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Konark Tourism And Travel Guide
21° C / 69.8° F
October to February
2 to 3 Days
Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneshwar (64 kms)
Puri Railway Station (35 kms)
Situated within the Puri district of the eastern state of Orissa, Konark is a small town that is visited by crowds of devotees and tourists alike each year. Its main attraction is a temple dedicated to the Sun god Surya, known as the Konark Sun Temple, which also becomes the backdrop of the annual Konark Dance Festival.
While the whole state of Orissa is known for its tourism, religious significance and ancient heritage, Konark features prominently among tourists in the state who visit to learn more about the legends and myths attached to the famous Sun Temple. A number of other attractions within the borders of this small town make Konark a place worthy of being on every traveler’s itinerary. Here is a brief travel guide to help you plan your next trip to Konark.
How to Reach
The closest airport from Konark is the Biju Patnaik International Airport located in Bhubaneshwar, which is situated 64 km away. Being the only international airport in Orissa, it is also well connected to other cities in the state through its domestic terminal with a number of regularly operating domestic flights. Buses and cabs are easily available outside the airport to help you reach Konark directly from Bhubaneshwar.
The nearest railhead from Konark is located in the cities of Puri and Bhubaneshwar, which are 35 km and 61 km away from Konark respectively. Both are well connected to all other main cities within the state and the rest of the country with a number of trains that run daily.
For those traveling by road, taking the route via Bhubaneshwar or Puri is the most convenient option. The Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) runs public buses between these cities; however, a private bus or taxi may prove to be a better travel alternative.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Summer (March – June):
Summers in Konark are extreme hot and humid, with maximum temperatures in the range of 40ᴼC-43ᴼC. It may not be the best time to visit Konark, yet for those who do, it is advisable to keep all outdoor activities limited to the evenings.
Monsoon (July – September):
The monsoon rains bring down the sweltering heat of summers substantially, with the temperature falling down to an average of 25ᴼC-32ᴼC. The most amount of rainfall is received in the month of August, with an average of 152 cm annually.
Winter (October – February):
Winters are the best time to visit Konark to enjoy the local attractions in a climate that is pleasantly cool and dry; with temperatures averaging around 15ᴼC. Winter is also the time when all the major festivals like the Konark Dance Festival and the Indian Surf Festival take place.
Things to Do
Explore the Architecture of Sun Temple:
This 13th century temple is the most widely visited spot in Konark and is responsible for drawing most tourists, including Hindu devotees, to the town. With a number of legends and myths attached to the temple, it also attracts historians who visit to explore the heritage attached to the monument. Shaped in the form of a giant chariot that houses three deities, the architecture and the impressive sculptures in the temple make it one of the most fascinating shrines in the state.
Sunset at the Beaches:
The two most famous beaches in Konark are the Chandrabhaga Beach and the Astaranga Beach. Both are known for being amazing locations for walks along the shore and spectacular sunset views. Astaranga Beach also holds markets selling fresh fish each morning, while Chandrabhaga Beach is known to host some amazing events like the International Sand Art Festival and the Indian Surf Festival.
The Konark Urban Haat located near the Sun Temple is one of the best places to shop in the town. It features amazing local handicraft items, including sculpture replicas from the temple and carvings and paintings. Other local shops also sell the famous Pattachitra paintings and items made out of appliqué work that the neighboring village of Pipli is well known for.
Orissa is a land packed with vibrant festivals, and Konark hosts a good variety of its own. The most awaited event in the town is the Konark Dance Festival that marks the influx of thousands of tourists and locals alike, who collect in one place to celebrate the festival known for bringing together numerous artists and classical dance forms on one platform.
The International Sand Art Festival takes place on the Chandrabhaga Beach where artists from all walks of life showcase their skills by creating art and sculptures out of sand; exhibits made out of stone, bronze and wood are also displayed, making this one of the most fascinating festivals in the state. Chandrabhaga Beach is also the location for the annual Maghe Mela, where Hindu devotees collect on the beach to bathe themselves in the sea water before daybreak, and perform prayers and invocations with the rising of the sun.
What To Eat
A number of good places to eat can be found in Konark, most of which serve local delicacies along with continental cuisine catering to all taste buds. Rice is a staple food in Orissa and is usually a part of every meal time. Some of the local dishes worth trying in Konark are the Pakhala, Mandia Jau, and a variety of Pithas. Fish features prominently in a lot of dishes and meals in Konark and should not be missed, especially the kind that is made Bengali-style.
Some of the best restaurants in Konark are Hotel Chandrabhaga, Waterfront Grill Café, and Sun Temple Hotel.