Sun Temple Modhera Gujarat History, Architecture & Festivals

Gujarat's Sun Temple: Its History, Architecture, and Festivals



One of the few shrines entirely devoted to Lord Surya is the Modhera Surya Mandir, often called the Modhera Sun Temple in Gujarat. It's a popular tourist destination in Gujarat that draws visitors from all over the world.

This exquisite temple, devoted to Lord Surya, is situated in Modhera on the Pushpavati River. Sun Temple is open from dawn to dusk.

 





Temple of Sun:


The Modhera Sun Temple One of India's most strikingly carved temples is in Gujarat. It is a well-known temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun God. Modhera is a must-see location in Ahmedabad and an essential element of Gujarati history and culture, even though it is no longer a place of worship.

The Modhera Sun Temple provides a wealth of information about Indian culture, stunning architecture, and an engrossing history.

If you have an interest in art, architecture, or history, you should definitely visit this Sun Temple in Gujarat.



What is the background to Sun Temple?


Building the Modhera Sun Temple in 1026 was King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. It had been believed that Lord Surya was the descendant of this temple.

Sacred writings such as the Brahma Purana and the Skanda Purana mention Modhera. It is also known as Dharmaranya or Dharma Vana. According to legend, Lord Rama blessed it.


Architecture

Sun Temple Modhera's stunning architecture is a masterpiece of its kind. Three distinct elements make up the temple, which is all latitudinal.

Mohammad Ghazni attacked and destroyed the temple. The architectural glory has not declined. This temple, built on a high platform and featuring impressive architecture, looks magnificent.

The Maru-Gurjara style was used to build the temple complex. The exterior walls were decorated with intricate carvings. Each inch was filled with intricate carvings depicting gods, and goddesses as well as birds, beasts, and flowers.

Surya Kund Mandir is located in front of a Deep stair tank. This rectangular 100-meter square tank was used to store water in ancient times by Lord Surya (Sun God).

Here, devotees can stop for ritual purification before entering the temple. This tank staircase is marked by 108 monuments.

They had dedicated Ganesha, Shiva, Sita Mata, and many others. Sabha Mandap refers to the Assembly Hall, where all religious meetings and conventions had held. Fifty-two pillars had skillfully carved, open from four sides.

These intricate carvings show excerpts from the Ramayana (Indian epics), and the life of Lord Krishna.

The Guda Mandapam's Lord Surya statue is supported by a lotus pillar. The structure is perfectly aligned so that Equinox's statue gets the first glimpses of the sun.

Mohammad Ghazni took the idol. However, the walls are the sun lord's 12 faces on each month. The walls are carved to depict human life stages, including the birth and death circles.

 

Festivities Celebrated

Modhera Dance Festival is hosted by the Sun Temple Modhera. This festival was organized to preserve Indian culture and traditions. The temple complex hosts classical dance forms that bring back the ancient Indian heritage. It is held every year in the third week of January.


Where to visit Surya Mandir, Gujarat?

The Modhera Sun temple was divided into three latitudinal sections:

Guda Mandapa is the main temple. There's also a Sabha Mandapa assembly hall and Surya Kund, a stairwell-style tank. It was built in Maru-Gurjara, also known as Chalukya style.

You will see the first thing you'll notice when you enter the archaeological site is the stairwell and its adjacent hall. Next, you'll see niche pavilions.

Hindu culture refers to the journey from the Guda mandapa to the stairwell as the "walk from death to salvation". Let's look in detail at each one.

 

Surya Kund, or the Step Well:

Surya Kund, also known as Rama Kund, is a water tank in a step-well design that marks the beginning of the temple complex. Previously, devotees would bathe in this water tank before heading to the main temple.

Surya Kund's unique aspect is the 108 small shrines that are located on its steps. They also dedicated themselves to other Hindu deities such as Nataraja, Ganesha, and Seshasai Vishnu. It is rare and not found in any other stepwells across India.


Sabha Mandapa, or the Assembly Hall:

Continue your tour of Surya Kund by heading towards the Assembly Hall, or Sabha Mandapa. It is octagonal in shape and has an open top. 52 beautifully carved columns representing 52 weeks of each year supported the roof.

These pillars are decorated with Torana arches/gateways at the entry points. It was believed that the assembly hall could be used for religious and public functions as well as meetings.


Guda Mandapa, or the Sanctum Sanctorum

Guda Mandapa is the last structure of the complex. It was originally built to house the sanctum Sanctorum within the temple, as well as the idol of the goddess no longer existing. This hall is also known as the Pregnancy House. It was built on a pillar that resembled an inverted lotus.


Modhera Sun Temple Museum:

Visit the Museum at Modhera Sun Temple to learn more about the history of the site and see the exhibit of archaeological artifacts. You can visit it every day, except Fridays, from 10 AM to 5PM.


Surya Mandir at dusk:

As the sun set slowly, the sky became orange and birds returned to their nests. The silhouette of the Sun Temple became an amazing reminder of its glorious past.

 

Interesting facts regarding Modhera Surya Mandir

  • Mandir Sun Temple can be found exactly in the Cancer constellation.
  • This ensures that the sun's first rays always reach the feet of the goddess at the inner sanctum on equinoxes.
  • The sun follows the same pattern, even though there is an idol at the temple.
  • The 52 pillars in the assembly hall represent 52 weeks of the calendar year.
  • This is the main tourist attraction: The Sabha Mandapam's magnificent, intricately carved roof.
  • It almost looks like you are looking at an upside-down, fully bloomed-flower.
  • The roof construction was complex and could have taken a while.
  • Uttaradh Mahotsav, Modhera Dance Festival, gets its name from the fact that the sun moves north towards the end (or north) of winter.

Best Time to Visit Modhera Sun Temple

Western India is hot during summer. It is best to visit Gujarat in winter when the temperature drops slightly. Modhera is best visited between October and March. The best time to visit Modhera is December-January.

The entire area is now green and there are peacocks around the park. You can also see the Modhera Dance Festival, which is world-famous.

 

Hours and entry fee

Modhera Sun Temple admission is less expensive at INR 25 for Indians, and INR 300 (as of December 2002). Photography is allowed, but tripods cannot be set up on old structures. Drones are not allowed. The temple is open every day from 07:00 to 6:45 PM.

The Archaeological Survey of India also maintains a museum in the Museum. The Museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, except Fridays and holidays. If you are unable to find the Museum, ask one of the custodians. They will direct you to it.

How do I Reach it?

Road: It takes approximately 1.45 hours to travel 101 km from Ahmedabad and Modhera. It's 26 km from Mehsana.

Train: The train takes you to Mehsana (30 min from Mehsana).

Air: The nearest airport to Ahmedabad is Ahmedabad.

Contact and Address

MODHERA, Becharaji, Gujarat.

Phone: +91 2734 284 327.

FAQS

1. Why is the Lord Surya Modhera Temple so famous?

The Modhera Sun Temple was built by King Bhima, a Chalukya dynasty member. It was constructed in the 11th century. It is located in Modhera, district of Mehsana, on the banks of the river Pushpavati.

2. Is Modhera Sun Temple over 100 years old?

The Modhera Sun temple was built in 1026 by King Bhimdev, Solanki dynasty. It had been believed that Lord Surya was the descendant of this temple.

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