The Sun God Surya rides a 24-wheeled chariot that consists of symbolic designs and a team of 6 horses…sounds like a fun story out of an Indian Fairy, doesn’t? Well, not if you are a Hindu. This is serious religious stuff and you better take them seriously lest you offend the polite Hindus.

Sun Temple, Konârak. You gotta go here
Sun Temple, Konârak. You gotta go here

The Sun God Surya rides a 24-wheeled chariot that consists of symbolic designs and a team of 6 horses…sounds like a fun story out of an Indian Fairy, doesn’t? Well, not if you are a Hindu. This is serious religious stuff and you better take them seriously lest you offend the polite Hindus.

As if to demonstrate the majesty of the sun god Surya; Hindus built the UNESCO listed Temple of Konarak on the shores of the ever graceful Bay of Bengal in the 13th century. Today, it is one of the most important Brahmin Sanctuaries.

The Konarak Temple is an enviable testimony to the greatness of the 13th century Kingdom of Orissa. Its direct link with the Brahmin beliefs takes you into the history of the diffusion of the Surya Cult that had originated from Kashmir in the 8th century, finally reaching the eastern coast of India.

The Konarak Temple is located on the Mahanadi Delta of the Bay of Bengal and is one of the most famous Brahmin Sanctuaries in Asia. The word ‘Konarak’ is derived from the word ‘Kornarka’ which is the name given to the presiding deity of the Sun Temple. The temple was built in 1250, a fact that makes it the earliest center of sun worship in India. It is one of a series of apogees dedicated to the sun god Surya. The entire temple depicts the chariot of the sun god.

The sun temple was built during the reign of King Narashimhadev I of the Ganga Dynasty. It was built to celebrate his victory over the Muslims. Unfortunately, the temple will fall under disuse in the 17th century after it was desecrated by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir.

Like many of the monuments in India, there is a legend behind the construction of the Church. It is said that the temple was built by Samba, son of Lord Krishna after he was cured of leprosy by the sun god Surya.

The temple will take you into the Brahmin world that you have never encountered before. True, you might not be a Hindu, but the history you will find here is one of strong faith and cultural practices that have been at the epicenter of Hinduism for centuries. It is indeed worth your visit.


Stay updated with unique
travel ideas!