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Close view of left half of west façade and roof of the mandapa of the Surya Temple or Black Pagoda, Konarka 1003346

Close view of left half of west façade and roof of the mandapa of the Surya Temple or Black Pagoda, Konarka 1003346

Photographer: Cornish, William Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1890

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(346)

Item number: 1003346

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the left half of the west fa├žade and roof of the mandapa of the Surya Temple or Black Pagoda in Konark from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by William Henry Cornish in c. 1890. The Surya Temple at Konarak was constructed by king Narasimha of the Eastern Ganga dynasty in 1240 circa. This colossal temple complex, conceived as a processional chariot of the Sun with 12 pairs of carved wheels, drawn by 7 rearing horses, was too heavy for the friable soil on which it was built and the 70 metres shikhara covering the sanctum collapsed in 1837 as well as the roof of the dance pavilion. Only the jagamohana survived with its large pyramidal roof rising in three tiers with horizontal mouldings carved with a decorative frieze. Large sculptures of beautiful female dancers and musicians are positioned in the spaces between the storeys.

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