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Odisha’s Konark Wheel

  • Published
    11th Sep, 2023
Context

At the G20 Summit venue in Delhi, the historic Konark Wheel from Odisha’s Sun Temple emerged as a focal point of attention. Prime Minister has selected a wall adorned with a depiction of this ancient architecture as the backdrop for his warm welcome to world leaders.

About Konark Wheel:
  • The Konark Wheel is an integral part of the Sun Temple, dedicated to the sun god ‘Surya’.
  • Resembling a large chariot with 7 horses and 12 pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels.
  • The size of the wheel is of 9 feet 9 inches in diameter and each one of them having 8 wider spokes and 8 thinner spokes.
  • Out of these 24 wheels 6 are in either side of the main temple, 4 wheels are on each side of the Mukhasala and 2 wheels on each side of steps at eastern front.
  • The huge wheels of the Konark Temple are one of the major attractions in the Temple.
Significance:
  • The wheels of the chariot have been interpreted as the 'Wheel of Life'.
  • They portray the cycle of creation, preservation and achievement of realisation.
  • These 12 pairs of wheels may also possibly represent the 12 zodiac signs.
  • Some also believe that the Wheel of Konark is the same as the Dharmachakra of the Buddhists“The Wheel of Karma, The Wheel of the Law. “

Konark wheels are used as Sun dials in ancient times to know the time of the day.

The Sun Temple:

  • The Sun Temple at Konârak, located on the eastern shores of the Indian subcontinent.
  • It is built in 13th Century by King Narasimhadeva-I (AD 1238-1264).
  • The Sun Temple is the culmination of Kalingan temple architecture, with all its defining elements in complete and perfect form.
  • Components of the Temple:
  • The vimana (principal sanctuary) was surmounted by a high tower with a shikhara (crowning cap), which was razed in the 19th century.
    • To the east, the jahamogana (audience hall) dominates the ruins with its pyramidal mass.
    • Farther to the east, the natmandir (dance hall), today unroofed, rises on a high platform.
    • The Sun Temple is directly associated with the idea and belief of the personification of the Sun God, which is adumbrated in the Vedas and classical texts.
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