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About The Konark Sun Temple


A petition has been filed in the Orissa High Court challenging the minimum eligibility criteria of matriculation adopted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for issuing licences to photographers to operate inside Sun Temple at Konark.


GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Konark Sun Temple
  2. About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

About Konark Sun Temple:


  • The temple is located on the coastline of Odisha in Puri district.


  • It was built by King Narasimha Deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in 1244.
  • It was given the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984 by UNESCO.
  • The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Surya and is also called the Surya Devalaya.
  • It is a classic example of the Odisha style of Architecture or Kalinga Architecture.
  • The temple complex looks like a 100-foot high solar chariot, with 24 wheels and pulled by six horses, all carved from stone.
  • The temple is oriented towards the east so that the first rays of the sunrise strike the main entrance.
  • The wheels of the temple are sundials, which can be used to calculate time accurately to a minute.
  • Around the base of the temple, there are images of animals, foliage, warriors on horses and other interesting structures.
  • The walls and roof of the temple are adorned with beautiful sensual figures.
  • The temple is built from Khondalite rocks and is also known as the ‘BLACK PAGODA’ due to its dark colour.
  • The temple remains a site of contemporary worship for Hindus during the annual Chandrabhaga Festival, which is celebrated around the month of February.

About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

  • The Archaeological Survey of India is an Indian government agency attached to the Ministry of Culture.
  • ASI is responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country.
  • Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI.
  • Besides it regulate all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
  • It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
  • For the maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance the entire country is divided into 24 Circles.
    • The organization has a large work force of trained archaeologists, conservators, epigraphist, architects and scientists for conducting archaeological research projects through its Circles, Museums, Excavation Branches, Prehistory Branch, Epigraphy Branches, Science Branch, Horticulture Branch, Building Survey Project, Temple Survey Projects and Underwater Archaeology Wing.
  • The most important of the society’s achievements was the decipherment of the Brahmi script by James Prinsep in 1837. This successful decipherment inaugurated the study of Indian palaeography.

-Source: The Hindu


November 2023