Konark Sun Temple: The Temple That is Aligned With The Sun

Sun Temple in Konark is a Hinduist temple located in Odisha, India. The temple is attributed to Sun God Surya. King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga dynasty built the temple in the 13th century. It is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1984.

Sun Temple is a marvel of mathematical precision and elaborate craftsmanship so much so that the whole temple aligns with the sun. The main entrance faces towards the east, in that way, the first rays of the rising sun pass through the main entrance and enlighten the inner sanctum.

The temple is a monumental representation of the Sun God’s chariot with its 24 intricately carved wheels which represent the hours of the day and seven horses which represent the days of the week. The entire structure is made of stone without any adhesive or cement showcasing the skills of the craftsmen. The temple had other buildings added to it but they were destructed in time due to various reasons.

konark sun temple

The walls of the Temple are full of intricate stone carvings depicting different mythological scenes and creatures, deities, animals, and everyday life of ancient India. These illustrations are hallmarks of Kalinga architecture. Besides the intricate carvings, there are also erotic sculptures representing human sensuality, life, and fertility.

Konark Sun Temple’s main tower is adorned with a massive stone chariot wheel that acts as a sundial that tells time by the shadow it casts.


Konark Sun Temple once had a gold idol of the Sun God Surya however it was taken away by a conqueror in the 17th century and its whereabouts are still unknown today.

konark sun temple

The massive stone chariot with intricate carvings acts as a sundial.

stone charriot wheel, konark sun temple

The chariot wheel is on some of the 10 rupees.

intricate detailing, konark sun temple