ASPECTS OF ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE

The Sun temple of Konark is the greatest temple of Orissa and one of the most notable examples of Orissan architecture at its phase of culmination. The temple consists of a deula (sanctuary) with a curvilinear sikhara and a jagamohana (porch) covered by a pyramid roof. Both the structures stand on a common plinth 3.9m in height beyond the eastern end, separated by a short distance stands a natamandira (dance hall) on a high platform.

By: Diksha Sharma

Posted on: 7/10/2020 View : 28

ASPECTS OF ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE

Architectural Features

The Sun temple of Konark is the greatest temple of Orissa and one of the most notable examples of Orissan architecture at its phase of culmination. The temple consists of a deula (sanctuary) with a curvilinear sikhara and a jagamohana (porch) covered by a pyramid roof. Both the structures stand on a common plinth 3.9m in height beyond the eastern end, separated by a short distance stands a natamandira (dance hall) on a high platform. The layout of only three structures on east-west axis with natamandira situated at a y short distance may be regarded aesthetically more satisfying than the arrangement which joins the four structures i.e. duela, jagamohana, natamandira, bhogamandapa, (refectory) in one axial alignment as at the Jagannatha temple, Puri. The design which combines the four structures makes the plan more lengthy and hampers the independent effect ofthe structures.

The Sun temple ofthe Konark is unique as a Sun temple for it has been designed as a great chariot of the Sun god. The common platform for the deula and Jagamohana is decorated with twenty four wheels (2.9m in diameters) and seven horses on the sides of the eastern staircases to transform the temple into a chariot. From the Vedic period, mythology relates that the Sun god moves in Chariot. The Surya Sataka of Mayura (7th century) composed in honour of Surya, describes the chariot of the Sun god in stanzas 62-72, while stanzas 44-49 are related to the horses that draw his chariot and stanzas 30-61 are in honour of Aruna, the charioteer of Surya. Some scholars believe that the chariot design was inspired by the verses of Mayura. The texts related to Sun worship, such as the Samba purana and the Bhavisya purana refer to the car festival of the Sun god. In iconography the Sungod is shown in a chariot. Thus the chariot conception ofthe temple is in keeping with the ancient mythology and the cosmic significance of the Sun’s movement in the sky. It speaks of the creative genius and vision of the architects that they gave the mythology a visual form by erecting the temple in the form of a grand chariot. With the Sun god inside the chariot, three static and splendid images of the Sun god as Parsvadevata the mighty chariot is pulled by seven prancing horses.