MYTHS, 'CHLORITE' STATUES,MORE MYTHS ....
Mid-day Sun. Mutilated statue exudes grace ! Dandi on the right.
Because of lack of access, a full frontal view is impossible to capture.
Recounting the myths !
Gathering around the story-telling guides.
It is said that 1200 architects and artisans were given 12 years to build this temple by King NarshimhaDev-1. The team toiled for 12 years while the King spent his revenue earning for 12 years on this temple-building project. The temple was far from completion at the end of the stipulated period. King was quite unhappy - in a mood to punish the team severely for the delay. Bishu Maharana, the head architect was at his wit's end. His 12 year old son Dharmapada reportedly solved the problem of fixing the last coping stone - a 52T magnet according to another version - though he was without any experience. He then committed suicide to spare his community the indignity of wrath of King's discovering the source of solution of a nagging and critical problem was a 12 year old boy .
Was this the principal deity of Konark's Sun-temple ?
Source - ASI Museum, Konark.
Was this death the reason why the deity of Sun was ever was worshiped ? Or did worship of Sun in the 'Deul' continue till 1568 AD ( according to another source, desecration happened during early 17th century) , when Muslims invaded the temple ? Where is the main idol of the sun ? In the temple of Indra at Jagannatha temple complex of Puri ? Or at National Museum, Delhi ?
It is also said that the temple's inner sanctum most of which was damaged had several strong magnets strategically placed. The iron rich (chlorite ?) statue of Sun was so placed that it did not the touch the base, but, used to float ! These magnets were causing problem to compasses of ships visiting the neighbouring sea coast. Reportedly, the shipping community arranged for removal of the magnets. leading to the collapse of the 'Deul's roof.
Iron beams preserved within the temple complex.
Strangely, without any explanatory plaque !
There are stories and counter-arguments.... but, I find the idol of Sun floating above the pedestal is a great idea ! We all know, magnets lose power over time . Very likely , ships were not disturbed by the decayed magnets of the temple during 17th or 18th century. Perhaps decay caused collapse of the 'Deul'. There are interesting books on this subject - the most well-known being Sun Temple of Konark by Pt. Sada Shiv Rathsharma .
Martanda Vairava at a high level of Jagamohana. Feet in a posture of dance, Vairava has 'ghora' -fierce - disposition. Fangs out and 'Kapala' in left hand.
A fine 'chlorite' statue.
But, here stands the temple partly restored, the areas around cleared, foundations of the smaller temples exposed and rebuilt, the 2 victory horses and 2 giant elephants on elegant pedestals. This site attracts thousands of visitors everyday . King NarashimhaDev- I, Dharmapada and Bishu Maharana with his team would be remembered while this Sun temple remains firm at Konark.
Mythical lion in the Sun temple complex - made of khondalite stone.
ASI uses green hue extensively during evening illumination to highlight the 'chlorite' idols of Surya and
create an effect on such khondalite statues too !