India > Forts & Monuments >' Orissa
The crowning glory of Oriya temple architecture, the 13th century Sun temple also known as 'the Black Pagoda', comes with a baggage of centuries - old myths and legends. Legends say that Samba, the son of Lord Krishna, was afflicted by leprosy, brought about by his father's curse on him. After 12 years of penance, he was cured by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honor he built this temple.
This Surya temple, which mariners once relied on as a landmark, is constructed at what must have been the great Oriya port city alluded to by Ptolemy in his geography of India. It epitomizes the peak of the skill and talent that the architects and craftsmen of Orissa had achieved in the ‘middle ages’. Its refined style signifies the zenith of centuries of building at reasons : the first, its exquisite sculpture and grandeur; the second, its collection of erotic carvings in the manner of the Khajuraho group.