The Surviving Wheels of Time of Konark Sun Temple, Odisha!

What do you think when you think of time?

Plenty at hand? Never enough? Fast slipping through fingers? Or Who cares?

Or do you wonder where did it all go?


I regularly look at my wrist watch & back calculate – how much is left till I finish this presentation, excuse myself from another meeting by saying that I got a hard stop, have another cup of chai & stay young enough to travel? And this one is my favourite- I look at my wall clock every night, set an alarm for morning & calculate how many hours of sleep I will get that night, in that order & then while away a few hours on mindless browsing & liking!

We all struggle with time every day, and yet time beats us all at the end. They say time shoots like an arrow, and those never come back!

Konark Sun temple on the coastline of Bay of Bengal witnessed some glorious times with a chariot shaped temple structure, envious idols of Sun God & a functioning sanctum sanctorum, but today stands in ruins & ruminations of what it was in the past.


What was the actual reason of the destruction of the main temple of Konark, remains unexplained, but local guides blame Vasco-da-Gama. As per them, he couldn’t tolerate the beautiful architecture in India & destroyed the main temple in jealousy.


Black Pagoda or the Chariot? 

Till a few centuries back, Konark Sun temple was known as Black Pagoda against Jagannath Puri that was called the White Pagoda. Together, they provided ever-lasting landmarks to Odisha.

Konark temple, dedicated to Sun God, has been originally built in the shape of a chariot with seven horses, two ladies on either side of Suryadev (Sun God), makes Usha and Pratyusha.

The chariot had 24 wheels each indicating Krishna Paksh or Shukl Paksha (fortnight) of a month. Together the 24 wheels cover the entire year & just by looking at the shadows on that fortnight’s wheel, you can tell the time. You no longer need your watches or clocks. 

The time is all yours to tell! 


The Daily chores on Display!

When you go around the temple, the guide will demonstrate how to decode the time by looking at that month’s wheel & would walk you through the temple carvings. Much like all other temples of India, this is an architectural wonder in itself too – displaying all kinds of moments  in a lifetime.

Temple carvings will take you through a motion film, of sorts where you begin by watching how a girl gets married, cooks food, dresses up for her husband, feeds her & engages in intimate aspects of life at night. 

You would get peeks into how a carpenter, iron smith, soldiers, bullock-cart owners look like, when at work. 

Its purely incredible to see the details captured on the walls of the temple & the intricate carvings that had been done. The black background stone just gives it an overall magical feel. 

Konark Sun Temple is now a UNESCO Heritage site & when I visited the place a few weeks ago, restoration efforts were going on in full swings. Till that doesn’t get competed, temple stays in a dilapidated state with visible ruins and in full glory.

You can see hints of excellence, bouts of magic & traces of wonder around the premises & you would come back with memory chest of precious moments. That would be the best time spent & like someone said, “life is lived in moments!”.


So, go on! Go live the Konark Sun Temple of Odisha neat the shores of Chandrabagh Beach! It would be a weekend trip, but try not to go during Summers. Odisha, as you can see, is the land of Sun God & it heats up well during Summers. Early mornings, or evenings would be the best to experience the wonders of time.



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