The iconic Sun Temple at Konark – a Unesco World Heritage Site – is one of India’s signature buildings and Odisha’s raison d’être. Most visitors are day-trippers from Bhubaneswar or Puri, but fine accomodation options along the beaches of the Ramchandi River should tempt more travellers to sleep over. After all, the temple is most majestic at dawn.
Originally nearer the coast (the sea has receded 3km), Konark was visible from far out at sea and known as the ‘Black Pagoda’ by sailors, in contrast to Puri’s whitewashed Jagannath. The inland lighthouse near Chandrabhaga Beach is odd testament to that fact.