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Because its great shikhara appeared black and served as an immense landmark for ships in the Bay of Bengal, it used to be referred to as the "Black Pagoda" by European sailors in the 17th century.
Partially restored by the archaeological teams during the British Raj in India, it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984.
The architecture of the Konark Temple, which follows the Kalinga style of architecture, is symbolic with twelve pairs of wheels corresponding to the 12 months of the Hindu almanac.
Dedicated to Surya (the Sun God), this structure is presently a 100-foot high chariot with huge wheels and horses; all carved from stone. A large shikhara, which rose high above the present mandapa, has unfortunately fallen off.
These wheels are completely out of the ordinary - the spokes of the wheels actually create a sundial.
One can calculate the exact time of day by just observing the shadow cast by the spokes on the wheel.
Yet others give rise to a totally different sensation in us - that of being in a mystical; sort of magical and surreal location.
In this post, we bring you a feature on five major Hindu temples, which seem unusually numinous and are shrouded in mystery and mysticism.