Konark - City of Golden Sunshine
Konark is one of the better known names that comes to our mind when we talk of Orissa. It is a small town in the district of Puri. Situated at a distance of 65 km from Bhubaneswar and 35 Km from Puri, Konark is easily accessible by all modes of transport. Konark is most famous for the magnificent Sun Temple that makes this small town, a really big name in the world of tourism. Though Konark is visited by tourists throughout the year, it still has a very clean and unhampered environment. The climate is also quite favorable throughout the 12 month period. The Konark beach also is a major attraction of the town.
Konark is host to an annual dance festival that is held here every December. Here, you will witness all classical dances of India like Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kathak in all their glamour and poise. The performances are given by eminent dancers. The festival is held having the brilliantly floodlit Sun Temple as its background. Konark Dance festival beckons classical dance lovers from all parts of the world. Another festival that is held here is the Sun Festival or Magha Saptami. During the festival, devotees take holy dip in the sea before sunrise and worship Sun God at the Sun Temple.
Attractions - Magic Carved on Stones
There are not many attractions in Konark, but the few that are there, are among the best in Orissa. Apart from the famous Sun Temple, pilgrims also come to see the Mayadevi Temple which stands not too far away from Sun Temple. Tourists are not only attracted to these magnificent temples, they visit Konark to enjoy the beauty of nature on Konark Beach and to explore the history of Konark in the archaeological museum.
Major Attraction of the City
This is a temple that has single handedly made Konark one of the most visited towns in Orissa. Sun Temple has for long has beckoned pilgrims and tourist alike, from all over the world. Built in 13th century by King Narasimhadeo, the temple is dedicated to Sun God. It is also called 'Black Pagoda' by the British. Sun Temple is actually in the form of a Chariot with wheels on the sides of platform on which the temple stands. There are in all 12 wheels that are more than 10 feet high. Image of seven galloping horses in front of the temple complete the Chariot. Architecture of the temple is based hugely on temple style found in Central India, though the tall shikharas are not there. The walls of Sun temple are embellished with scintillating carvings both inside and outside. There are many Vahana temples in India, but Sun temple is definitely the best. The temple has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Other Attractions of the City
Situated to the southwest of Sun Temple, Mayadevi is an important attraction of Konark. It is not entirely clear as to whom the temple is dedicated. Some people believe that the temple is dedicated to one of Sun God's wives, while there are some who say that the temple belongs to Sun God himself. The walls of the temple have erotic sculptures carved on them. Also look at the precise carvings of dancing nymphs, court scenes, floral motifs and hunting scenes that adorn the walls of the temple. Two lion structures stand at the entrance and on either side of the temple you will see two gigantic elephant images. The structure of war-horse also increases the attraction of the temple remains.
The museum in Konark belongs to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The present museum was started in the year 1968. You will find the sculptures and parts of Sun Temple that came apart from the main temple building. The museum has four galleries that showcase 260 antiquities that were found in and around Sun Temple. The galleries display sculptures like various incarnations of Lord Vishnu, image of Surya God in sandstone and many celestial nymphs. The other attraction of the museum are a huge structure of head of a crocodile, reconstructed temple wall and the Khandolite built reconstructed wheel. You will get to see images of numerous monumental sites of Orissa which are displayed in the corridors. You can visit the museum on all days except Fridays. The timing for the visit are 10 AM to 5 PM.
The Beach in Konark is among the best on the eastern coast. With clear sands and shimmering blue ocean, Konark Beach which is named as chandrabhanga, is an absolute visual treat. The waterfront is an apt place to relax and unwind. The famous Konark Sun Temple is just few paces away from the beach and you take a walk and visit the temple. Though the scope for water sports is not much on the beach, but an evening walk on the beach is really soothing. Or you can just lie down on the golden sands and enjoy a sunbath while watching the local fishermen do their daily chores.
Where to Stay
Konark is one of the most visited towns in Orissa but still there are not many places to stay. It is probably because of its closeness to Puri which is a major city of the state. Though limited, there are good hotels to stay in. Main hotels in Konark are Panthanivas Tourist Bungalow, Sunrise Lodge, Yatri Niwas and Konark Lodge.
How To Reach Konark
Bjju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport which is at distance of 65 Km. Flights from all major cities of India are regular to and from Bhubaneswar. From airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus for a one hour ride.
Nearest railhead is at Puri which is at a distance of approximately 35 Km. Puri is connected to all parts of India with regular trains. Hiring a taxi is the best way of commuting between Puri and Konark.
Puri and Capital city of Bhubaneswar are both at close proximity from Konark. There are good number of transport buses as well as private coaches plying from both the cities.
Auto rickshaws, taxis and cycle rickshaws are there for roaming around in the city. Bus service is also good in Konark.
|Konark - Orissa - By Arun Sinha|
This area within 100 kilometer like "World famous Lord Jagannath Temple", "World famous......