India – Konark Temple

One of the highlights of Odisha is the UNESCO Heritage temple of Konark. It is also called the Sun temple because it is dedicated to the sun god Suria, and is oriented from East to West. It looks like a chariot, with 24 wheels and pulled by horses on the front side. The temple was in ruins and covered by soil and jungle for several centuries, so what can now be seen is the result of a restoration that started in the 19th century plus a later one a century later that continues even nowadays.

The interior is completely sealed with stones so only the exterior can be visited, but this does not prevent the need of several hours to examine its rich and magnificently sculpted walls in detail. Apart from the characteristic wheels, there are lines and lines of statues. There are elephants, lions, horses, even a giraffe, geometrical shapes and humans in daily life activities… ALL activities; very explicitly shown, this is a graphic book in stone that represents many, many erotic postures, with couples and trios kneeling, standing, seating… The reason for the construction of the temple is not fully known, but we are pretty sure it was the creation of a man! All feminine, err… features had a unique size: huge… (And round). The Sun god thing must be an excuse to cover its real purpose, it might well be more appropriate to call it the “temple of human pleasure and reproduction” lol.

View of the temple from the section of the front.

View of the temple from the section of the front.

Detail of the sculpted walls.

Detail of the sculpted walls.

Detail of one of the wheels of the temple.

Detail of one of the wheels of the temple.

Some women having a break.

Some women having a break.

Konark Temple from one side.

Konark Temple from one side.

On the sides there are elephant statues.

On the sides there are elephant statues.

Main entrance door.

Main entrance door.

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Stairs for one section of the temple.

Stairs for one section of the temple.

Stairs for the section in front.

Stairs for the section in front.

It also seems we are a point of interest. We walk a few meters when we are asked to take pictures with someone and everyone else around looks at us. We continue walking and observing the sculptures, and some more people are waving at us from the second floor. Again, we are stopped by a group of teenagers who want pictures with us. This is how celebrities might feel!

All kids asking for pictures with us. Indian people would often stare intensely like they are here.

All kids asking for pictures with us. Indian people would often stare intensely like they are here.

We’d like to see sunset from the Sun temple, which we are told is pretty cool, but the last bus back to Puri is soon and we have to go. We highly recommend Konark if you have the chance to go; it is a pleasure visiting it.

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