Monday, January 17, 2011

Orissa!! - Konark (The sun temple) and Chandrabhaga beach

Konark defies expectations....It's beautiful, it's old, mind boggling and huge. It's difficult to believe that it is a temple! There are a lot of legends and conspiracy theories floating around that lend a mysterious and magical feel to the temple.

The smaller front portion is the dancers hall, with carvings of different dance poses and figures with musical instruments. The taller building is the common hall. There was a taller structure behind this, almost double the height of the common hall, that was the actual temple that housed the Sun god. That has however been destroyed long time back by natural forces and invaders.

The dance hall was for entertainment, and has strageically placed pillars that allow the first ray of the sun to pass through to the temple from any angle(which changes with the season)

The dancing figures :

The common hall and the main temple is a chariot pulled by 7 horses and 12 wheels. Each wheel is a calibrated wheel, and signifies time, months and so on , extremely accurately.

Every single carving is a depiction of the life, the values and the daily happenings in that era. It depicts mundane activites and nocturnal happenings along with gods and goddesses, and is a commentary on how easily they accepted and embraced life in all its forms, physical as well as spiritual.
The main point to note here is what struck me the most....their women rode horses, battled wild boars, wrestled, danced and had unabashed sex(even threesomes) with equal panache. They wore revealing clothes and carried fashionable bags. (Is the "indian culture demands fully clothed gharelu women" brigade listening??)
Apparently women at some point of time were treated as well as men, before for some reason India horribly regressed.

The common hall has huge idols of the Sun god, the morning Sun(happy and cheerful), afternoon Sun(Grim), and a tired evening Sun (with a tired looking horse), facing in 3 diff directions. These suns are carved out from stone imported from South of India, and hence have weathered the years and the assaults better than the actual temple.

My favorite figurine is however of this lady waiting for her lover....look at the pleased expression on her face!

On the way back we stopped at the Chandrabhaga beach...a little ahead of this beach you can actually see a river meeting the sea, It's like a wall of water, with waves crashing at a point, and still water after that!!!

Miles and miles of beautiful beach!! -


Radha said...

Its really wonderful!!

Rujuta said...

yep, mind blowing sculptures