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Old Jun 20, 2007, 5:49 AM   #1
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WARNING: This is a long essay.

Been to Konark, in Orissa State, India, to see the magnificent Sun temple built in 13th century as an offering on a war victory to the Sun God by the ruling king Narasimhadeva. The temple did not stand the test of time. The structure broke down partially. There are many reasons attributed, including the main three - hurried construction to meet the religious consecration deadline, religious onslaught and purposeful desecration by moghul rulers and natural disaster like tsunami/earthquake. Whatever the real reason was, the temple lost its purpose, was no more a place of worship, got deserted as time passedand soon got lost in the sand dunes along the east coast. It was the British who re-discovered the temple and restored it. From then on, under the care of the Archeological Survey of India, the temple is constantly undergoing a restoration / preservation process. The ideal time to visit would be between October and February. Last week, when I was there, thoughthe sunwas not scorching, the heat was oppressive and drained me dry. Despite the heat and humidity, I managed to get a few shots to share with you and here they go..

1. The temple was conceived as a chariot for the Sun God, with seven horses and twelve pairs ofwheels.

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Old Jun 20, 2007, 5:58 AM   #2
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2. This is the front view of the temple.
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 6:01 AM   #3
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3. The temple was stated to have a total of seven horses pulling the chariot, a horse for each day of the week. But only this remains, that too not in a good condition.
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 6:04 AM   #4
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4. The magnificent and artistically done wheel, which is the symbol of the State of Orissa. Only a few are intact. Most wheels are damaged in some part or the other.
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 6:07 AM   #5
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5. The entrance of the "dance hall" in front of the temple.You can see a human trampled by an elephant, which again is trampled by a lion. The mythology goes that the human, when gets greedy after wealth symbolised by the elephant, gets trampled by it. A wealthy person naturally aspires for power, symbolised by the lion, and soon gets trampled by the very wealth and power he so willingly sought.
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 6:08 AM   #6
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6. The temple is known for its exquisite carvings. Here, a lady is seen applying talcum with a puff!
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 6:10 AM   #7
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7. Carvings of a row of elephants at the foot of the chariot, including a "caged" elephant!
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 6:13 AM   #8
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8. Carvings in every nook and corner, even where it is difficult to reach, like the place beyond the arms of the wheel here!
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 6:14 AM   #9
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9. Look at this section, with beatiful sculptures all around the wheel.
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 6:17 AM   #10
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10. One of the wheels surviving intact, without much of damage or erosion.
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