Sun Temple and Surya Kund, Modhera
A sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya. The Sun Temple Konark on the east coast in the state of Odisha is highly popular. The second famous sun temple is the one located at Modhera village of Mehsana district, Gujarat, India. You can see beautiful intricately carved exterior and pillars inside this temple.
Sun temple of Modhera is situated on the bank of Pushpavati river. This is believed to be built on 1026-27 AD during the reign of Bhima I from the Chaulukya dynasty. This is now protected as a monument and maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. Currently there is no worship offered.
Architecture of Sun Temple Modhera
The temple is well built using the locking system that is said to be earthquake resistant method. It is built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. So that the structure would shake but not fall during an earthquake. This is located on the tropic of cancer that passes through India.
The Sun temple of Modhera has three main parts:-
- Gudhamandapa, the shrine hall
This is the main sun temple with a Garbhagriha and a mandapa. It is called Guda Mandapa. This is made in a way that first rays of sun fall on the idol of Sun in Garbhagriha on the days of equinoxes and this is an engineering wonder. The temple looks like an inverted lotus and there is a top panel carved with Elephants called Gaj-petika. You can see entire life cycle of a human being from birth to death carved here. There are total 12 idols of Parvati in her various forms and 12 idols of Sun.
The List is Deities of 8 directions
- North – Kubera, the lord of wealth
- North-East – Rudra – a form of Shiva
- East – Indra or lord of Rains
- South-East – Agni or lord of Fire
- South – Yama, God of death
- South-West – Nairiti – a form of Shiva
- West – Varun or lord of water
- North-West – Vayu or Lord of Air
This is the assembly hall which was used to conduct meetings. This is a diagonally arranged octagonal hall with magnificent carved pillars (52 pillars indicates 52 weeks in a solar year. carrying Torana arches. They are arranged in special alternate triangular and semi- circular designs. You can see beautiful scenes carved from Ramayana, Mahabharata & Krishna Leela.
- Kunda, the reservoir with steps to reach bottom
This stepped water tank reflects the temple in the waters and it looks mesmerizing.
Surya Kund at Sun temple Modhera
This is a huge water tank which is a stepwell on the eastern edge of Sun temple complex. This is facing the Sabha Mandapa and there are pyramid shaped steps on the steps which makes intriguing geometric patterns.
You can see Turtles live in the waters of this tank. This reservoir is also called Ramakund as the legend of Rama associated with the place. There were originally 108 shrines. Unique feature of this water tank is presence of big and small temples on its steps and these are as follows:-
- Temple has Vishnu on Shesh Shaiya located on the step directly opposite to the temple
- Temples dedicated to Ganesha and Shiva as Nataraja
- Temple is dedicated to Shitlamata – the goddess of Chicken Pox and she carry a broom in one hand and Neem leaves in another
How to Reach Sun temple of Modhera?
It is located in Modhera village which is 26 km from Mehsana. This is also 106 km from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India. You can easily reach Modhera Sun Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from anywhere in Gujarat. Time to visit is from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
- By road: Distance from Ahmedabad to Modhera is 106 km and you need 1.45 hours. From Mehsana it is 26 km.
- By rail: The train can take you as far as Mehsana (time is 1.5 hours).
- By air: Nearest airport is Ahmedabad
Modhera Dance Festival
The Modhera dance festival is famous and held in the third week of January every year. You can see classical dance forms in the premises of this temple at this time. Gujarat Tourism organizes this event to promote tourism.