The Sun Temple, the beach, the rich culture and heritage make Konark one of the most popular tourist destinations of Odisha. It is also home to Konark Dance and Music festival, one of the oldest and popular cultural festivals of India. Also known as Konaditya, Konark is situated in the Puri district of Odisha on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. The name Konark is derived from two words — Kona meaning corner and Arka, meaning sun.
While the temple now stands partly ruined; some of its sculptures are preserved in the Museum maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. The beautiful 700-year-old Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural marvel. The Sun Temple and other temples were built during the rule of King Narsimhadeva I (1236-1264) of the Ganga dynasty. ALSO SEE Did you know these amazing facts about the Konark Sun Temple?
Konark also finds mention in the Puranas as Mundira or Mundirasvamin. During the 12th century, Muslim rulers invaded India. However, when the Muslim rule weakened after the death of Mohammad Ghori, Hindu kings saw it as an opportunity to restrict the advances of the Muslims. A fierce battle was fought between Tughan Khan and King Narsimhadeva I, in which the Hindu king won. The Sun Temple was constructed as a victory memorial. CHECK OUT Odisha hill stations that take your breath away
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN KONARK
Hotels are generally fully booked from October to February and you will be well-advised to book rooms in advance. Budget hotels in Konark offer decent rooms for as little as Rs 200. Some of them offer facilities like TV, room service and a comfortable stay anything around Rs 500. Air-conditioned rooms are a necessity during summers. Most resorts and hotels are located close to the beach and the Sun Temple.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN KONARK
Dhabas in the main market area, near the beach and temple complex serve scrumptious vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. You must try out the fish fry prepared in Bengali-style. Though Continental and Chinese dishes are also served at some restaurants, trying the local cuisine is a must.