Eight km away from Konark, the Ramachandi Temple, on the confluence of river Kushabhadra, is a place of worship and also a popular picnic spot. An antique image of Buddha seated in Bhumisparsa Mudra along with the image of Heruka discovered at Kuruma, about eight km, makes this nondescript village an important archaeological Buddhist site.
Located in the Prachi valley, 45 km away from Konark, Kakatapur, this temple is famous for the shrines of Goddess Mangala and Banadurga. Legend has it that direction for reaching the holy log from which is created Lord Jagannath's icon comes from her. It is also the venue of the famous Jhamu Yatra.
The temple of Goddess Barahi at Chaurasi, 35 km, dates back to the 9th century AD. Belonging to the tantrik cult, it has a distinct architecture. The sea beaches at Beleswar (20 km), Balighai (25 km) and Astranga (55 km) washed by the waters of the Bay of Bengal are beautiful sites.
The large Archaeological Museum, near the temple compound, houses sculptures and carvings from the ruins of the Sun Temple. However, much important pieces are displayed at National Museum at Delhi. Timing 0900-1700 hrs, Fridays closed. Entry Rs 5. A 6 m chlorite stone architrave, just outside the temple walls, bearing images of nine planet deities, the navagrahas, originally set above one of the temple's doorways, is now kept as a living shrine. The carved seated figures represent Surya, Chandra, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu.
Along the Puri Road, the Konark Beach is much quieter and you can get to watch local fishing fleet at work. The sunrise at this beach is a feast for the eyes. Tourists generally locate a deserted stretch of white sand to themselves along the Konark-Puri road to sun bathe or picnic under busy casuarinas. Enjoy swimming but beware of the strong currents.
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