Orissa is a land of historical monuments. There are many temples and old structures. Some of them are now in broken condition. In spite of the touch of time, some monuments stand with glory and pride.
I consider Konark temple the best and the most important of all. Due to this famous temple, the place where it is situated is also named Konark. It is in fact a historical place.
I had an opportunity to visit this historical place during the Surya Puja festival last year. The proposal of visiting the Sun-temple Konark was first given by my friend Chandrakanta. The proposal was accepted unanimously. We were five friends. We undertook the journey to Konark by a taxi.
We reached the place by 9 A.M. The place is situated in the district of Puri. The location of the temple is near the Chandrabhaga. The marine drive is surrounded by numerous trees and provides sweet charming scenery to the place.
The legend behind the Sun temple Konark is very interesting. The temple was built by Langula Narasingha with the help of twelve hundred artists led by the head artist named Bisu Maharana. The artists had to work ceaselessly for twelve years to build the temple. The artistic carvings in the temple and the designs of the lively horses are sufficient to give Konark a position amongst the Seven Wonders of the World.
The temple of Konark is important for the reason that it is the abode of the Sun-God. The horses that draw the chariot look like living horses. The temple had much magnetic power that could even destroy the ships of the enemies by attracting them from a considerable distance.
In the Hindu mythology there is a tale that prince Samba, the son of Lord Krishna had been cured of his leprosy disease by austere penance before the Sun God for great many years. Following this mythological tale, the people of Orissa celebrate the festival of Samba Dasami in every winter season.
We had a holy bath at the Chandrabhaga which is on the sea-shore. The carvings in the temple are full of nude pictures of men and women. The carvings speak of the social customs of the people of Orissa. They also bear the evidence of the man-woman relationship.
We observed the temple for four hours in minute details and had our photographs by the side of the horses. The temple is not in good condition now due to the saline impact of the sea. But the artistic designs remain immortal. Although we were overjoyed, tears rolled down our eyes when we saw the huge temple in ruins. The art of cutting stone into fine pictures surprised us. The architectural beauty of the temple impressed us very much.
The Sun-temple is also called the Black Pagoda of Orissa. The chariot of the Sun-God has twenty four wheels driven by seven horses. The wheel stands for peace and progress. The temple bears the evidence of the greatness of the architecture of Orissa. It has impressed me a lot. I shall never forget my visit to this place.