The legend says that King Narasimha Deva-I of the Ganga Dynasty had ordered the temple to be built as a royal proclamation of the political supremacy of his dynasty. A workforce of 12 hundred artisans and architects invested their creative talent, energy and artistic commitment for an exhausting period of 12 years.
The king had already spent an amount equivalent to the state's revenue receipts of 12 years. However, the completion of the construction was nowhere in sight. Then the king issued a final command that the work be completed by a stipulated date. The team of architects headed by Bisu Maharana was at their wit's end. It was then that Dharmapada, the 12 year old son of the chief architect Bisu Maharana, arrived there as a visiting onlooker. He became aware of the anxiety looming large among the architects. Although he did not have any practical experience of temple construction, he was thorough in his study of the theories of temple architecture. He offered to solve the confounding problem of fixing the last copping stone at the top of the temple. He surprised everyone by doing that himself. But soon after this achievement the dead body of this adolescent prodigy was found on the sea beach at the foot of the temple. Legend says that Dharmapada laid down his life to save his community.
The temple was dedicated to the Sun-God(Arka) popularly called Biranchi-Narayan, and the tract in which it is situated was known as Arka-Kshetra as well as padma-kshetra. According to mythology, Samba, son of Lord Krishna, was smitten with leprosy due to the curse of Lord Krishna. Samba for twelve years underwent severe penance at Mitravana, near the confluence of Chandrabhaga river with the sea at Konark, and ultimately succeeded in pleasing the god Surya, the healer of all skin diseases, and was cured of his illness. In gratitude, he decided to erect a temple in the honour of Surya. The day following his cure, while Samba was bathing in the Chandrabhaga, he discovered an image of the god, which had been fashioned out of Surya's body by Viswakarma. Samba installed this image in a temple he built in Mitravana, where he propitiated the god. Since then throughout the ages this place has been regarded as sacred.
Bookmark/Search this post with