All you need to know about Konark's Art and Culture
Konark is located in East India in the state of Odisha. It lies on the coast by the Bay of Bengal, 65 kilometers from the capital of the state Bhubaneswar. The word “Konark” is actually a combination of two Sanskrit words. Kona means corner or angle and arka means the sun. This clearly tells us that this place is the angle at which the sun appears. It is famous for the 13th century Sun temple, also known as the Black Pagoda, built in black granite during the reign of Narsinghadeva-I. The sun temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This temple is famous for its unique architecture, its geometrical patterns and carved wheels used to serve as sundials.
A trip to Konark cannot be completed without understanding its rich heritage. The art and culture activities in Konark will give you an insight into the city’s history, traditions and artwork. While visiting the cultural attractions in Konark would prove to be informative, attending its artsy events will leave you entertained. From cultural performances to ancient monuments give you the glimpse of the past, present and even the future.
Let's take a look at the different attractions that wait in Konark
Konark Sun Temple: The Sun Temple is the finest example of Kalinga architecture. This is one masterpiece which is the compilation of all the different varieties of the said architecture. Every inch of this temple and its subsidiary shrines is carved with unique designs. The temple dedicated to Sun God stands majestically on the banks of the Bay of Bengal and narrates various grand stories about the mysteries of the past. The Temple was constructed by King Narasimha Deva 1 of the Ganga Dynasty. The temple was designed as a chariot of the Sun God with 24 wheels like 12 on each side and 7 horses. The 12 wheels are said to represent the months of the year and 7 wheels in front for the week. There are three main parts of the complex that form the main temple of the deity; the Jagamohana Hall and the Nritya Mandapa.
The Archaeological Survey of India Museum is located on the northern side of the Sun Temple at Konark. The museum’s prime tourist attraction includes the fallen ruins of the Sun Temple with spectacular carvings. There are 300 artifacts showcased here, a treat for history buffs and a walk to the historical lane.
Navagraha Temple is located just outside the Sun Temple compound. It has a huge chlorite slab, 6 meters long, 1.2 meters high and 2 meters deep with idols of nine planets made with black chlorite stone and richly ornamented materials. The architectural use of the Navagrahas is according to the medieval convention.
Odisha is an opulent art and craft that can certainly win hearts. All the other parts of Odisha display sound skills of the artisans and the influence of rich culture. From fine stone carving to traditional Pattachitra, from carving the sculptures on sand to silver filigree to the globally acclaimed applique, it is a state filled to the brim with skills.
Popular Sand Art: Odisha is the birthplace of Sand Art. Afterwards it spread all over the world. Sand Art is carving of sculpture in sand. It is quite easier and quicker than Stone Carving. For sand art, only fine grained sand and water are used. A skilled artist can shape a beautiful and spell bounding sculpture on the beach. Nowadays, most of the artists are acquainted with the stone work. So stone sculpting is treated as the first step of sand sculpting. Sand Art is very eye-catching, therapeutic and offers great relief to the maker.
Every year, the famous sand festival is celebrated in Odisha during 1st to 5th of Dec. The festival is organized by Odisha Tourism. Sand artists from all corners of India and also around the globe participate in the competition. A good sum of money is awarded to the winner at the end. The Konark Dance and Music festival also coincides with the International sand art festival which is celebrated on the beach of Konark.
Apart from sand art, cloth art, also known as Pattachitra used to be quite a popular and well-loved style throughout history, we can even find the hint of this form in the 12th Century. It is one of the most popular living forms in India. People all across Odisha practice this wonderful art form on a regular basis.
Palm Leaf Paintings, is considered one of the sacred art forms in the state. Palm leaf painting, locally known as Talapatra Chitra is an ancient form of art in Odisha. Horn Work is the most popular art form, a mystical art form of Odisha. This art form showcases an impressive fashion design. The horns of Cow and Buffalo are used to produce utility products like jewelry, ashtray and comb. Odisha has a variety of art forms which are known for their simple techniques to complex. Lacquer Work is one of the famous tribal crafts in India which is practiced in this heavenly state by the women. The impressive folk items like bangles, toys and necklaces are made by using this technique.
Bell Metal And Brass Handicrafts, is an important native art coming from Kansari and Dhokra caste in Odisha. It is a popular folk art which produces various pieces of household items and decorations. Silver Filgree work is probably the most unique and finest form of art present here in the state. This is a more than 500 year old art form practiced by local artisans mainly in Cuttack. Ornaments and decorative items are two most popular categories of the impressive art work.
Culture Heritage : Odisha is a confluence of the Aryan, Dravidian and Adivasi cultures. Most of the State Festivals bring out some part of these cultures and celebrate their religion by way of festivals which span out the entire year. Odisha is a land of tribes and each tribe has its distinct song and style of dance.
Odisha means diversity. The tourists paradise is known to be sharing its land with 62 tribes that are 24% of the total population. These tribes serves as the soul of the state and are the ones who have till date conserved their culture and tradition. Kondh people have an essential knowledge of the mountains, forests, trees, plants. Sauras the craftsmen of Saura paintings. Bonda the unique culture enthralling customs and typical attire make this tribal community the most popular. Santhals the fun loving tribe known for Santhal Music and dance form. Gonds one of the largest tribe in South Asia, Bhumias the most celebrated tribe. Koyas with rich ancient tradition, culture, art and customs, Parajas, and Gadava are the few popular tribes spread in different parts of Odisha. They form the heart and soul of Odisha’s art and cultural history, and continue to create the most incredible pieces of work that always leave the entire world astounded.
Framed by multiple coupled trees, the village of Raghurajpur is one of the most beautiful craft villages in India. It has a heartwarmingly traditional culture of craft making and most villagers invest in the performance in its entirety to ensure it does not stop existing. The works are mostly inspired by the temples and other attractions of the state of Odisha, and have their own stories to tell. Almost every household is covered in art and decorated by craft.
Pipli is another phenomenal village in Odisha that is famous for its applique work, which is essentially carried out by stitching and embroidering different pieces of cloth that are based on the most amazing decorative items such as umbrellas, pouches, wallets, mirrors etc. Take them with you to add a certain twist and change to your homes in the best way possible.
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