also known as Arka-Tritha is known for its
Temple of lord Surya, the Sun god. It is situated
on the seashore, 33km north of Puri and 65
km from Bhubaneswar. It was Constructed of
black stone in the beginning of the 13th century,
and it is considered one of the vivid architectural
showpieces of Hindu India. Despite the fact
that the ‘Black Pagoda’ is in
ruins, the remaining porch area and the structures
of this temple complex remain as a crown jewel
of Orissa artwork.
This temple was built in the 13th century
by the orissan king Raja Narasimahadeva. It
took 1200 workman over 16 years to build.
It is believed that the temple was no longer
used from the early 17th century when the
temple was desecrated by Muslim invaders.
In1904 the sand around the temple base was
The story of the temple is that Samba, the
son of Krishna, was cursed to suffer from
leprosy for 12 years. Because Surya cured
him, the sun god, he built a temple dedicated
The impressive temple resembles a huge chariot
with 24 huge wheels being pulled by seven
horses. Great pairs of large intricately carved
wheels were carved on both sides of the 4m
high platform that the temple is on. There
are two rows of 12 wheels on each side of
the temple. Some say the wheels represent
the 24 hours in a day and others say the wheels
represent 12 months. The seven horses are
said to symbolize the seven days of the week.
There is a dancing hall here, an audience
hall and high tower. The main tower which,
has since collapsed, was 220ft (70 m) high.
The Jagmohan (porch) is over 120 feet (39
m) high and is filled in and fortified with
rocks to it from collapsing. Both the tower
and porch were built on a high platform. The
temple is covered with many intricately carved
sculptures. Sailors once called this temple
the Black pagoda because it was supposed to
draw ships into the shore and cause shipwrecks
There are three impressive chlorite figures
of Surya facing different directions to catch
the sun at dawn, noon and sunset. The three
statues of Surya change their facial expressions
from wakefulness in the morning (south) to
weariness towards the end of the day (north).
The main entrance has large statues of two
stone lions crushing elephants. There is a
small shrine dedicated to Mayadevi, the wife
of Surya, in the southwest corner of the enclosure.
At the north part of the enclosure, to the
right of entrance, are a group of elephants.
At the south side is a group of horses rearing
and trampling men. Between the entrance and
the main part of the temple is an intricately
carved dancing hall. All over the base, walls
and roof of the temple are intricate carvings.
You can climb down to the inner sanctum of
the temple at the west side of the temple.
All over the temple there are many erotic
carvings.There is a temple vicinity of the
main temple of nine Planets: Sun, Moon, Mars,
Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and
Konark Beach in Orissa is rated one of the
most excellent beach in the world. The famous
Sun Temple is just 3km away, the beach is
also known as Chandrabhaga. The long stretch
of sparkling sands and a divine tranquility
make it one of the prefect beaches to enjoy.
It is one of the best places to watch the
sunrise and take a bath, also one of the best
places for a weekend and holiday.