Statue of one of the two horses near the ashvadavara, Surya Temple or Black Pagoda, Konarka 1003359
Photographer: Cornish, William Henry
Medium: Photographic print
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. Each of the 3 staircases leading up to the mandapa is guarded by a pair of animals. This photographs shows one of the galloping horses with an armed attendant.