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Konarak: The Heritage of Mankind

K S Behera (Author)

In the Indian state of Odisha near the shore of the Bay of Bengal, stands the great Sun Temple of Konarak, now in ruins. Built in the 13th century by Narasimha I of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, the temple once served as a landmark for the European sailors, who called it 'The Black Pagoda' to distinguish it from 'The White Pagoda' or the temple of Jagannatha at Puri.  The temple with its sanctuary (deula) and the audience hall (jagamohana) was designed as the mighty chariot of the Sun god with its twenty-four magnificent wheels, drawn by seven horses. In front of the jagamohana exists the remains of the hall of dance (natamandira) covered with beautiful figures of dancers and musicians.  The surface of the temple is adorned with many reliefs reflecting the life and culture of the people when it was built. Konarak, the greatest of Odisha's monuments, is also one of the most glorious achievements of the mankind as a whole. Since the remains were first studied early in the 19th century, a considerable amount of writing has appeared on Konarak. Now, however, for the first time, appears a monograph in which all aspects of Konarak are treated in depth – its religious significance, history, architecture and sculpture.  The book tries to depict, in all its details, the art and architecture of the temple in a broader Indian framework, as well as in the context of regional developments. The monograph provides reinterpretations of already known facts, and is based on the latest research on the subject. The Appendices towards the end of the book provide interesting additional information on the subject. It is hoped that this comprehensive monograph may encourage art lovers throughout the world to come to Konarak and help them appreciate the artistic significance of this priceless treasure in the right perspective.

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About the author

K S Behera

Dr. Karuna Sagar Behera, born on 5th December, 1939 at Angul, was educated in Angul High School, Angul and Revenshaw College, Cuttack He earned M.A in History in 1960 from Utkal University with first position He obtained Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi He was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Literature by Utkal University for his study of Konarak. He joined Orssa Educational serviceman 1961 and in 1962, he was appointed as Lecturer in the Post-Graduate Department of History, Utkal University Subsequently he held the position of Reader in History and became a Professor in 1976 He has contributed to the academic life of the University as Professor and Head of the Post-Graduate Department of History, Chairman of the Post-Graduate Council, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and Member of the Syndicate of the University for four years. He was the President of the on Sa History Congress, Member of the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology, Govt of India and Member of the Governing Body of the National Council of Science Museums His foreign visits include Germany, Finland, U K , Chinaand Indonesia. He has published several articles on Orson History, Culture, Art and Archaeology He is the author of Temples of Orssa, Konarak The Heritage of Mankind (2 vols.) and Sculptural Masterpieces from Orssa Style and Iconography (co-author) He has also contributed to Orssa Bibliography and Orssa Gazetteers. He is at present Professor of History, Utkal University and Director, Oscine Institute of Maritime and South-east Asian Studies in Bhubaneswar, Orissa He is currently conducting research into indigenous tradition of boat-building and navigation in the Indian Ocean.

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Bibliographic information

Title Konarak: The Heritage of Mankind
Author K S Behera
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2021
Edition Reprint.
Language: English
isbn 9788173056499
length xxviii+360., 22cm x 28cm.