Group of sculptured pilaster figures representing amorous scenes, from the Surya Temple or Black Pagoda, Konarka 1003363
Photographer: Mukherji, Poorno Chander
Medium: Photographic print
This photograph was taken by Poorna Mukherji in the 1890s for the Archaeological Survey of India. The Surya Temple at Konarak was constructed by king Narasimha of the Eastern Ganga dynasty in 1240 circa. Of this colossal temple only the square mandapa or jagamohana has survived almost intact with its imposing pyramidal roof rising in three tiers. It is conceived as a colossal processional chariot of the Sun with 12 pairs of carved wheels, drawn by 7 rearing horses. The temple is profusely adorned with sculptures of beautiful maidens, celestial nymphs, amorous couples, dancers and musicians and rearing beasts.