Sun Temple or Surya Mandir at Modhera, Gujarat

By Mridula Dwivedi March 2, 2016 40 Comments , , ,
sun-temple-surya-mandir-modhera

As we took a turn to a side road near the town of Modhera, nothing indicated that we were close to the grand Sun temple or Surya Mandir at Modhera, Gujarat. Modhera wears a sleepy town look, which it is probably. The by-lane was dusty like it would be in any other place but the temple is stunningly grand!

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The Sun Temple of Modhera, Gujarat

The Sun Temple at Modhera was built by King Bhimdev of the Solanki Dynasty in 1026 AD. The temple as the name suggests worships Sun as god. There are no prayers offered here anymore though.

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The Surya Kund at the Sun Temple, Modhera

The temple has three main elements the surya kund (water tank), Sabha Mandap (common hall) and Guda Mandap (the prayer hall). I was quite fascinated by the surya kund because of its little stairs.

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Isn’t it Gorgeous?

There are small shrines all around the tank. But I loved were the little steps, which would allow me to get down to the tank and then vanish up again, marveling all along at the symmetry of the place!

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The Sabha Mandap, Sun Temple, Modhera

The sabha mandap or the gathering hall was used for religious gatherings. The pillars have carvings from the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata. They were reciting those stories in 1026 and we still know them in 2016! Those texts and the stories surely refuse to fade!

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The Main Temple, Sun Temple, Modhera

The main temple used to contain a statue of the Sun God but it is lost to time now. At equinox the first rays of the sun used to fall on the statue. The pillars are intricately carved. Like other sun temples in India they have erotic scenes here as well.

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The Carved Pillars

I could have gazed at the stories carved in stone for a while, but I would invariably run back to the water tank!

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Built to Last, The Sun Temple, Modhera

And if I would not run around the tank I would try to catch it from the premises of the temple itself! There was a big group of college students here and yet, we all could find a corner and not tread on each-other’s toes.

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The Shiva Temple within the Premises

There is a small Shiva temple next to the Sun Temple within the premises. I could not gather much about its significance though.

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There are Ramps for Access on the Premises!

Other than the temple I was quite impressed by a few other things I saw, the ramp access was obviously one. There was a functional washroom on the premises. Outside the temple there is a basic canteen too.

Modhera is about 101 kilometers from Ahmedabad. We took a short detour to the temple while coming back from the Little Rann of Kutch.

PS. I was invited on this trip by Gujarat Tourism Board.

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40 thoughts on “Sun Temple or Surya Mandir at Modhera, Gujarat”

  1. Stunning indeed is the right word to describe it. Looks like one of the little known gems that could become a great attraction with the right marketing push… I loved the pictures of the Suraj Kund… can certainly relate to you running back to it again and again 🙂

  2. The temple is just too beautiful. Lovely pictures and description. I have to repeat myself – You are making me nostalgic. Have to plan a trip soon

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I am Mridula Dwivedi, I love to travel! I started my travel blog in 2005. I have been going places since! For more details do check out my media kit! In another life I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur. I was a professor when I quit my job in 2015.

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