One such is the Sun Temple at Konark. The mythical magnet of legends may no longer be there, but there is something about the place that makes you want to go back. So i did. And the regret i felt the first time around was still there, amplified even.
If you go by the massive structure that stands today, one can only imagine what the complete temple would’ve looked like. A colossal temple to Arka, the Sun God constructed like a massive chariot on twelve pairs of exquisitely carved wheels pulled by seven pairs of horses. Thankfully many of the wheels still remain with their details intact. But almost all the horses are gone. Just about two broken horses remain of the seven pairs. One pair of each for each side. So when you look at the temple in profile, you see the seven horses pulling a twelve-wheeled chariot. Here’s an image composited from two photos i took this time around that i hope will give a general idea.
Three visits to the temple in two days. Noon, night and dawn. On my second visit to Konark. I have a feeling my tryst with Konark has still a few chapters more to go. And then will the final word be written. Till then, here a few thousand words in low-res pictures. In the language of stone, spoken by the magnificent men and artisans who make me proud just being born in the land they once trod upon.
There's even a 'tourist toilet' there in case you were looking for more reason to go there.
One the statues of Surya, the Sun God. One of the few still in relatively good shape. Not the idol. Nobody knows for sure where it is or what happened to it. What's an idol without a sanctum. Anyways, to the left is the statue in granite of Arka in his chariot . Top left is a detail from the lower portion of the statue depicting Garuda's brother, Aruna, Surya's charioteer with three of the seven horses whose reins he holds (in the main statue exactly between Surya's feet). Bottom left is a detail from the waistband of Surya. To the right is a detail of one of the attendant dieties you can see at Surya's feet.
Above: The entrance to the jagamohana. Unfortunately, there is nothing to enter into. The inside has been filled up completely to prevent the structure from collapsing in on itself. Many many grateful thanks to The Hon’ble J.A. Bourdillon, C.S.I. Wondering who I’m thanking? Well. The granite plaque you see in the doorway reads, ‘To preserve this superb specimen of old Indian architecture the interior was filled in by order of The Hon’ble J.A. Bourdillon, C.S.I., Lieutenant Governor of Bengal A.D. 1903." Thank you sir.