Planning a trip to Gujarat in India? Have you thought about including the beautiful Modhera Sun Temple in your itinerary? Well, you must if you haven’t yet.
It was a long weekend in December, we decided to visit Modhera and Rani Ki Vav, Patan. The Sun Temple Modhera Gujarat is known for its amazing architecture but this time I decided I will make it happen.
After catching an early morning train to Ahmedabad, we caught a bus toward Mehsana. As we reached Mehsana, I was amazed to see the intriguing carved temples from my bus window; and I imagined myself if these temples are so amazing then how beautiful the Sun temple Modhera could be!!
As we embarked on the bus on a lovely winter day towards Modhera, it was about to be noon. We were passing through yellow mustard fields that were on both sides of the road with a cool winter breeze. I couldn’t take my eyes off the endless yellow and green site.
As far as everyone knows, there is one prominent Konark Sun temple in Odisha, India but Sun temple in Modhera, Gujarat is also one of the significant temples dedicated to Lord Sun.
The Modhera Sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Sun(Surya) built by King Bhimdev of the Chalukya dynasty in the 11th century. One more interesting thing to know about the temple is that No worship or Pooja is offered as there is No idol of the sun now on the premises.
But the temple is so beautiful and well-maintained place with manicured Garden area. If you are planning a trip to Gujarat, don’t miss this place.
Sun Temple Modhera Gujarat
The sun temple is located in Modhera village [25kms from Mehsana District] of Gujarat, India on the banks of river Pushpavati, built-in 1026-1027 A.D by King Bhimdev Solanki (believes to be the worshiper of the Sun God). The temple is built in a complex Maru- Gujar style. The surrounding area of Modhera used to be known as Dharmaranya (forest of righteousness) and the place was blessed by Lord Rama.
Modhera Sun Temple Architecture
As I entered the temple complex, I was stunned by the architecture of the temple. The temple appears majestic with a grand structure. The temple is designed in a manner so that the first rays of the Sun fall on the image of Lord Surya.
There was a golden idol of the Sun with Chariot in the temple and also there was a chamber filled with gold. Due to the greed for gold, the temple was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni and damaged the idols of Gods. As Hindus don’t worship broken idols he decayed the holy complex many times. Today temple remains in ruins, but the architectural grandeur does not vanish and attracts lots of people.
While the Sun temple at Konark has been constructed on the wheels of the chariot, the sun temple has been constructed as per the layers of Lotus flower on sandstone. Every single inch of the structure is covered with the sculptural patterns of Gods, Goddesses, birds, beasts, and flowers, etc.
The temple complex consists of three prominent Parts: Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap (Court Gallery), Guda Mandap
As I walked towards the temple first in sight was Surya Kund. It is a rectangular-shaped step well-like structure with steps that form a bathing arrangement. According to the belief of the Hindu religion one has to bath or clean the body before offering a prayer to the deity.
Suryakund consists of 108 small temples which are in accordance with 108 lords’ names mentioned in Hindu articles, mantras, etc. The temples are dedicated to lord Vishnu, Ganpati, Shiva and Shitala Mata (known for the chicken pox goddess) and other small idols of Vaishnav religion.
After you cross the Suryakund or you can say after bathing in Surya kund while going up, two large pillars can be observed. These pillars are named “Kirti Toran” as it shows the sign of respect and glory won by the state in that era. ‘Kirti’ i.e respect, prestige.
Also Read: Places to visit in Gujarat
After passing through Kirti Toran, I entered Sabha Mandap (court gallery).
It is constructed on 52 poles. These poles are decorated and interactively carved with the incidents of ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharat’.
The Gallery means the places where the devotees sing devotional songs with music and where all religious gatherings were performed. The 52 poles are constructed in accordance with a spiritual sense of religion.
After crossing the Sabha Mandap, you will enter the Main temple known as Guda Mandap or Garbh Gruh which was once the house idol of Lord Sun.
The hall is designed in such a way that the idol gets the first ray of the sun on equinoxes. The idol was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni yet the outer walls represent the Lord Sun riding his seven horses with 12 different facets of 12 months of the year.
Many idols are in broken condition on the walls now. Each and every pillar and wall of the main temple contains carvings of sexual and amorous acts that teach how to lead social life in reality from childbirth to death.
This is simply an engineering marvel which depicts the glory of Gujarat in that era.
How to Reach Sun Temple Modhera
Modhera is well connected by Road with Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad to Modhera is 98 km. If you are coming via train, get down to Ahmedabad and take the train to Mehsana. From Mehsana take a short bus/auto ride to Modhera.
Alternatively, you can catch a direct Bus to Mehsana from Ahmedabad and then a bus to Modhera; the bus will drop you at Suryamandir Stop; it’s a walking distance from here to the temple. GSRTC buses have good frequency to Modhera.
Where to Stay
Modhera can be visited as a day trip from Ahmedabad OR you can combine a visit to Rani Ki vav at Patan along with Siddhpur[Victorian era town]. If you are planning to cover the above places at a slow pace, I recommend staying at Patan. Hotel Navjivan near Siddhpur Highway- 10-15 Km from the city, is a clean and comfortable budget stay option [INR 800-900/night] for a night stay.
- Modhera Sun Temple Timings: Everyday 6 AM to 6 PM
- There is one restaurant outside the temple complex for quick snacks and water.
- The bus stand is at a walkable distance from the Sun Temple.