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Sun Temple

Sun Temple at Modhera in Gujarat is one of the few shrines that are dedicated to the Sun God. It is one of the tourist attractions in Gujarat, which lures visitors from all over the world. Sited on the banks of Pushpavati River in Modhera, the temple is a magnificent specimen of architecture dedicated to the Sun God.

History

The Modhera Sun Temple was built in 1026 by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty, believed to be the descendants of the heredity of Sun God. In Holy Scriptures like Skanda Purana and Brahma Purana, one can find the mention of Modhera. It was known as Dharmaranya, forest of righteousness and is said to be blessed by Lord Rama.

Architecture

The wonderful architecture of the Sun Temple Modhera is one of its own class. The temple encompasses three different elements which are axially-aligned. The Temple was raided by Mahmud Ghazni; still the architectural splendor is not diminished.

Erected on a high platform, the Temple appears divine with its impressive structure. The temple complex is built in Maru-Gurjara style also known as Solanki style. The exterior walls are decorated with intricate carvings. Every single inch is covered with the sculptures of Gods, Goddesses, birds, beasts and flowers.

Surya Kund is a deep stepped tank in the front of the temple. Named after the Lord Surya (Sun God), in the earlier times, this 100 sq meter rectangular tank was used to store water. Devotees used to take a halt here for ceremonial cleansings before entering the shrine. Almost 108 memorials mark the steps of this tank. They are dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva, Sheetala Mata and many others.

Sabha Mandap refers to an assembly hall where all religious gatherings and conferences were conducted. Open from all the four sides, it has 52 skillfully carved pillars. The intricate carvings depict extracts from the Ramayana, Mahabharata (Indian Epics) and passages from the life of Lord Krishna.

Guda Mandap supported by a lotus-base plinth used to house the idol of the Sun God. The structure is carefully aligned in a way that the idol gets the first glimpse of the Sun at equinoxes. The idol was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni yet the walls represent the Sun God in his 12 different facades of each month. The carved walls also depict the phases of human life like the circle of birth and death.

Festival

The Sun Temple hosts the Modhera dance festival. This festival is organized to keep the Indian traditions and culture alive. Held yearly in the third week of January, the classical dance forms in the premises of this temple revive the legacy of ancient India.

Location:Modhera, Gujarat

Opening Hours:10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entrance Fee: Citizens of India and SAARC and BIMSTEC countries- INR 15 per head. Others- INR 200 per head.

Camera Fee:Free

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