The Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat, 141213

December 20, 2013



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: DSC04821 I liked seeing the colourful clothes of people in front of the ancient carvings. DSC04926 Flights of pigeons add to the beauty of the temple: DSC04898 The Suraj Kund is a beautiful stepped "tank" or reservoir of water: DSC04865 DSC04836 Photography is a must! DSC04838 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) DSC04864 Here's a small shrine in the grounds. DSC04901 Here's a Nandi (sacred bull) facing Shiva's shrine: DSC04862 Hanuman,the son of the Wind God Vayu, is usually depicted in red or orange in North India: DSC04860 Here's one of the shrines: DSC04859 The Sabha Mandap is the main shrine: DSC04841 DSC04894 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: DSC04858 Here's the Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap: DSC04839 The sculpture everywhere, is elaborate and intricate: DSC04905 DSC04857 DSC04856 DSC04853 DSC04852 DSC04851 DSC04850 DSC04849 DSC04846 Sculpture of an elephant hunt DSC04847 DSC04842 Detail of a pillar DSC04845 Here's the central cupola: DSC04848 Outside, in the grounds, are hapazardly-piled up treasures, some of which I clicked. DSC04913 DSC04912 DSC04871 DSC04911 I enjoyed seeing youth and age soaking up the atmosphere together. DSC04909 This beauty aligns her body tribhanga (standing with three bends of the body): DSC04907 I loved the delicate detail of the arch: DSC04906 weathered stone DSC04905 Here are the colours of humanity against the sculptures: DSC04898 DSC04893 At the fence which separates the temple from the temple from the Pushpavati river, this Red-vented Bulbul looked beautiful... DSC04890 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: DSC04875 DSC04882 Cormorants fished... DSC04877 A Jungle Babbler probed the bark of a tree: DSC04869 DSC04884 Devotees took their ease in the shade: DSC04854 Here's my group of friends: DSC04825


Let me end with a photo of these smaller shrines, peaceful under the trees:


Hope you enjoyed your e-trip to the Sun!