Konark Sun Temple, is a 13th-century Sun temple at Konark town which is located on the coast of the east Indian state of Odisha. It is dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya.
The temple was built by king Narasimhadeva-I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in year 1250 CE. The temple was commissioned by the king while Samantaraya Mahapatra, the chief architect who worked on it was the one in charge of its construction, with around 1200 workers under him.
Europeans used navigation for their ships, it is said that the temple has the ability to draw ships to the shore due to its magnetic powers! These Europeans also called it the Black Pagoda, due to its dark facade.
The temple exhibits the traditional Odisha style of architecture, also popularly known as Kalinga architecture. It is designed in the form of a 100-foot (30m) chariot mounted on 12 pairs of giant wheels and drawn by a set of seven horses, all of which are intricately carved from stone.
The walls of the temple from the temple's base through the crowning elements are ornamented with some beautiful stones, and its terraces contain stone statues of male and female musicians holding various (Indian) musical instruments like the Veena, Mardala etc.
Other attractive works of art that can be seen on this temple include stone sculptures of Hindu deities, Apsaras (divine dancers) and images from the daily life and culture of the people here in those times, various animals, birds, mythical creatures, and so on.
The Konark sun temple is open to visit between 6 am to 8 pm, on all days of the week. The easiest way to reach Konark is to travel to Puri, and take a bus, train or cab from there.
Puri Railway Station is the nearest train station from Konark temple, situated about 30 km away. The nearest international airport from here is Bhubaneswar Airport or Biju Patnaik International Airport which is 65 km away and takes around an hour-long drive to reach.
The temple has an entry fee of INR 40 for visitors who are Indian nationals and INR 600 for foreign tourists. A light and show also happens regularly at this temple, and the tickets for that can also be bought at the venue, for INR 30 per head. It is an hour-long show. The visitors are provided wireless headphones and they can choose from three languages for the audio: English, Hindi and Oriya.