Travelling to Konark Sun Temple: What You Should Know
Located in the state of Odisha in eastern India, the Konark Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts visitors from around the world. Built in the 13th century, the temple is dedicated to the Hindu sun god Surya and is renowned for its intricate carvings and architectural features. If you are planning a trip to this historic site, there are a few things you should know before you start travelling to Konark Sun Temple.
The Konark Sun Temple is located about 65 kilometers from the city of Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha. The easiest way to reach the temple is by hiring a taxi or taking a local bus from Bhubaneswar. If you are travelling from further afield, the nearest major airport is the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, which offers flights to several domestic and international destinations.
When to Visit
The best time to visit the Konark Sun Temple is between October and March, when the weather is mild and dry. Summers in Odisha can be extremely hot and humid, so it is best to avoid visiting during this time. Additionally, the temple is closed during the monsoon season from July to September, so plan your trip accordingly.
Temple Hours and Fees
The Konark Sun Temple is open to visitors every day of the week from sunrise to sunset. The entrance fee for foreign tourists is 600 Indian rupees, while Indian citizens can enter for 40 rupees. Students with a valid ID card can enter for a reduced fee of 10 rupees. If you plan to visit other historic sites in Odisha, consider purchasing a combination ticket that includes admission to several attractions.
As with many Hindu temples, there is a dress code in place for visitors travelling to Konark Sun Temple. Men and women should wear clothing that covers their knees and shoulders, and it is customary to remove your shoes before entering the temple complex. It is also important to respect the cultural traditions of the temple by refraining from smoking, drinking alcohol, or engaging in any behavior that could be considered disrespectful.
What to See
The Konark Sun Temple is renowned for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings, so plan to spend several hours exploring the complex. Some of the must-see features include the main temple structure, which is shaped like a giant chariot and is adorned with intricate carvings of gods, goddesses, and animals. Other highlights include the Natya Mandap, or dance hall, which features 36 pillars carved with scenes from the Mahabharata and other Hindu epics, as well as the Bhog Mandap, or dining hall, which features a soaring ceiling and intricate carvings of musicians and dancers.
To fully appreciate the history and cultural significance of the Konark Sun Temple, consider taking a guided tour. Many local tour operators offer guided tours of the temple complex, which can provide insights into the symbolism and meaning behind the temple’s carvings and architecture. You can also hire a licensed guide at the temple entrance, although be prepared to negotiate the fee.
If you plan to stay in the area overnight, there are several accommodation options available in nearby Puri and Bhubaneswar. From budget guesthouses to luxury resorts, there is something to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. Just be sure to book your accommodation in advance, particularly during peak travel season.
Other Things to Do
While the Konark Sun Temple is undoubtedly the main attraction in the area, there are several other things to see and do in the surrounding area. The nearby town of Puri is home to the famous Jagannath Temple, as well as several beautiful beaches.