The lower section of the original deul (sanctuary) to its East, once over 60 m tall, dominates the landscape for many kms. To the southeast of the deul are the remains of the Mahagayatri Temple while behind this structure is Vaishnava Temple and many a foundations of other structures.
The entire temple was conceived as the celestial chariot of Surya, the Sun-god. Drawn by seven galloping horses (only one is still intact), which represent the days of the week, while the 12 wheels ranged along the base stand for the 12 months. The eight spokes in the each wheel symbolize the eight prahars of the day.
The platform (3.9 m high) rests on a low upana (the plinth) with three broad flight of steps, facing North, South and East doors of the porch leading to its top. Running right round the base of the temple, the facade of the upana has extraordinary friezes featuring military processions, hunting scenes, elephants uprooting trees, feeding young ones, men attempting to capture elephants, journeys, rows of athletes, lady cooking and more secular scenes of every day life. Among the animals carved, the presence of a giraffe on the southern side, significantly points to the trade links with Africa during the 13th century.
The facade of the platform is richly carved bearing a well molded base. The platform is divided into the same five horizontal layers that characterize the temple itself. These are richly ornamented with creepers and scrolls, and end with tiny motifs of chaitya windows.
The lower jangha of the bada is spaced with upright slabs containing miniature representations of temples with 'khakhara-mundis' (wagon-vaulted roofs), which contain niches. Set into these niches are mainly figures of women--a lady leaving for pilgrimage, washing hair, playing the veena, and caressing a bird.
The slabs between are boldly relieved with various motifs, erotic couples and voluptuous young women flaunting their beauty in various inviting postures, some are of nagas or nagins depicted with a human bust, a multi-hooded canopy and the tail of a snake.
Above the middle of the platform, the upper jangha are large pancha ratha pilasters, elaborately sculpted, sometimes with religious scenes such as images of Mahishasuramardini (Shakti cult), Jagannatha (Vaishnava cult) and a Linga (Shiva cult) enshrined in a temple, indicative of a religious tolerance prevailing at that time for different sects.
Other sculptures show a king seated on an elephant, a hermitage delivering discourse to a group of nobles or princes whose mounts (elephants and horses) are shown standing below the pavilion and the simple family scenes. The top molding of the platform, even though severely damaged, separated by a narrow recess, are decorated with motifs of marching armies, hordes of elephants and the royal court.
The intricately carved wheel (2.9 m in diameter) of the chariot, on the face of the jagamohana, is shown with its axle, a decorated hub and even an axle pin. The hub of the wheel is decorated with beaded rings and a few of lotus-petals. In the center of spokes are richly carved medallions with gods such as Surya and Vishnu, erotic and amorous figures, kanyas in various mudras (poses), noblemen and animals.