Sun Temple, Konarka

A few weekends back, I checked out the Sun Temple in Konarak. It’s in the form of a chariot pulled by 7 horses (for 7 weekdays or 7 colors of rainbow, they may have been painted) on 24 wheels (for 24 hours/day). One of the wheels also acts as a sundial, but it was too overcast (blissfully overcast on this 98F degree day) to see it in action.

The official tour guide I hired explained to me that the carvings are divided into 3 bands: the lowest for childhood, with images of animals, plants, etc; the highest representing the wisdom, maturity and devotion found in old age, with images of gods and religious symbols; and the middle for adulthood, with daily household scenes and porn. Yep, you read that right. Every combination of pairing(s)/position of humans you can imagine — and when they ran short on those, they included the humans with animals. The Karma Sutra in stone relief, and then some. Clearly, ancient Indians were much more tolerant of alternative lifestyles than current mainstream culture: the tour guide gleefully pointed out the “homo orgy” and the “beautiful lesbians”.

Here are some photos — the suitable for work ones.

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