Monday, 12 January 2015

Sun Temple, Modhera

The Sun Temple, Modhera, at Modhera in Gujarat, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. It is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. This was the time when Somnath and the adjoining area was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni and reeled under the effects of his invasion. The Solankis, however, regained much of their lost power and splendour. Anahilvad Patan, the Solanki capital, was restored to glory. Royalty and traders jointly contributed to build grand temples.

Solankis were considered to be Suryavanshi, Gurjar or descendants of Sun god. The temple was so designed that the first rays of the sun fell on the image of Surya, the Sun God, at the time equinoxes.
The temple is partially in ruins after it was also finally destroyed by the Allauddin Khilji.
However, enough has remained of the temple to convey its grandeur.
In the present times, prayers are not offered in this temple. This temple is now under the supervision of Archaeological Survey of India.

How to Reach : 
The Temple is located in Modhera a Small village 25 km from Mahasana and 102 km from Ahmadabad, Near by Airport is Ahmadabad  ( Map location is given at the end of this post ) you can travel by your own vehicle or by RTC Buses from Ahmadabad & Mahesana.

Visiting Tips :
Start early in morning Spend min.2-3 hours for site visit. you must hire some Guide with you, they charge some where around Rs.150 to 250, without them you will not able to understand anything about sculptors. We hired Mr.Vipul Raval ( +919924888505) he give us very good information of the site & we had a good time with him. while returning we planned for Becharji Temple 18 Km. away from Modhera, there is nice temple of Bechar Mataji.

Facility :
Food, Water and Toilets are available on the site, you can also enjoy traditional Gujarati food out side.
Parking Facility is also available outside site. (Rs.20/- Car Parking)

Ticket counter is Just next to Entrance of the site (Entry Ticket is Rs.5/- Below 14 Years is free.)

Entry Gate & Ticket Counter

Way towards Site

The Sun temple is of a unique architecture. The temple comprises three separate, axially aligned and integrated elements: Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap.

Top view of Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap

Surya Kund
This Surya kunda, also known as Rama kunda, is a large rectangular stepped tank measuring 53.6 x 36.6 meters under the east face of sabhamandap used to store pure water. Devotees were required to perform ceremonial ablutions here before worshiping the Sun God.
The Suryakund is a finest example of geometry. The organization of stone into composition gives shape to a dazzling pattern of art. It is proportioned with innumerable stone steps leading devotees down to its base. 108 miniature shrines are carved in between the steps inside the tank. Also number 108 considered to be auspicious by Hindus as Hindu rosary has same number of beads.
There are four terraces to descend to reach the bottom of the tank. Small pyramid-shaped steps are for each terrace. God and Goddess depicted in immortalized stone unfold the sculpture wealth: Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, Lord Natraj, Sitlamata's presence a marvel created during Solanki era. Two huge ornamental arches called Toran forms a gateway to the Sabha Mandap.

Entire Kund is built with Triangular structures
Reflaction in Water
A very fine art work on one of 108 temples around Surya Kund

Sabha Mandap
This hall of religious gatherings is a magnificent pillared hall. It is open from all sides and has 52 intricately carved pillars representing 52 weeks in a year. The carvings depict episodes from the Hindu epics of Ramayan, Mahabharat and Krishna Lila (i.e., story of Lord Krishna).
Between the Sabha Mandapa and the sanctum sanctorum is a beautiful hall with pillars and arches, whose facade has been renovated and partially redone. The walls have 12 niches showing the different aspects of the Sun God in each month.

View of Sabha Mandap From Front Side
Carvings Apsara on pillars of Sabha Mandap
Dome of Sabha Mandap Restored By ASI
Carvings on ceiling of Sabha Mandap
Beautiful Arch in Sabha Mandap
View of Main Temple from Sabha Mandap
Sabha Mandap
Sanctum Sanctorum
This is called the main temple or the sanctum sanctorum. Lotuses open with sunrise and close itself with sunset; it is considered to be the sun's flower. The entire temple is therefore based on an inverted lotus-base plinth. It was designed so that the rays of the rising and setting sun on the day of Summer solstice 21st June and NOT equinox (20 March and 21 September generally) fell on the bejeweled pure gold idol of Sun riding on his chariot driven by Saarthi Arun. Sun's chariot has seven horses and Saarthi Arun sits on the fourth. The entire gold idol (including the charioteer, chariot and horses) was placed on a pit that was 15 feet deep and filled with gold coins. It was built by the Solanki’s in honour of their ancestral God. It was plundered by Mahmud Gazni. The entire gold idol was taken away by him.

Top View of Sabha Mandap & Main Temple
Entrance of Main Temples
Outside Stricture of Sabah Mandap & Main Temple
Dome of Main Temple ( Bats Hanging on it)
The exterior of the temple walls has 12 different postures of Adityas - Sun God along with eight Dikpals, Lord Vishwakarma - who constructed Golden Dwarka city for Shri Krishna, Varundev - God of Water, Agnidev - God of Fire, Ganesh - God for starting, Mata Saraswati - Goddess of Education & Wisdom. Also seen Samundra manthan.
Lord Vishwakarma
Surya Dev 

Devi Parvati 
Indra Dev with Airavat 
Devi Sarswati Holding Veena

We found a Pair of Owls Sitting on Branch Behind this complex 

Pair of Owls
There is one Shiva Temple is Located near site, Specialty of his that this temple is having six lings of Shiva.

Shiva Temple
A Nice and big green garden area is also maintained by ASI.

Garden near site
 There is one small Archaeological Museum is also maintained near site.

Some Broken Remains is kept on the way towards Museum 
Entrance of  Museum 
Inside view of  Museum
Inside view of  Museum
Ganesha Idol at  Museum
Do visit this site to have this amazing experience by your own.

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  1. Lovely pictures. Sun Temple is famous for its magnificent architecture, which is still awe-inspiring after so many centuries. It is thought to be one of the best constructed devotional places in western India. Check out more details about Modhera Sun Temple.

  2. Hello,
    Great post. Thanks for update good images and articles.

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