Built during (1026-1027) the reign of King Bhima I (1022-1063) of the Chalukya dynasty, in Mehsana, Gujrat. Modhera Sun Temple stands on a beautiful Lotus shaped structure on the bank of Pushpavati River.
This glorious piece of art is a tribute to the Solar deity. It’s richly carved sandstones are designed in Maru-Gurjara architecture style. This monument reflects history and culture in its every element. “A weaver of dreams” was the phrase mentioned by one of the historians named Percy Brown in honor of the unknown architect of this exquisite temple.
Having raised near the Tropic of Cancer, it is said that it has been built in such a way that, during solar equinox, the very first sum beam used to light up the sanctum with the now missing Surya image and also during the summer solstice the sun shines straight on top of the temple casting no shadow of the structure. It’s charm was indeed dreamlike.
Besides this sun temple modhera is also said that during equinox when sun rays fell on the diamond placed over Sun God’s head, the entire temple depicted a beautiful mélange of light and colours. While on normal days regardless of the position of sun, two pillars of Garbhagriha reflected glints of light.
The temple is divided into three entirely different sections:
- Surya Kund: A deep tank right in front of the temple which was used to store water. It is believed that there was an underground spring beneath it.
- Sabha Mandapa: In other words a conference hall. It is a place where pilgrims used to gather and pray. Sabha Mandapa also had some slabs and benches constructed into the walls for pilgrims to sit and relax.
- Guda Mandapa: It was the sanctum sanctorum surrounded by pillars, where the erstwhile idol of Sun God was placed. This was the section which was heavily plundered by Mahmud Ghazni.
The walls of this beautiful temple are adorned with carvings from Mahabharata to Ramayana and messages from Vedas to Kamasutra. But unfortunately, today this temple cannot be relished at its full glory.
When Mahmud Ghazni plundered it, he ruined it of many of its incredible features. India has few other famous Sun Temples like Konark Temple of Orissa, but it is a very interesting fact that Modhera Temple was built before Konark sun Temple. This majestic monument is indeed a must visit during your trip to Gujrat.
- It can be reached by air, train or road.
- The nearest airport to Modhera is in Ahmedabad, from where bus service is frequently available.
- The nearest railway station to Modhera is 25 kms away.
- Buses from all across Gujrat are well connected to the Modhera.