Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat
is an amazing temple dating back to the 11th century, and it was wonderful to visit it during the Ahmedabad trip. It's about 100 km. from Ahmedabad and it took a little more than two and a half hours to reach it.
It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty.
Here's the explanatory sign, in Hindi:
I liked seeing the colourful clothes of people in front of the ancient carvings.
Flights of pigeons add to the beauty of the temple:
The Suraj Kund is a beautiful stepped "tank" or reservoir of water:
Photography is a must!
108 miniature shrines are carved in between the steps inside the tank. Also number 108 considered to be auspicious by Hindus as Hindu rosary has same number of beads.
Two huge ornamental arches called Toran forms a gateway to the Sabha Mandap (assembly hall)
Here's a small shrine in the grounds.
Here's a Nandi (sacred bull) facing Shiva's shrine:
Hanuman,the son of the Wind God Vayu, is usually depicted in red or orange in North India:
Here's one of the shrines:
The Sabha Mandap is the main shrine:
I was struck to read that the entire temple is based on an inverted lotus-base plinth. It was designed so that the rays of the rising and setting sun on the day of equinox (20 March and 21 September generally) fell on the bejeweled pure gold idol of Sun riding on his chariot driven by the"saarthi", Arun. The Sun's chariot has seven horses and Saarthi Arun sits on the fourth. The entire gold idol (including the charioteer, chariot and horses) was placed on a pit that was 15 feet deep and filled with gold coins. The temple was built by the Solankis in honour of their ancestral God. It was plundered by Muhammad Ghazni. The entire gold idol was, allegedly, taken away by him.
I could not find any gold, Muhammad Ghazni, had been there before me... but I certainly loved the dazzle of Surya Narayana, Himself, at His temple:
Here's the Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap:
The sculpture everywhere, is elaborate and intricate:
Sculpture of an elephant hunt
Detail of a pillar
Here's the central cupola:
Outside, in the grounds, are hapazardly-piled up treasures, some of which I clicked.
I enjoyed seeing youth and age soaking up the atmosphere together.
This beauty aligns her body tribhanga (standing with three bends of the body):
I loved the delicate detail of the arch:
Here are the colours of humanity against the sculptures:
At the fence which separates the temple from the temple from the Pushpavati river, this Red-vented Bulbul looked beautiful...
On the Pushpavati River, this Black-winged Stilt went about its work, while its mate nested in the weeds, and a Red-wattled Lapwing showed its head:
A Jungle Babbler probed the bark of a tree:
Devotees took their ease in the shade:
Here's my group of friends:
Let me end with a photo of these smaller shrines, peaceful under the trees:
Hope you enjoyed your e-trip to the Sun!