Konarak is the site of the 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), built in black granite by King Narasimhadeva-I. The temple takes the form of the chariot of Surya, the sun god, and is heavily decorated with stone carvings. The entire complex was designed in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven horses on twelve pairs of decorated wheels. The entrance is guarded by two lions, which are each shown crushing a war elephant. Each elephant in turn lies on top of a human body. The temple symbolizes the majestic stride of the sun god. At the entrance of the temple is a Nata Mandir. This is where the temple dancers used to perform dances in homage to the sun god. All around the temple, there are various floral and geometric patterns. There are also human, divine and semi-divine figures in sensuous poses derived from the Kama Sutra. The temple is now partly in ruins, and a collection of its sculptures is housed in the Sun Temple Museum, which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India.
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