Written By Laksshha Khanna (Grade 10)
The first rays of sunlight danced on the huge stone lions adorning the main entrance. The temple silhouette initially clad in moonlight turned into hues of orange and transformed into its bright sunlit splendour.
My jaw had dropped even before I had entered the Konark Sun Temple located in Odisha. Slowly making my way up the staircase, I marvelled at the scenic beauty that surrounded the Brahmin sanctuary.
The temple’s design built by King Narasimhadeva I, follows the popular Kalinga school of architecture and has a distinctive chariot shape, dedicated to Surya, the Sun God.
The most notable details were the engravings of images of deities, people, birds, animals, and mythological creatures that decorated the walls.
The chariot of the temple contained twelve pairs of wheels which were twelve feet in diameter representing the twelve months of the Hindu calendar. Its eight spokes depicted the eight intervals of the day and the seven horses represent the days of the week.
The wheels captivated my heart and was a personal favourite. My fingers were unable to resist the urge to feel the cool stone of the wheel as I placed my hand on the spokes.
I was surprised to find the inside of the temple to be empty. To satiate my curiosity, the tour guide explained that there was a powerful magnet placed to keep the sun deity floating in the air within the premises.
The magnet was removed by the Portuguese since it made their sail difficult. It would lead to deflecting compasses and increasing shipwrecks. As a result, the superstructure collapsed.
This visit was most definitely a mesmerizing one. The dazzling sunrise was a memory for the books, one that cannot be replaced. Exploring this temple was a peaceful experience.
If given the chance, I would visit it again and recommend it to those who enjoy the feats of Indian architecture.
Featured Image Courtesy – TripVaani.com