Story of Dharmapada - Legend of Konark Temple

The Sun Temple of Konark was built around the 13th century and took 12 years and 12000 artisans to complete. Generations have grown up hearing the immortal story of the little child prodigy-Dharmapada, who could only add the finishing touches to the construction work of Konark Temple and gave his life to save twelve thousand artisans. The throngs of people were stunned to learn that a 12-year-old boy could master the intricacies of building a temple in Odisha that modern architects find incomprehensible.

Picture Courtesy - Sadhana Khamari

The construction work of Sun Temple of Konark was over seen by Sibei Samantray Mahapatra and Bishu Maharana as the chief architect. The soil on which the temple was to be built was originally in such poor condition that the chief architect, Bishu Maharana, who was entrusted with the project, became very upset. There was an agreement between the king and the workers that no one would be allowed to leave until the entire project was completed. 

As the construction progressed, the chief architect Bishu Maharana and his workers encountered difficulties in repositioning the Kalasha (temple crown stone). Meanwhile, the chief architect's son, 'Dharmapada,' came to see his father because he had been away from home for a long time. Dharmapada was born a month after his father's departure, and it had been twelve years, he had never seen his father and his mother never told him much about his father.  On his 12th birthday, he asked his mother for a gift, and she told him about his father and his responsibility to build the Konark Sun Temple near the sea. Dharmapada decided to visit his father and arrived at the construction site after a long journey. He went to the site and didn't take long to spot his father. After meeting his father and other artisans, he discovered that they were dissatisfied and faced a major problem. 

The versatile boy could have known about the real flaw in the final stage of construction from the manuscripts he read as a child. It was only through his sheer genius that the stone that would fit the temple as the key stone or Kalash and keep the temple together could be designed. When his father showed him the structure, he hurried to make the correct stone with him. The key stone was correctly placed and the work was completed within a few hours.

However, the workers on the construction site were afraid that the king would be furious if he found out that a 12-year-old child had completed the work while twelve thousand artisans had failed to do so. The sensitive child climbed and gradually reached the temple's peak. As the first ray of light appeared, the child jumped into the sea and gave his life to save 12000 lives, including his father's. The example of supreme sacrifice laid down by the little child has been passed down through the generations as a tale of inspiration, brilliance, and self-sacrifice for the greater good of society.

Post a Comment