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Konark

Located on the sea-shore at a distance of 33 kms from Puri and about 64 kms from Bhubaneswar, Konark is also known as Konaditya. The name Konark has been derived from the words Kona and Arka, meaning corner of the sun.

Konark is best known for the Sun temple dedicated to the Sun God. The temple was constructed in the mid thirteenth century by Raja Narasinghs Deva-I of the Ganga Dynasty. It is a testament to the artistic glory of the time. Conceived in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on 12 pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels- after the mythical seven horse chariot of Sun God.

Another temple resembling the Sun temple is Melakkadambur Shiva temple. This temple too is in the form of a chariot and is one of the oldest temples of Konark. Built during the period 1075-1120 by Kulottunga Chola I, this temple is believed to have set the pace for other chariot temples in India.

The Archaeological Site Museum at Konark has a good collection of the various pieces of loose sculptures from the remnants of the Sun temple complex.

The Konark city is also known world over for its fairs and festivals. The Konark Dance Festival held here comes as a true rejuvenator of the ancient classical dance forms like Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi and the local Chhau dance. Another festivity observed with a great fanfare at Konark is the Magha Saptami Mela held on the banks of Chandrabhaga River. Millions of devotees gather here to take a holy dip in this river on the occasion as this dip is believed to be a sure cure for all illnesses.