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Konark Sun Temple

Topics Covered:  Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Konark Sun Temple

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key facts.

Context: A plan to restore and preserve the nearly 800-year-old Konark Sun Temple in Odisha would be drawn up soon, after a two-day conference of experts at the end of the month, Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said.

Background:

The temple had been filled with sand and sealed by the British authorities in 1903 in order to stabilise the structure. A scientific study was carried out by the Roorkee-based Central Building Research Institute from 2013 till 2018 to ascertain the temple’s structural stability as well as the status of the filled-in sand.

About the Temple:

  1. Built in the 13th century, the Konark temple was conceived as a gigantic chariot of the Sun God, with 12 pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses.
  2. It was built by King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of Ganga dynasty.
  3. The temple is included in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 for its architectural greatness and also for the sophistication and abundance of sculptural work.
  4. The temple is perfect blend of Kalinga architecture, heritage, exotic beach and salient natural beauty.
  5. It is protected under the National Framework of India by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act (1958) and its Rules (1959).
  6. The Konark is the third link of Odisha’s Golden Triangle. The first link is Jagannath Puri and the second link is Bhubaneswar (Capital city of Odisha).
  7. This temple was also known as ‘BLACK PAGODA’due to its dark color and used as a navigational landmark by ancient sailors to Odisha. Similarly, the Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the “White Pagoda”.
  8. It remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela around the month of February.

Orissa

Sources: the Hindu.