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sun temple


The Sun Temple lies in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. Built in the thirteenth century,Sun Temple was conceived as a gigantic solar chariot with twelve pairs of exquisitely-ornamented wheels dragged by seven rearing horses. The temple comprised a sanctum with a lofty (presumably over 68 m. high) sikhara, a jagamohana (30. m. square and 30. m. high) and a detached nata-mandira (hall of dance) in the same axis, besides numerous subsidiary shrines. The sanctum and the nata-mandira have lost their roof.

Representing Orissa's medieval architecture, the colossal structure of the Sun Temple is mostly dilapidated. Each of the 24 wheels of the chariot measures 10 m in diameter, covered with intricate carvings. Interesting to know is the fact that the spokes of the wheels serve as sun dials. The shadows of the spokes show the different times of the day. The walls of the temple are embellished with carvings, sculptures and bas reliefs. Hundreds of thousands of images of gods and goddesses along with social life scenes from the 13th century are displayed on the walls and interiors of the temple. Curved towers with cupolas are worth watching. Besides, the pyramidal roof built in sandstone are also to be noticed. The temple has an east west alignment and its location close to Bay of Bengal lends much enchantment to the overall view.