Some of the objects left behind by the people who came before us are truly baffling, and even the world’s greatest scientific minds can’t explain them.
Built during the 13th century (year 1250) and dedicated to surya (the sun god), this huge temple’s 100-foot high chariot with immense wheels and horses, all carved from stone in Odisha, India, is one of them. See if you can make sense of it:
Konark takes the form of a gigantic chariot of the Sun God (Arka), with 12 pairs of vastly ornate stone wheels drawn by seven pairs of horses. Many temples dedicated to worship Sun have been built in recorded history of mankind where Sun God is typically depicted riding seven horses on a chariot, representing the seven colors of a rainbow.
Some other Sun temples of the world:
Wat Arun, Temple of the Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand
Modhera Sun Temple, Gujarat
Temple of the Sun, Beijing
Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, Mexico
Temple of Garni, Armenia
Ise Grand Shrine, Japan
Located in Konark and about 22 miles (35 kilometers) on the coastline of Odisha, the sun temple is attributed to king Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty (1250 CE) and is thought to have been once twice as tall as the chariot and called the “Black Pagoda” in European sailor accounts as early as 1676 –because it looked a great tiered tower which appeared black.
The Konark temple (“Black Pagoda”) and the Jagannath Temple in Puri (called the “White Pagoda”) served as important landmarks for sailors in the Bay of Bengal.
The structures and elements of the Konark temple that have survived are also famed for their intricate artwork, iconography, and themes, including erotic kama and mithuna scenes. Also called the Surya Devalaya, it is a classic illustration of the Odisha style of Architecture or Kalinga Architecture.
The name Konark derives from the combination of the Sanskrit words Kona (corner or angle) and Arka (the sun). The context of the term Kona is unclear, but probably refers to the southeast location of this temple either within a larger temple complex or in relation to other sun temples on the subcontinent. The Arka refers to the sun god Surya. The Sun temple of Konark, the Puri Jagannth Temple and the Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar –all three in Odisha, form a bilateral triangle and Konark temple is one Kone (angular point of a triangle). Thus the word ‘Kone’ has a meaning in making the nomenclature. (Wikipedia)