Ideal Time: 2 - 3 hours
Situated on the northeastern corner of Puri, Konark Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the prime tourist attractions of Odisha. Built in the form of a giant rath or chariot of the Sun God, it depicts the chariot being pulled by a set of seven horses, four on the left side and three on the right. It has three deities dedicated to the Sun God on three different sides of the temple which catch the direct rays of sun in the morning, afternoon and evening. There is also a dedicated archaeological museum inside the temple complex. The temple transforms into a stage during The Konark Dance Festival, which is held every year usually in February and attracts a lot of foreign and Indian tourists — dedicated to devotees of the Sun God.
Konark Sun Temple is one of the last standing structures before the fifteenth century in the country. The sun rays reach the Nata Mandir from the coast and reflect through the diamond at the centre of the idol. The idol is believed to float mid-air due to arrangements of the magnets at the top of the temple but they were later removed due to the disturbance caused to coastal voyages. An engineering and artistic masterpiece, The Sun Temple has been standing stoically for the last two thousand years. Despite much of the temple in ruin, it still reflects the artistic genius of architects and sculptures of the time.
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