Read More on Modhera Sun Temple
The Modhera Sun Temple was built by King Bhimadev I of the Chalukya or Solanki dynasty in the early 11th century. The Solankis were believed to be the descendants of the god Sun or Suryavanshis hence they built this temple to honor the Sun god. The Sun Temple Modhera is an exquisite example of the temple architecture of medieval India. During that period, temple architecture was at its peak in India. On the back wall of the shrine, there is an upside-down inscription written that reads “Vikram Sanwat 1083”.
The Sun Temple Modhera saw many attacks from the invaders. During the reign of King Bhimadev I, the Mahmud of Ghazni attacked the Sun Temple and looted the precious ornaments and idols of deities from the Grabhgriha. After this, Alauddin Khilji attacked the Sun Temple later and looted the temple. At present, the Archeological Survey of India or ASI has undertaken the temple and is working towards its restoration and refurbishment.
The Sun Temple Modhera Gujarat is the perfect example of Maru-Gurajara's architectural style. This style of architecture is also known as the Chalukyan style because it is built by the Chalukya rulers in the early 11th century. It is an excellent portrayal of craftsmanship, precision, and engineering wonders. The temple is built of sandstone and divided into three main parts:
- The central shrine is known as Grabhgriha or Gudamandapa.
- Surya Kund
- Sabha Mandapa
- Gudamandapa- The main shrine of Sun Temple Modhera is erected in a way that looks like an inverted lotus and is divided into a Grabhgriha and Gudamandapa. A panel is carved with elephants on the top of petals. This artwork is known as Gaj-petika. The main doorway of the temple is carved with the images of Surya devta along with some dancers. Surya is seen with two lotuses one in each hand in every sculpture driven by seven horses.
- Surya Kund- Surya Kund which is also known as the Ram Kund is a stepwell-styled water tank in a rectangular and square shape that takes people from one terrace to another. If legends are to be believed then there were a total of 108 temples that were built on the stairs of the Surya Kund in different shapes and sizes. These stair temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva as Nataraja, Lord Vishnu as Shesh Shaiya, Lord Ganesha, and the goddess Sheetla Mata.
- Sabha Mandapa- Sabha Mandapa is an octagonal shape structure that is open from all sides. In the Solanky dynasty, this assembly hall is used for religious functions, public meetings, councils, and performances. The roof of this hall is set on 52 beautifully carved pillars. These 52 pillars depict the 52 weeks of the year.
- Light & Sound Show- Enjoy the light show at Modhera Sun Temple Gujarat after the sunset. The spectacular night view or the illumination of the Sun Temple is breathtaking during the night.
- Sun Temple heritage walk- Take the Sun Temple heritage walk and explore the other attractions inside the premise like Surya Kund and Sabha Mandapa.
- Visit the Modhera Sun Temple museum and know more about the history of the temple.
Tips for visiting
- Don’t forget to bring your cameras with you as photography is allowed in the Sun Temple Modhera complex but not in the main sanctum. Click some amazing pictures with this architectural wonder set as your backdrop.
- Don’t forget to visit the Modhera Sun Temple museum which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India.
- Witness the Sun Temple Modhera Gujarat light show which shows the history of the temple with great light effects.
- Visit the Sun Temple during the Modhera dance festival if you are an art lover.
Best time to visit
You can visit Modhera throughout the year but the summer season can make your trip a little tiring. October to March is considered to be the best time to visit the Modhera as the weather remains pleasant during this time. During January a three-day Modhera Dance festival is held, which attracts millions of tourists across the globe. In this event various folk artists, popular dance artists, and singers take part. If it interests you then you should visit the Sun Temple Modhera at this time.
- Shree Modheshwari Mata Temple
- Ganpati Temple
- Ramji Temple
- Surya Kund
- Hawa Mahel Modhera
- Umiya Mata Mandir
- Bliss Aqua World Resort
Nearby market/ shopping places
Modhera is a small village where only the Sun Temple is found. If you want to do shopping and purchase souvenirs to take back with you then you have to visit Mehsana which is situated at a distance of 25 km from Modhera. Some of the sopping places of Mehsana are mentioned below:
- Sahyog Mall - This is a shopping mall where you can purchase clothes, electronics, and other accessories. Apart from shopping, there are some good eateries and gaming hubs too.
- Mahatma Gandhi Municipal Shopping Center - It is the main shopping center of Mehsana city where you can find a variety of shops from daily household to jewelry shops.
- Ashopalav Market - You can buy all kinds of electronic items here at the best available rates.
- Hotel City Fun Rooms
- Golden Oasis Hotel Becharaji
- Hotel Radhe
- Hotel Desert Inn
- Hotel Krishna Palace
- Hotel Royal Blue
Interesting Facts About Modhera Sun Temple
- The Modhera Sun Temple is located exactly on the Tropic of Cancer due to which, during solar equinoxes, the first ray of the Sun always falls at the feet of the deity situated inside the shrine.
- There are 52 pillars in the Sabha Mandapa of the Sun Temple. These 52 pillars represent the 52 weeks of the Year.
- Modhera Dance Festival also known as the Uttarardh Mahotsav gets its name from the sun moving towards the north (Uttar) when the winter ends.
- Sun Temple Modhera is also mentioned in the Hindu epics like Mahabharata, Ramayana, and other Puranas.