Sophi Gast

Written by Sophi Gast

Modified & Updated: 30 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Konark Sun Temple, located in the eastern state of Odisha, India, is an architectural marvel that has captivated visitors for centuries. Built in the 13th century by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty, this magnificent temple is dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya.

The Konark Sun Temple is known for its exquisite stone carvings, intricate architectural designs, and its unique shape resembling a chariot. This UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts tourists from all over the world who come to witness its grandeur and learn about its historical and cultural significance.

While many are familiar with the basic facts about the temple, there are several surprising and lesser-known facts that make the Konark Sun Temple even more intriguing. In this article, we will explore 17 of these fascinating facts, shedding light on the mysteries and hidden stories of this incredible landmark.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Konark Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Odisha, India, known for its stunning architecture, intricate sculptures, and celestial alignment capturing the first rays of the rising sun.
  • Visitors can experience the temple’s rich history, cultural significance, and architectural brilliance, making it a must-see destination for tourists and a symbol of Odisha’s cultural heritage.
Table of Contents

Facts 1: A Marvel of Architecture

The Konark Sun Temple, located in the Indian state of Odisha, is a true marvel of architecture. Constructed in the 13th century, this magnificent temple is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya.

Facts 2: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

In recognition of its cultural significance and architectural splendor, the Konark Sun Temple was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

Facts 3: The Chariot of the Sun God

The temple is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot with intricately carved wheels and horses, symbolizing the chariot of the Sun God.

Facts 4: Architectural Precision

The architectural precision of the Konark Sun Temple is truly remarkable. The entire structure was constructed without the use of mortar, relying solely on precise interlocking of stones.

Facts 5: Astronomical Significance

The temple is strategically aligned to capture the first rays of the rising sun, symbolizing the divine connection between the Sun God and the temple.

Facts 6: Intricate Sculptures

The temple is adorned with intricate sculptures depicting various mythological stories, celestial beings, and everyday life scenes from ancient India.

Facts 7: The Dancing Hall

The Natya Mandir, or the Dancing Hall, is a unique feature of the temple. It was used for performing dance and music rituals in honor of the Sun God.

Facts 8: The Giant Magnet

Legend has it that the main magnet inside the Konark Sun Temple used to disrupt the navigation systems of ships, leading to their shipwreck. To protect sailors, the magnet was removed during restoration efforts.

Facts 9: The Missing Spire

The main spire of the temple, known as the kalasha, is missing. It is believed to have been destroyed and lost over the centuries.

Facts 10: The Temple’s Hidden Treasure

It is said that the temple’s sanctum once housed a hidden treasure, which was discovered during the restoration process. The treasure included gold and silver ornaments, precious stones, and exquisite sculptures.

Facts 11: The Sun Dial

The temple features a sundial known as the Konarka Yantra, which could accurately tell the time using the position of the sun.

Facts 12: The Seven Horses

The seven horses pulling the celestial chariot on the temple represent the seven days of the week, signifying the eternal journey of time.

Facts 13: The Temple’s Magnetic Field

The Konark Sun Temple is said to have a strong magnetic field. There are stories of compasses and other metal objects being influenced by its magnetism.

Facts 14: Partial Demolition

The temple was partially demolished by an invading army in the 17th century, resulting in the loss of some of its original grandeur.

Facts 15: The Konark Dance Festival

The Konark Dance Festival is held annually at the temple premises, showcasing various classical dance forms of India.

Facts 16: A Tourist Attraction

The Konark Sun Temple attracts a large number of tourists from around the world who come to witness its architectural brilliance and learn about its rich history.

Facts 17: A Symbol of Odisha’s Cultural Heritage

The Konark Sun Temple is considered a symbol of Odisha’s rich cultural heritage and serves as a source of inspiration for artists, architects, and scholars.

These 17 surprising facts about Konark Sun Temple are just a glimpse of the beauty and significance this architectural masterpiece holds. From its intricate sculptures to its celestial alignment, the temple continues to be a testament to human creativity and devotion. If you have the opportunity, make sure to visit this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site and witness its grandeur firsthand.


In conclusion, the Konark Sun Temple is not only a remarkable architectural marvel but also a treasure trove of surprising facts. From its unique design inspired by a chariot to its intriguing historical connections, this UNESCO World Heritage Site continues to captivate visitors from around the world. The temple’s solar alignment, intricate stone carvings, and majestic beauty make it a must-visit destination for both history enthusiasts and spiritual seekers.As you explore the enchanting corridors and courtyards of the Konark Sun Temple, be prepared to be awestruck by its grandeur and the mysteries it unveils. With its rich historical significance and awe-inspiring beauty, this iconic temple stands as a testament to the remarkable craftsmanship and architectural prowess of the past.Whether you are a history buff, an architecture aficionado, or a curious traveler seeking to unravel the wonders of the past, a visit to the Konark Sun Temple promises an unforgettable experience that will transport you to a bygone era.


1. What is the significance of the Konark Sun Temple?

The Konark Sun Temple holds immense significance as it is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya. It is believed to be a symbol of Surya’s chariot and represents the eternal journey of the Sun.

2. How old is the Konark Sun Temple?

The Konark Sun Temple was built in the 13th century during the reign of King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga dynasty.

3. What is the architectural style of the Konark Sun Temple?

The temple showcases the Kalinga style of architecture, which is characterized by intricate stone carvings and unique structural elements.

4. What are the interesting features of the Konark Sun Temple?

The temple is known for its impressive life-sized stone sculptures, intricate carvings depicting mythological stories, and its fascinating wheel-shaped design resembling a chariot.

5. Is the Konark Sun Temple a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

Yes, the Konark Sun Temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 due to its cultural and historical significance.

6. How can I reach the Konark Sun Temple?

The temple is located in Konark, Odisha, and can be reached by road from major cities like Bhubaneswar and Puri. Regular bus and taxi services are available for transportation.

7. Can I enter the Konark Sun Temple?

Yes, visitors are allowed to enter the temple and explore its premises. However, certain areas may have restricted access for preservation purposes.

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