Sculptured slab from the refectory ceiling, Surya Temple or Black Pagoda, Konarka
Photographer: Cornish, William Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a sculptured slab from the refectory ceiling of the Surya Temple at Konarak, taken by William Henry Cornish around 1890. The Surya Temple at Konarak was constructed by king Narasimha of the Eastern Ganga dynasty in 1240 circa. The temple was conceived as a colossal processional chariot of the Sun with 12 pairs of carved wheels, drawn by 7 rearing horses. It originally consisted of a sanctum with a spire reaching more than 70 metres, a jagamohana or assembly hall and a nata-mandir or dancing hall as well as a number of subsidiary shrines. The sanctum and the nata mandir have lost their roofs and it is only the jagamohana, which has survived with its large pyramidal roof decorated with sculptures of musicians, dancers and maidens. This view shows the slab, removed from the ceiling and photographed on the ground in the open air, showing the sculptured rosette.