There are three images of the Sun God at three different sides of the temple. These three images of the Sun God are positioned in such a way to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and evening. In the Vedas, Surya is conceived as an unified manifestation of the Brahmanical Trinity

It is probably this conception that the artist had wanted to express in the three images of Surya, on the three sides of Konark Sun Temple.

Pravhata Surya - Morning Sun - The Creator

The First image of Sun God on the the Southern side wall called ‘Mitra’ is described as the Pravhata Surya (Morning Sun or Rising Sun). As the plan of the temple slightly makes an angle with the cardinal directions, the image of the south, is flooded with the rays of the morning-Sun and is therefore significant for its expression of youth and activity, justifying the description of Pravhata Surya. It is decorated with typical set of ornaments on the arms, neck and in the ears. The head-dress is also typical. The waist band is provided with tassels hanging down from it. This is called the avyanga (waist band) and is the Indianised form of Aiwiyonghen the secret waist girdle of the Iranians. The drapery, reaching upto the knee, is wonderfully carved. The hands of the statue holds two full bloomed lotuses, one of which still exists above the right hand of the figure. The bottom of the pedestal is decorated with figures of women in various poses. Some are playing on musical instrument and some are in dancing poses. It is also decorated with the figures of seven horses driven by Aruna, the charioteer of Surya, sitting near the feet of the statue with the reins of the horses in his hands. The King and the Queen are sitting on the pedestal with folded hands and the sword is lying nearby. In the panel two standing figures of male attendants are seen with shields and swords in their hands. His four wives-Rajani, Rikshubha, Chhaya and Suvarsasa are seen just above the two attendants. Bramha and Vishnu are sitting at a little higher level. At the topmost corners of the panel, Vidyadhars are seen offering garlands of flowers from the Heven.

Madhyanha Surya - Mid Day Sun - The Destroyer

The second image of Sun God on the Western side wall called ‘Punsan’ is described as the Madhyanha Surya (Mid-day Sun), standing with full vigour and personality. Decoration of the panel, ornaments and drapery used, the presence of King and Queen, the seven horses and the figure of Aruna are almost similar to the Prabhata Surya (Morning Sun) who also wears upanat (boot). Some describe the Sun with Upanat-Pinaddha-Padayugalam (wearing boots in his both legs). It is stated in the Brihat Samhita, that the Sun God should be dressed in the fashion of a northerner, called Udichyavesa.

Astachala Surya - Evening Sun - The Presever

The third image of Sun God on the the Northern side wall called ‘Haritasva’ is described as the Astachala Surya (Evening Sun or Setting Sun). The figure brings out beautifully the tired expression which is the result of a hard days work, when all the other horses are completely tired, he is any how completing his journey by riding on the back of the last horse who is also found to be stooping with its folded legs.