filling-inside-Jagamohan-of-the-Konark-Sun-temple-Orissa-in-1903_fig5_316643759)

We can see below on the pictures how the temple would have looked if it were preserved.

image courtesy-http://www.thekonark.in/fallofkonark.html

What is present inside the temple?

Since the inside of the Jagamohana is filled with sand we don’t know what the interior would look like. There is an image showing European officers with a dog exploring the interior of Konark Temple, by William George Stephen in 1812.

But soon we would be able to see the interior of the temple. As the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has accepted the proposal on ‘Conservation of Sun Temple’. “Sand will be removed from the ancient structure and ASI has been asked to prepare a report on the modalities,” said Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel. Let’s hope the day would come soon.

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