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The Sun temple of Konarak, also known as the Black Pagoda, is an example of ancient temple architecture.The design is the celestial chariot of the sun god pulled by seven exquisitely carved horses, with twelve wheels on either side.
The huge stone wheels represent time, unity, completeness, justice, perfection and movement. Each wheel stands for a fortnight and each horse a day of the week. Although the main sanctum is in ruins, the 39 metre high audience hall, the dance hall and ruins of the temple of Chhaya Devi are still there.
Places to see
The Black Pagoda
The crowning piece of Orissan architecture and sculpture built in the 13th century the golden era of Orissan art is peotry in stone and on the World Heritage list. The walls of this magnificent ruin have exquisite sculptures covering many aspects of life. Scenes of love and war, trade and court transactions, hunting, catching elephants, sages teaching, childbirth, amorous dalliances, dancers and mythical figures, all vie for attention on the panels and niches of this immoral work of art.
Sursundaris - the heavenly damsels free standing larger than life female statues plying cymbals and drums, flutes and trumpets adorn the top of the temple. The beautifully carved couples engaged in myriad modes of armous union, with their incomparable charms, are an attraction for connoisseurs of art as well as for ordinary visitors.
Everyday the Sun God rises from the lap of the blue ocean close by and casts his first gentle rays on the sanctum sanctorum and then circles the temple during the course of the day, illuminating the three magnificient images of the morning sun, the midday sun and the setting sun. The colossal figures of the war elephants holding aloft a dazed soldier or the lions guarding the entrance to the temple or the enranged war horses trampling under the hooves a fallen warrior, the last fittingly chosen as the emblem of the state, and above all the 24 giant wheels of this temple chariot, symbolizing the divisions of time with their intricate carvings on the spokes and the axle heads are a living monument of the glory of Orissa's past, frozen for a moment on the shores of time.
The migratory birds also flock the shores of Orissa in winter, the state is well explored any time of the year but summers March to June are hot and humid. The rainy season lasts from July to October, and the state receives heavy rainfall during the period. The Puri Jagannath Rath yatra takes place during the months of June/July. The Konark festivaL takes place in the winter month of December.