The Modhera Sun Temple was made by King Bhima I of the Chalukya dynasty in the early 11th century. Sun Temple Modhera’s Gujarat. Temple and its dedication to the Sun God will leave you stunned. The temple was so constructed that during every equinox, the first sun rays would fall on a diamond placed on the Sun God’s head and the entire temple would illuminate in a golden glow.
On other days, two pillars before the garbhagriha would stay illuminated throughout the day, regardless of the position of the sun. All of these can only be left to the imagination now.
History Of The Sun Temple
The Sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya located at Modhera village of Mehsana district, Gujarat. India. It is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati. It was built after 1026-27 CE during the reign of Bhima of the Chalukyas dynasty.
The Temple Complex Has Three Components
The temple complex is built in (Chaulukya style). The temple complex has three axially aligned components; the shrine proper (garbhagriha) in a hall (gudhamandapa), the outer or assembly hall (sabhamandapa or rangamandapa), and a sacred reservoir (Kunda).
The Sabhamandapa is not in continuation with Gudhamandapa but is placed little away as a separate structure. Both are built on a paved platform. Their roofs have collapsed long ago leaving behind a few lower-most courses. Both roofs are 15′ 9″ in diameter but are constructed differently. The platform or plinth is inverted lotus-shaped.
1.)Gudhamandapa, the shrine hall:-
The Gudhamandapa measures 51 feet 9 inches by 25 feet 8 inches. It is almost equally divided into Gudhamandapa, the hall, and Garbhgriha, the shrine proper. Both are rectangular in plan with one projection on each of the smaller sides and two projections on each of the longer sides. These projections on the smaller sides form the entrance and the back of the shrine.
2.)Sabhamandapa, the assembly hall:-
Sabhamandapa or Rangamandapa, the assembly hall or dancing hall is parallelogram in plan with rows of pillars opening entrance on each side diagonally. The extensively carved exterior has a series of recessed corners giving an impression of the star-like plan of it.[There are 52 intricately carved pillars. Madhusudan Dhaky has suggested that the sabhamandapa may have been later addition based on style and construction.
3.)Kunda, the reservoir:-
Kunda, a tank or reservoir is known as Ramakunda or Suryakunda. The flight of steps through kirti-torana leads to the reservoir. It is rectangular. It measures 176 feet from north to south and 120 feet from east to west. It is paved with stones all around. There are four terraces and recessed steps to descend to reach the bottom of the tank. The main entrance lies in the west. There are steps to reach from one terrace to another on the right angle to the terrace. These steps are rectangular or square except for the first step of each flight of steps which is semicircular. Several miniature shrines and niches in front of the terrace-wall have images of gods including many Vaishnavite deities and goddesses such as Shitala.
However, the sabha mandap still stands on 52 pillars, depicting the 52 weeks in year carvings of the sun, along with its unity with the other 4 elements-air, water, earth, and space- can be spotted on the walls. The halls have intricately carved exterior and pillars. The reservoir has steps to reach the bottom and numerous small shrines.
What Is The Specialty Of Sun Temple of Modhera?
The Sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya located at Modhera village of Mehsana district, Gujarat, India. It is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati. It was built after 1026-27 CE during the reign of Bhima I of the Chalukyas dynasty.
No worship is offered now and is a protected monument maintained by the Archaeological Survey Of India. At present, the temple is undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India for renovation and restoration. In 2014, this Modhera Sun Temple was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
There are only 2 sun temples built in India. One is in Konark, Odisha, and others in Modhera, Gujarat.
Who Destroyed Sun Temple Jammu & Kashmir?
Martand is another Sanskrit synonym for Surya. Now in ruins, the temple is located five miles from Anantnag in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The temple was destroyed on the orders of Sultan Sikandar Butshikan, as part of his efforts to forcibly convert Kashmiri people to Islam.
The Tourism Corporation of Gujarat organizes an annual three-day dance festival known as ‘Uttarardha Mahotsav’ at the temple during the third week of January, following the festival of Uttarayan. The objective is to present classical dance forms in an atmosphere similar to that in which they were originally presented.
How To Reach Modhera Gujarat?
By Air: You can fly to the nearest city to Modhera-Ahmedabad-from where regular government bus services are available.
By Train: For the ones boarding a train instead, the nearest railway station is at Mehsana-25 km from Modhera.
By Road: Modhera Sun Temple can be easily reached by boarding a bus or hiring a taxi from anywhere in Gujarat. The Modhera Sun Temple indeed leaves you awestruck. It is one place, amidst all the ruins, where you’ll find a perfect blend of ageless creativity and tremendous hard work.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
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