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G20 Summit: India showcases Odisha's Konark Wheel

Utkarsh Classes 09-09-2023
G20 Summit: India showcases Odisha's Konark Wheel Summit and Conference 6 min read

A replica of the Konark wheel of Sun Temple of Odisha was depicted in the background of the welcoming of G20 leaders at Bharat Mandapam, a place of G20 Summit under India's Presidency.

About Konark Wheel

The Konark Wheel was built during the 13th century under the reign of King Narasimhadeva-I. The wheel with 24 spokes, which has also been adapted into the Tricolour, embodies India's ancient wisdom, advanced civilization, and architectural excellence.

  • Its rotating motion symbolizes time, 'Kaalchakra', as well as progress and continuous change.
  • It serves as a powerful symbol of the wheel of democracy that reflects the resilience of democratic ideals and commitment to progress in society.
  • According to legend, it is said that the Konark sundial was used to calculate the precise time of day based on the position of the sun.
  • The wheel was crafted with incredible precision, and its intricate design allowed sunlight to pass through it and cast shadows that could be used to determine the exact time. 
  • Besides that, the carvings on the wheels depict scenes from Hindu mythology, including images of gods and goddesses, animals, and humans. The wheel is also said to symbolize the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
  • As the temple was built like a chariot of Sun god. The wheels of the chariot have a lot of engraved artwork around its axis and peripheries. 
  • The 24 wheels signifies 24 hours of a day and the 8 spokes signifies prahars ( three hour period) of a day.
  • And this whole depiction tells how the time is controlled by the sun – being the very illustration of the Surya in the Hindu mythology traveling from the east in his chariot escorted by his charioteer, Aruna.

Konark Sun Temple

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Konark Sun temple is a striking model of ancient artistry, fluidity of ideas, and a pedagogic treasury. 

  • Believed to have been built in the 13th century CE the temple was built by the King Narasimhadeva I hailing from the Eastern Ganga dynasty between 1238-1250 CE. 
  • The temple was commissioned by the king while Samantaraya Mahapatra was the one in charge of its construction. 
  • ‘Konark’ means the sun and the four corners. The temple was called Black Pagoda attributing to its dark facade by the Europeans who used it for navigation for their ships. It is said that the temple could draw ships to the shore due to its magnetic powers.

Konark Sun Temple Architecture

The temple is known for its impressive Kalinga architecture that includes a depiction of a 100 ft high chariot being pulled by horses and wheels carved out of a single stone. 

  • The monument portrays the imposing chariot of the sun god. Built of Khondalite rocks, the original temple had a 230 ft high sanctum which no longer exists, 128 ft high audience hall, dance hall, dining hall which still survive. 
  • There are 24 intricately designed wheels, 12 ft in diameter which are seen drawn by horses. These seven horses represent the week, the wheels stand for the 12 months while the day-cycle is symbolized by the eight spokes in the wheels. 
  • The entrance leads to the shrine of the deity of Surya made of chlorite stone. The walls of the temple are adorned with reliefs – intricate carvings of various figures including Hindu gods, images of the everyday mortal life, birds, animals and more. 
  • The temple also has erotic sculptures on its shikhara belonging to the tantra tradition. The wheels of the temple can be used as sundials and can very well predict the time.

Note: Konark Temple, one of the most iconic sites in India, is Odisha's pride. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an architectural marvel; a site that was once used as a sundial. This iconic sun temple is printed on the back of the new INR 10 note.

FAQ

Answer: Rupee 10 Note

Answer: Puri, Odisha

Answer: Kalinga

Answer: King Narasimhadeva I hailing from the Eastern Ganga dynasty between 1238-1250 CE.

Answer. Kalchakra
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