Friday, November 4, 2016

888. Architectural & Astronomical wonder at Konark....!

It was indeed a great amalgamation of Architectural Design and Astronomical Science at Konark Sun Temple. As I entered into the massive temple complex my mind was filled with unbounded amaze and at the same time felt disappointed to see the dilapidated state of that heavenly architecture. The reasons may be many, some say it was due to the Mughul invasion some say it was because of the removal of the huge 52 ton magnet placed above the temple while a few felt that the construction of the temple was done in haste. But whatever might be the reason at the end of the day we are very unfortunate to let this happen to the colossal temple.

Our guide who was explaining to us about the temple mentioned that a huge magnet was placed at the top of the inside of the temple. Heavy iron beams were used in such a way that the main idol of Suryanarayana at the sanctum was floating in air due to the magnetic field and induction effect. But many do not agree with this as no one knows where that 52 ton magnetic is now.  However the construction of this temple was planed after a vast research on astronomy, metallurgy, architecture, and complex mathematics which can be observed by the superior craftsmanship. This 13th century masterpiece was designed in the shape of a huge chariot with 7 horses and 24 wheels to carry Suryanarayana across the horizon. Looking at the wheels of the chariot of Sun which is used as Sun Dial to know the time was more like visiting to an open air astronomical laboratory and witnessing a living celestial calendar. It is a marvellous blend of art and science.

It was indeed amazing to know that the sanctum sanctorum was so positioned that the sun’s rays would fall on the deity inside at a precisely determined angle based on astronomical computation. The architects then were well aware that the earth wobbles at 22.5 degree and accordingly had place three doors for the sun’s rays to enter.

I listened to the stories, constructional aspects, the significance of lion crushing the elephant at the entrance, the importance of the spirited horses to pull the chariot of the Sun, the massive wheels, and got perplexed by the expressive pictures of history and enliven visualization of culture in flawless artefacts. There is no dearth for the amorous couple murals depicting the exotic union. The lady waiting for her husband with an anxious as well as disappointed look on her face is amazing. The carving of giraffe in the top frieze on the southern side says a lot about the trade relationship the king had with Africans. A fashion obsessed lady with high heeled shoe, one applying bindi on her forehead and other mundane matters like the quarrel between mother in law and her daughter in law are very well carved. It was like visiting to a modern time more than eight hundred years ago. Konark Sun temple has made me wonder if we can ever build a similar temple with all of the modern equipments we have. It is hard for me to find any edifice or monument of this era which will create history tomorrow....... 

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