The history of buildings
2018

The Symbolic Sciences of Konark the Sun Temple

The Symbolic Sciences of Konark the Sun Temple
The Symbolic Sciences of Konark the Sun Temple

In the depths of India stands a temple and tribute to the esteemed Sun God, Surya. The spectacular architecture achieved its name through meaning and dedication. Kona and Ark represents the terms angle and Sun. It was fitting the structure adopted its title as Konark the Sun Temple. Built in the 13th Century under the direction of King Narasimhadeva I, the Sun Temple displays exquisite thought and detail. Over 1200 artisans, craftsman and laborers were commissioned to complete the project of Konark. As a current UNESCO site, the temple remains are a cherished attraction in the Puri District, State of Orissa.

Designs of Konark

Konark was designed to symbolize an elaborate chariot with a symbolic depth of devotion. The Sun God, Lord Surya, alongside multiple deities are adorned for worship throughout the Temple’s architecture. Specific collaborations were utilized to connect the conscious mind with the spiritual realms that surround us. Symbolism and fervent dedication created one of the most unique antiquities in the sphere of architectural history.

The Wheels of Konark

Twelve complete sets of chariot wheels are a distinct aspect of Konark’s intention. In the days of old, there was a heavy reliance on the placement of universal elements. Time was transitioned through the use of natural components such as the Sun, stars and planets. Each wheel represents the calendar months of 12 cycles. Sundials were carved inside the stone wheels that were used to track the hours of the day. Shadows from the sun were cast along the spoke styled sundial for an accurate distinction of time. Seven horses lead the carriage to maintain the days of the week and the following of worship.

Magnetic Konark Structures

A main Idol statue of the Sun God would appear to float in midair without the use of ropes. At the same time, sailors would experience interruptions in their navigational abilities leading to belief of divine qualities. Magnetic properties in the materials used scientifically explain the phenomenon, however the dynamics of knowledge of that particular time period and region continue to be discussed. The weight and magnitude of the statuary had to be immaculately placed in a zone of magnets to support the effects.

Konark Symbols

Konark Symbols
Konark Symbols

Among the many depictions, the four believed pursuits of life are also honored. Kama, Artha, Dharma and Moksha were both an integral and central part of their life. The entrance of Konark leads the path with a pair of lions on each side. Each lion is crushing an elephant that lies above a human body. While the scene may initially have a note of morbidity, the revelation behind the scene is noble. A lion represents the unending lust for power and an elephant is symbolic of greed or wealth. They are known as the two detrimental forces that work against true spirituality as the primary weakness of mankind.

Much of Konark has been left in ruins over the centuries. Many of its Statues and structures can be still be seen by visitors today despite the weathering. It is a spiritualistic experience to stand on the very grounds that were devoted to ancient Gods of old.

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