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Konark Sun Temple: Religious or Scientific? |

The Konark Sun Temple, located in Puri, Odisha, is an incredible ancient monument built over 12 years ago. This remarkable temple, constructed in 1250 AD by King Narasimhadeva I of the Ganga Dynasty, is made of sandstone and granite. It is designed so that the first rays of the sun illuminate its sanctum sanctorum. Recognized for its historical and architectural significance, the Konark Sun Temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. At over 772 years old, it attracts tourists from around the world.

The Konark Sun Temple is a marvel of Eastern Indian architecture and a symbol of India’s heritage. This famous tourist spot features a massive temple dedicated to the Sun God. The name ‘Konark’ combines two words: ‘Kona’ meaning ‘Corner’ and ‘Arka’ meaning ‘Sun’, translating to ‘Sun of the Corner’. Positioned on the northeastern corner of Puri, the Konark Sun Temple is also known as Arka Khetra. It stands as a significant cultural and historical site, attracting visitors from around the world.

Scientific aspect:

Many people would consider the wheel structure carved on the walls of the temple a mere representation of decorative architecture, but the fact is it is way more scientific than on may think. There is a story relating it, an old yogi was seen calculating the time using the essence of the wheels. This revealed that the wheel is a sundial and it depicts the time according to the movement of sunlight throughout the day. 

The large sundial consists of 8 major spokes and similar 8 thin and minor spokes. The major ones divide the time of 24 hours into 8 parts, of 3 hours each and the minor spokes divide this 3 hours into 1.5 hours or 90 minutes each. Beads between the spokes divide the time further by 3 minutes each. But the question is when the sunlight crosses the temple? There is another similar sundial structure on the other side wall of the temple which is for another half of the day.

What after the day? 

The Temple also has 24 similar dials considered to be time calculating in the night and hence said as the moondials. The temple was built in the shape of a massive chariot with 7 horses tied to it, depicting the 7 days of a week. The Konark sun temple faced the turbulence of time and some big invaders trying to destroy the architectural site. It is said that the present-day structure of the temple is only the front half part. The major part has been destroyed which was the Garbhgrih structure according to the architectural plan.