The Sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya located at Modhera village of Mehsana district, Gujarat, India. It is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati. It was built in 1026-27 AD during the reign of Bhima I of the Chaulukya dynasty. No worship is offered now and is protected monument maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. The temple complex has three components: Gudhamandapa, the shrine hall;Sabhamandapa, the assembly hall and Kunda, the reservoir. The halls have intricately carved exterior and pillars. The reservoir has steps to reach bottom and numerous small shrines.
Creator: Bhima I
Address: On Becharaji Highway, Modhera, Gujarat 384212
Contact No. 099743 35693
Timings to visit: 07.00 am to 6.00 pm
History & Significance
The Sun Temple was built during the reign of Bhima I of Chaulukya dynasty in 1026-1027 (Vikram Samvat 1083). Earlier, during 1024-25, Mahmud of Ghazni had invaded Bhima's kingdom, and a force of around 20,000 soldiers had unsuccessfully tried to check his advance at Modhera. Historian A. K. Majumdar theorizes that the Sun Temple might have been built to commemorate this defence.
The place was later known as Sita ni Chauri and Ramkund locally. No worship is offered here now.The temple is Monument of National Importance and is maintained by Archeological Survey of India.
An inside Glimpse of the Temple:
The Sun Temple at Modhera has been divided into three main compartments. The first is the Surya Kund, a fascinating massive rectangular stepped tank. Because of the restoration work that is being carried out here by the Archeological Survey of India, the tank now stands dry.
Small, miniature shrines dot the steps around the Kund. There are 108 of them to coincide with the number considered auspicious by the Hindus.
There are four larger shrines dedicated to Vishnu, Ganesha, Shiva and Sitala Mata.
Then there is Sabha Mandap commonly described as "a magnificent style of pillared splendor". This is the place that was meant for religious gatherings and conferences. Open on all sides with four doorways, the piece de resistance is its unique walnut-shaped ceiling supported by 52 spectacular pillars. Each of these is intricately carved with every inch of available space recounting scenes form Ramayana, Mahabharata etc.
How to Reach:
By road: Distance from Ahmedabad to Modhera is 101 km and it takes around 1.45 hours. From Mehsana it is 26 km.
By rail: The train can take you as far as Mehsana (1.5 hours). Becharaji, situated around 16 km from Modhera, is the nearest railway station. Another convenient railway station from this place is Mahesena. There are regular trains to Ahmedabad from this place.
By air: Nearest airport is Ahmedabad.
Nearby Places to Visit:
Maatangi Modheshwari Temple: The Maatangi Modheshwari Temple is dedicated to Goddess Modheshwari, the Kuldevi or family Goddess of the Modh Community. It is believed that demon Karnat was creating havoc in the region by disturbing the Brahmans during their prayers. For seeking protection from the demon, all the saints went to Shri Mata Modheshwari. On hearing their grievances, she was upset as well as angry and started throwing fire from her mouth, which gave birth to Shri Mata Matangi.