Monday, August 1, 2011

The Kalinga War

The place shown in the picture is the bank of the river Daya near Dhauli Hill. On the way to the Sun Temple we came across this place where it is said that the Kalinga war (265- 264 BC) was fought.

 The Kalinga war resulted in casualties of around 100,000 men on the Kalinga side and 100,000 on king Ashoka's side. Legends also say that the river Daya was turned  red with blood. The sorrows of the war victims  transformed king Ashoka into a great, kind hearted Buddhist monk.

I don't know if he could  achieve salvation , but he made great contribution in promoting peace and harmony through Buddhism. I wish that we could learn from  history and not keep repeating bloodsheds and war.The world needs more peace than nuclear armaments and I hope that the transformation takes place sooner.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sun,god and the myth- Sun Temple

Finding an old neighbour when you are few states away from your home, is not a mean feat. Near by the Jagannath Temple in Puri, I met Dr. Sharma, a lecturer and an old neighbour who shifted to Orissa  few years back. After a feast of a special street food  he promised to accompany me to Sun Temple, Konark. Let me tell you, Dr.Sharma ,a Doctorate in History has more knowledgeable stuff in his head,than that what he has in his large tummy.

After a 35 Kms drive we reached Konark. He told me that the temple was built to celebrate the victory on Muslims by Narashimhadev in 13th century. 


Sun temple is a magnificent structure of a chariot of the sun god with 24 wheels and seven horses dragging the temple. Two lions guard the entrance, crushing elephants.


Intricate carvings of Khajuraho like sensuous sculpture are also present on the wall.The main temple was constructed in such a way that dawn light would illuminate the presiding deity (it was moved to Jagannath Temple in  17th century).

As the beauty sometimes insinuates mystrey,the air at the temple has that similar esotericism. An ancient temple where prayer bells never rang, a structure, that during the British era diverted the directions of the ships and a marvel which albeit in its dilapidated state, possesses the same grandeur, has much to explore and many mythologies to believe........