The beautiful Modhera Sun Temple in Gujarat opens up to the wonders of the sunlight. This awe-inspiring temple has stunned many photographers who come here to capture the beauty of this temple. As the name suggests, the primary deity of this temple is the Sun God. Modhrea Sun Temple is a popular tourist spot. You will often find, history lovers, photography enthusiasts and just curious tourists hovering around the temple. It has a lot of history and anecdotes, all of which echo through the walls of this intricate temple.
The architecture of the Modhera Sun Temple is truly magnificent. You will find yourself gazing at its beauty for hours.
The Modhera Sun Temple came into existence in the 11th Century. It is one of the few temples in India that worships the Sun God. The temple is situated by the Pushpawati river in the Mehsana district. The temple is not functional anymore. No one can worship here and no rituals take place. It is more of a historic tourist attraction that tells many tales.
One such tale speaks about Mahmud of Ghazni who attacked the city of Modhera. Mahmud managed to loot the temple and left it in ruins. The temple was once again renovated, however, it was destroyed by Allaudin Khilji later. There are many other stories, however, one of the states that Mahmud took away the original deity. Since then no worship took place inside the temple.
The Modhera Sun Temple consists of three essential structures that will stand out as soon as you enter. The Surya Kund, the Sabha Mandap and the Guda Mandap.
The temple is a landmark in the Maru Gujarati style architecture. It was popular during the Chalukya reign. To start, walk from the beautiful Surya Kund. The Surya Kund is a detailed step well. Fro, Surya Kund walks towards the Guda Mandapa, which is the main hall. In Hinduism, this walk is called Death to Moksha or nirvana. You will find many tourists following this path to complete the cycle of life.
The Surya Kund is essentially a stepwell water tank. It is right at the start of the temple. In the earlier years, devotees would come here to take a bath and purify themselves. Only after that, they could enter the temple.
When you reach the Surya Kund, your guide will tell you about the 108 small shrines on its steps. It is quite mesmerising to view these holy shrines. They dot the steps and makes the stepwell look even more alluring. It is almost as if you are walking through a town of temples. There is one shrine that worships Shitalamata, the Goddess of Chicken Pox. The story behind this is that whenever a child had chickenpox, The goddess would come with a broom and neem leaves to provide relief to the person.
The Temple also has an intricately carved ceiling. The symmetry in the structure is truly resplendent. You will find flowers and other motifs peaking out of the temple. The detailing is such that you will find yourself staring yourself for more than a minute. One of the biggest crowd-puller in Modhera is the lavish and elegant ceiling. It is almost impossible to pull your eyes away from the beauty that the ceiling radiates.
To witness the ceiling and the pillars in all their glory, you should see them during the sunset or the sunrise. The sun rays slowly touch the pillars and then brighten the ceilings, as it covers it in a hue of gold.
The main hall or the inner sanctum of the temple was made for the idol of the deity. However, since the attacks, the original idol doesn’t exist in the temple anymore. The garbagriha looks like an inverted lotus. The Guda Mandap has an interesting design. It is designed in a way that when the first rays of the sun during the equinox comes out, it first touches the idol. If you are visiting around these two times of the year, then you can witness this.
Walk around the main hall, and you will find many unique cravings. These carvings represent the different stages of human life. They are so beautifully done, that you will be able to piece together a story. You will find vibrant figures of musicians, gods and goddesses all carve on the walls. The walls also depict the Sun God in 12 different ways. Each of these ways is specific to each of the 12 months.
The popular dance festival takes place in the little city of Modhera in Gujarat. While on your Modhera Sun Temple Tour, you can attend this festival to feel all the love and colours that Gujarat has to offer.
It takes place in the third week of January, and people from all over the world come here to dive into the celebrations. This festival is a tribute to all the dance forms in India and will give you a peek into the diverse culture of the country. Everywhere you look you will find a splash of colours and a dash of joy during this festival.
The temple is also lit up beautifully during the Modhera Dance Festival.