Group of sculptured pilaster figures representing amorous scenes, from the Surya Temple or Black Pagoda, Konarka 1003364
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 huge complex only the square mandapa or jagamohana has survived almost intact. It is conceived as a colossal processional chariot of the Sun with 12 pairs of carved wheels, drawn by 7 rearing horses and it is covered by an imposing pyramidal roof rising in 3 tiers. The temple is profusely adorned by statues of beautiful maidens, amorous couples, celestial nymphs, dancers and musicians.