The magnificent KONARK TEMPLE though dilapidated yet stands high to the glory and honour of the ODIA’s – a glaring testimony of UTKALIYA form of STONE ART. The life depicted on stones live even today with their charm and grandeur. The mighty temple has made millions speechless and attracted the devotees and the travellers from every part of the mundane.
The ancient India was much ahead of our time both in scientific and archaeological monuments that would astound the world of today. The scientific and architectural marvel of Konark Temple is an outstanding proof of “divinity personified” has its own appeal and embellishment. The Konark Temple marks a revelation of art, architecture, science, engineering dexterity and iconography of life and activities of the medieval period that silencing the tongues of critics fiery.
Optimistic about erecting a 2nd Konark Temple, a replica of the architectural monument in Odisha seems making a mountain out of the mole hill. The renowned sculptor Mr Ragunath Mohapatra of Odisha, the recipient of Padma Vibhushan and having the credit of building miniature temples, comes out with his dream project of erecting the Second Sun Temple, to be known as Aditya Narayan Temple and sought co-operation from the State and Centre to build the massive structure. Earlier the same proposal was placed before the then Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi through former the Chief Minister Mr J B Pattnaik in 1971.
In the historical point of view, the construction of the huge monument may stand out as a major controversial and sensitive issue surging its head for recreating history to repeat itself. It is learnt that Mr Mohapatra has acquired 100 acres of land between Sakhigopal and Satsangh of Puri District and envisaged the project cost to be 600 crores and slated to be completed within eight years. Even today the researchers are yet to establish the significance of the dimensional structure, its scientific phenomena, its conception and realisation.
If eternity could be encountered and the exuberance beauty finds its eloquence in the silence of the stones, it is vibrant and worthy of mentioning about the KONARK TEMPLE which consists of sanctum provides an interesting study for scholars and connoisseurs of art.
Declared a UNESCO Word heritage site in 1984 is place for Hindu-pilgrimage situated in the north-east of Puri Town. In the days of yore, Maharshi Maitreya chose this serene place for meditation also. Later on it was named as ‘Rabi Khetra’, ‘Anka Khetra’, and ‘Surya Khetra”. Even the temple of Devi Ram Chandi was found near “Lia-Khia” sea shore.
During the rule of Langula Narasingha Deva of Eastern Dynasty, the Konark Temple was built in the 13th Century and dedicated to the Hindu God ‘Surya’. The temple derives from the Sanskrit words ‘kona’ and ‘ark’ meaning ‘angle’ and ‘the Sun’ respectively. The entire temple is designed in the form a chariot of the Surya with carved stone wheels and horses of big stature is drawn by seven horses expressing intricate art work and iconography. It is believed that the temple was built at the mouth of Chandrabhaga river which have gone extinct.
There are many unique features of the temple that holds its loveliest charm and the main attraction is its twelve pairs of wheels at the base of the temple corresponding to the 12 months of the Hindu calendar. The spokes of the wheel that cast a shadow precisely tells time is created as sundial.
There is immense science behind the construction of the temple as the iron-plates fixed in between the stones and a heavy magnet of 52 ton placed at the temple top and the idol floating in the air due to the distinctive arrangement of magnets transmuted into celestial beauty. The iron beams hold the structure against the inclement of weather and time.
The theme of mortality is taught by way of two lions at the main entrance. The lion crushing the elephant beneath representing human body as the two embody the pride and money that are faced by human beings.
At the very sunrise the Sun’s rays first touch the Nata Mandir from the coast and reflect from the diamond placed at the centre of the idol. The temple is decorated with sculptures, carvings of deities and animals coupled with mythological creatures – a glimpse of their full-throated thought and expression that made Konark Temple a creation of postures.
It comes to our mind that such a grand temple having 230 ft high and 150 ft at the entrance, built by 1200 sculptors worked for 16 years day and night, emptying the UTKAL’s 12 years revenue that is around 40 crores, could be built in this age! What a deep consciousness through the age of time felt through the people at large? Can man’s creation surpass nature?
The gorgeous Splendour, the Stupendous monument, the Glory of Odisha, require perennial structural and material conservation in its original form of integration by establishing a close affinity with the State and Centre functional authorities for addressing the issues of threats of environmental and natural disaster and open up avenues for tourists on a larger scale and make a centre of life of the UNIVERSE.
By SADANANDA DAS