Konark is a small town, positioned near the coast of Bay of Bengal, in Puri district of Odisha. This town is around 65 kilometres away from Bhubaneswar – capital of the state. The term Konark has been derived from two Sanskrit words, Kona meaning Angle and Arka meaning Sun. The name of the town refers to its most prominent and revered shrine – Sun Temple also known as Konark Temple. This religious property is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is regarded as one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. People from various parts of the world come to see this magnificent shrine for its quaint beauty and unique architecture. This popular edifice features in most classical India tour packages, which tourists can opt for a memorable visit.
The Sun Temple was possibly built by Narasimhadeva I, the king of Eastern Ganga Dynasty around the year 1250. It was originally constructed at the mouth of Chandrabhaga River, however, the level of the water has receded now. The shrine has an exemplary Kalinga architecture and it is made up of Khondalite rocks. It is built in the shape of a huge chariot, which resembles the ornamented chariot of Hindu deity Surya – the solar god. It is elaborately decorated with intricately carved stone wheels, walls and pillars, and has 12 pairs of exquisitely carved stone wheels, which are pulled by 14 horses. The structure is built in such a way that it faces towards the east so that rays of the sun fall first on its entrance. This revered shrine is visited by devotees and tourists for its religious, historical and architectural prominence round the year. Travellers cannot miss to visit this extraordinary destination during their holidays in India.