The mesmerising Modhera Sun Temple in Gujarat

An epitome of art, architecture, elegance and history

Culture

Eyetalk

November 3, 2018

/ By / Modhera, Gujarat

Much known for its mythological values the Modhera Sun Temple in the western Indian state of Gujarat, was made in honour of the sun god, Surya. The temple at present is undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India and has been listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Home to countless architecture, religious places, shrines and temples, Gujarat the land of contrasts and colours gives every traveller a huge reason to explore and relish. The region gives a wide angle to frame and date the ancient times fine architecture, buildings that encompass ages, art and craftsmanship that speaks volume of its times.

A temple dedicated to the Sun God

Situated on the banks of Pushpawati river in Modhera, stands as an obsolete temple, which is not worshipped  anymore though, is among the few temples dedicated solely to Aditya or Surya the god of endless energy. This temple was built by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty in 1026.  This beautifully intricate ancient temple of Modhera revives the reminiscences of Konark Sun temple in Orissa. Pillars that recount the ancient stories, scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayan (epic Hindu literature) are intricately carved, raised and erected on the large platform; the temple appears majestic with its grand structure. This mesmerising work of art is another example of man-made magnificence which amuses people from all over the world.

The whole temple stands on a lotus-shaped structure, and every single inch has something to offer. From intricately carved images of the human life-cycle to the erotic figurines from Kamasutra, this temple represents a unique glimpse of our culture. The Sun Temple is skillfully divided into three major sections, the Surya Kund – which is a rectangular shaped beautiful step well right in front of the temple to store the rainwater. Another segment that holds the assembly hall is known as Sabha Mandapa which used to be the place for religious gatherings and ceremonies. The third segment holds sanctum known as Guda Mandap, the main temple which is said to be the most sacred place in the temple. The designing of the hall was intentionally done in such a way that the idol gets the first ray of the sun at equinoxes. One can explore and see each wall with 12 different facets of the sun god (for each month) in Guda Mandap. This religious walk from the Kund to the main Guda Mandap is like a journey in synopsis from ‘Death’ to Moksha (cycle of rebirth).

 

 

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