UNESCO World Heritage Site, Konark Sun Temple

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Konark Sun Temple (sometimes spelled Konarak) is a superb example of Indian temple architecture.

Dedicated to the Hindu sun god Surya, the temple faces east to greet the rising sun, whose rays illuminate the entrance. It was designed in the shape of huge chariot, pulled by seven stone horses (only six of which still stand) and 12 pairs of wheels, symbolizing the days of a week and the months in a year.

Its main sanctum is believed to have once stood at 70 meters (229 feet) tall, though it has since fallen. Despite lying partial in ruins, the temple is still considered an excellent example of the region’s so-called Kalinga architecture.

The temple is decorated with reliefs featuring lions, birds, mythological creatures, musicians, dancers and even erotica.

Completed: Circa 1250 | Location: Konark, Odisha

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