Tuesday, April 05, 2011

India part 28b: Konark

To the famous Sun Temple at Konark, which is inevitably spelt with an extra 'a' ("Konarak") if you say it out loud to a local. It puts Mamallapuram's Shore Temple to shame, frankly. Our bus from Puri broke down on the way, which was quite a relief, because it was incredibly cramped and hot, and I felt a bit weird listening to Nicki Minaj cussing in my headphones while standing next to a demure Indian lady holding a baby. We managed to jump in a taxi - the bus was never going to be fixed in under two hours, whatever was wrong with it - with an American couple who liked rock-climbing and an English woman whose next stop was South America - she said she'd been offered a job as a weathergirl there.

Just a warning, before you scroll down: some of the temple's carvings are enough to make a Premiership footballer blush. Or, as the Rough Guide puts it:

Konark, like Khajuraho, is plastered with loving couples locked in ingenious amatory postures drawn from the Kama Sutra - a feature that may well explain the comment made by one of Akbar's emissaries, Abul Fazl, in the sixteenth century: "Even those who are difficult to please," he enthused, "stand astonished at its sight."

Or am I seeing an innuendo that isn't there? Here's what it all looked like, anyway.

Sun Temple wheel

Woman at Sun Temple

Dragon at Sun Temple

Sun Temple filth

Photographer at work

Sun Temple scaffolding

Smile for the camera

Sun Temple spit-roast sculpture

Flowers and sculpture

Wheel B&W

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