While Puri is a popular destination among tourists visiting Orissa, not many know about this hidden gem Konark. The place has a magnificent Sun Temple that has some of the finest exhibitions of architecture in the structure and sculptures in the temple. It is only 35 km away from Puri and if you plan a trip you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
The Konark Temple was dedicated to the Sun God and the word means the angle of the sun. The beautiful temple is shaped like a giant chariot and it was constructed in the 13th Century by Raja Narasinghs Deva-I from the Ganga Dynasty.
Things to do and Major attractions:
Among the first things to do in Konark is to visit the famous Konark Sun Temple. This beautiful temple has a unique shape and has twelve pairs of wheels that signify the twelve months. It has the structure of a giant chariot drawn by a set of horses that represent the seven days of a week. The sculptures on the walls of the temple will leave you spellbound and the statue of the Sun god is simply marvelous. This has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is among the main attractions of Konark sightseeing.
Other places to visit in Konark include the pristine Chandrabhaga Beach. The beach is particularly known for the beautiful sunrise and sunset and is among the finest beaches on the East Coast. Another popular tourist spot is the ASI Museum where the precious artifacts of Oriyan art are kept. Astaranga Beach is also frequently visited by the tourists for the spectacular sunset that you can experience here.
People and Culture:
The Konark Dance Festival is one of the most celebrated events in this region and it is held annually. The festival has dancers and musicians coming in from all parts of India to perform in the backdrop of the Sun Temple. The region is also native to some of the best dance forms in India like Chhau Dance and Odissi Dance.
Local Food and Popular Shopping Items:
Since it is located near the beach, it is a fish lover’s paradise. You can enjoy several forms of fried and curried fish. Other popular local dishes are Pakhala, a variety of Pithas, Rasgulla, Khatta Aludum, etc. You will also find Chinese and Continental restaurants around the region.
If you are a shopping fanatic, we advise that you head to the Government Emporiums and pick up some fine handicraft items and local fabrics. The Pattachhitra, that is a painting on Palm leaves are also famous in this region.
Best Time to Visit:
We would advise you to avoid the harsh summer months and plan your travel during the winter months of September to March when the weather is more comfortable.
Availability of Accommodation Type:
There is no dearth of accommodation in Konark and you can pick from a wide variety and range of hotels. Some popular hotels in the region are Lotus Eco Resort, Sun Temple Hotel, Surya Inn, and many others.