The G-20 Summit served as a platform to showcase one of India’s iconic symbols of civilization—the Konark wheel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted global leaders at the Bharat Mandapam, showcasing a replica of the Konark Sun Temple’s wheel. The Konark Sun Temple holds UNESCO World Heritage status, and its wheel symbolizes cultural and historical significance.
This magnificent wheel, known as the Konark Wheel, was crafted during the 13th century during the reign of King Narasimhadeva-I. It stands at an impressive 9 feet in diameter, featuring 8 wider and 8 inner spokes. Installed within the Sun Temple of Konark, Odisha, this wheel consists of 24 smaller wheels arranged in pairs, representing Lord Surya’s sun chariot’s wheels.
The 12 wheels symbolize the months of the year, while the 8 spokes represent the day’s 8 prayers or time divisions. The rotating motion of the IT signifies time, Kalachakra, progress, and the ever-continuing cycle of change.
Legend has it that observers used the Konark sundial to precisely calculate the time of day by tracking the sun’s position. The sundial at the Konark Sun Temple holds profound astronomical significance. Temple architects used astronomy expertise for the sundial, with intricate math accounting for Earth’s rotation and celestial bodies.
The sundial can trace the sun’s path, aligning with its rays to mark seasons and solstices. It was crucial in determining the exact timing of various religious ceremonies and rituals. The Konark Wheel represents India’s rich cultural heritage and symbolizes the democratic ideals and commitment to societal progress. Its presence at the G-20 Summit highlighted India’s cultural diversity and historical legacy on the global stage.
Notably, a Konark Wheel replica adorned Times Square, NYC, by Chef Vikas Khanna, showcasing India’s rich culture.
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