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Konark Sun Temple And Why It Has Been Featured In The New 10 Rupee Notes

The Konark Sun Temple.
The Konark Sun Temple. (Source - Pixabay)

Discovering India

Konark Sun Temple And Why It Has Been Featured In The New 10 Rupee Notes

UNESCO has called the temple a masterpiece of creative genius in conception and realisation.

The new 10 Rupee notes introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) feature the motif of the Konark Sun Temple in Odisha. The motif replaces the earlier one, which depicted the fauna of India through a rhinoceros, an elephant, and a tiger.

(Read – New 10 Rupee Notes In Chocolate Brown Colour Introduced By RBI)

According to the RBI, the temple depicts the country’s cultural heritage.

Konark Sun Temple, A World Heritage Site

Part of what is the most popular tourist circuit of Odisha comprising Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark, the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

UNESCO has referred to the temple as “one of India’s most famous Brahman sanctuaries” and “a masterpiece of creative genius in both conception and realisation”.

A tribute to the Sun God, Surya, the structure captures the sun’s rays in a perfect pattern right through the day. Built in the 13th century, it is a magnificent portrayal of the Sun God’s chariot. The chariot is led by six horses and it’s 24 wheels are decorated with symbolic designs.

While the temple’s crowing cap, or the shikhara, was razed in the 19th century, the grandeur of the structure has continued undiminished.

The Konark Sun Temple was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984. Incidentally, this is the only such site in Odisha.

Konark Sun Temple, Distinctive Architecture

UNESCO describes the temple as “culmination of Kalingan temple architecture, with all its defining elements in complete and perfect form”. It took 12 years and nearly 1,200 artisans to construct the Konark Sun Temple.

The complex comprises several distinct units, including the principal sanctuary which is known as the Vimana. The audience hall and the dance hall or the Natmandir can still be seen, though the latter no longer has a roof and just rises on a high platform.

The monument is a huge draw for tourists visiting the state and is a short drive away from the state capital Bhubaneswar. The sea beach at a distance of a few kilometres and the Marine Drive connecting it with Puri, the city of Lord Jagannath, are also very popular.

Motifs Used In Other Currency Notes

The new 200 rupee currency note has the Sanchi Stupa as the motif. The Stupa is part of the Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi which was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1989.

The new 500 rupee notes feature the Red Fort in Delhi while the 2000 note shows that Mangalyaan. The new 50 rupee note depicts the Hampi Stone Chariot.

The 10 rupee currency note of the Lion Capital Series of 1970 featured two peacocks and the banknote denomination written in English on the reverse.

In the colonial India of 1937, the note had a portrait of George VI on the obverse and featured two elephants with the banknote denomination written in Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, Burmese, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Gujarati on the reverse.

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