Sun God, Konarak Sun Temple

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Dr Avantika Lal
by Pratishkhedekar
published on 20 December 2019
Sun God, Konarak Sun Temple Download Full Size Image

This colossal idol of Surya or the Hindu Sun God stands in the southern niche of the sanctuary at the Konarak Sun Temple, Odisha state, India. The temple was built in the 13th century CE (around 1250 CE) by King Narasimhadeva I (1238 – 1264 CE) of the Eastern Ganga dynasty (8th century CE - 15th century CE).

This idol of Surya is one of the very few sculptures in India which show a god wearing boots. The god is depicted standing on his chariot drawn by seven horses. The entire sculpture stands on a chlorite pedestal and is made from a single piece. It is 3.38 metres high, 1.8 metres wide and 71 cm thick.

The sun god is seen wearing a short lower garment in the drawer style (one end of the garment drawn between the legs and tucked in the waist at the back) and many ornaments. These include a girdle at the waist, a necklace of five beaded strings with a central clasp, armlets, ear-rings and a crown. These have been carved with such intricacy that each bead and motif is clearly visible. The hair is worn in a bun on the crown of the head. A halo is seen around the head, with tongues of flames protruding outwards. He holds lotus stalks in both his hands and is surrounded by several attendant figures, including celestial dancers and a king offering obeisance along with his family priest.

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APA Style

Pratishkhedekar. (2019, December 20). Sun God, Konarak Sun Temple. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Pratishkhedekar. "Sun God, Konarak Sun Temple." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified December 20, 2019.

MLA Style

Pratishkhedekar. "Sun God, Konarak Sun Temple." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 20 Dec 2019. Web. 22 Jul 2024.