Sun Temple is one of the great example of ancient Indian Architecture. Especially for those who have deep interest in architecture.
Temple is built in sand & stone by Patan’s King “Bhimdeo Solanki”. As he was devotee of Surya Bhagwan (Sun) hence he built SUN TEMPLE in 1026. As it is 991 years old (2017) today.
Sun Temple Modhera, Gujarat
Architecture & Features of Sun Temple : Mandir (Temple) is built on four principles which are :
1. Vastushatra (Architecture)
2. Moksha (Paradise/Heaven)
3. Dharma (Religion)
4. Kama (Work)
Mandir is built in three parts :
2.Sabha Mandap (Meeting Hall)
3.Guda Mandap (Hall where Idol of Surya Bhagwan Placed)
When you go to holy places like Mandir, Gurudwara & when you have to enter with clean body (Taking bath) called Snana and especially clean heart.
There are 108 small balls in Rudraksha Mala. Hence, Big & Small 108 temples are built in Suryakunda.
Five Big Temples in Suryakunda are :
1.Shree Ganesha Temple
3.Vishnu Bhagwan Temple (Sheshnag Avtara)
Other remaining 103 temples are there in Suryakunda.
From first corner, it starts from bhagwan Shri Ganesha. Every indian who believes in god first starts his good work by worshipping Ganesh Bhagwan.
Second one is Shitlamata :
Sell Stone which is used to built this legendary architecture brought from Suryanagara District & Dhanera City at that time.
Men & Women both goes for taking bath together hence arrangement of steps did in such a way that both can walk together. So, every step is divided in two parts. You can see from this photo of Suryakunda ;
You can see here ; height is same when couple walks together hence there will be less chances of accident.
Men walks from – inside
Women walks from – outside direction.
Arrangement of Water at Suryakunda, Sun Temple, Modhera
2000 years ago ; there were a spring water . Water used to come from land. So, it was clean but now due to rain there is water in Suryakunda and deep down 10 ft below and it is dirty right now.
Having Snana (taking bath) in presence of 108 gods is such a fortune for every couple & having Darshana of 108 Gods is such a holy moment.
So, there is a separate track for Pradakshina in Suryakunda.
There are two pillars which are:
Kirti-Torana : It is the symbol of “Samrudhi” (Increase in every aspect like economic, mental, physical)
In 12th century ; Allaudin Khilji attacked on this temple & plundered all the temple. It is renovated in 1975 by government of India.
Temple is purely built on Vastushatra & Science. Four pillars are in four direction that is North, South, East, West.
Main Stambh (Pole) is in East corner as we know sun rises in the east.
Temple’s all bases are carved in Lotus :
And Upper side is carved are Apsara’s from Paradise :
2. Sabhamandap (Meeting Hall)
After taking bath in Suryakunda, everyone was used to sit here; and pray to god in the way of Bhajans & Prarthana.
Pillars are based on calendar year in Sabhamandap. As there are 52 weeks in a year hence 52 pillars are there in Sabhamandap.
On these Pillars many things are carved which are : Mahabharata’s Pandavas are carved.
Ramayana’s Seeta-Apaharan(Kidnapped) scene carved as it is.
Lord Krishna picked Govardhan Hill on his baby finger.
Lord Krishna Bhagwan eats Makhan (Butter) is shown.
Pandav-Kaurava’s (Mahabharata) Tree-Game also carved here.
You can see in upper image ; Bheem (One of Pandav) is moving that tree to bring down Kauravas.
One more scene from Mahabharat is final war between Bheem & Duryodhan. You can see here bheem broken Duryodhan’s Leg and after that Duryodhana died.
Temple’s outer pillars are errosioned due to weather;
Whole temple is built in Sell Stone.
Patan’s king Bhimdeo Solanki’s sideface on square pillar is carved ;
One more sculpture is carved is Ram-Setu. When Lord Rama built worlds first bridge to rescue Seeta Mata on which stones are floating on water when every stone is named “Sri Ram” by Hanuman.
3. Guda Mandap, Sun Temple, Modhera
It is sacred place. Once, this hall is used to house the idol of the Sun God.
It is said that ; Idol was plundered by Alaudin Khilji yet the walls represent the Sun (God) in his 12 different facets of each month.
The carved walls also depicts the aspects of Human Life like vicious circle of birth & death.
Some, Kamasutra positions are also carved in Mandir. The roof over Guda Mandap had shattered.
Modhera Dance Festival
On 3rd week of January every year Govt of Tourism of Gujarat organizes this cultural festival to promote tourism at Sun Temple, Modhera
Garden around Sun Temple
Thank you for Reading, Travellers !