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Elephant statue near the gajadvara, Surya Temple or Black Pagoda, Konarka 1003351

Elephant statue near the gajadvara, Surya Temple or Black Pagoda, Konarka 1003351

Photographer: Cornish, William Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1890

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(351)

Item number: 1003351

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Elephant statue near the gajadvara, Surya Temple or Black Pagoda, Konarka 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 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 decorated with sculptures of musicians, dancers and maidens. The temple is conceived as a colossal processional chariot of the Sun with 12 pairs of carved wheels, drawn by 7 rearing horses. Each of the 3 staircases leading to the mandapa is guarded by a pair of animals: this is a close view of one of the richly decorated elephants.

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