July 28, 2022

Modhera’s Sun Temple

Why in News?

Ahmedabad Railway Station at Kalupur (Ahmedabad) will be developed on the pattern of Modhera Sun Temple in the next five years.

About Modhera Sun Temple

• Modhera Sun Temple located at Modhera village of Mehsana district near Ahmedabad is dedicated to the Sun deity. It is situated on the banks of river Pushpavati.

• Sun temple of Modhera is the most important among all the Sun temples built in the whole of Gujarat. Apart from this temple, there are two another prominent Sun temples, one is Martand Sun temple (Kashmir) and second is Konark Sun temple (Orissa).

• It was built in honour of Sun deity during the reign of Chalukya ruler Bhima I in 1026-27 AD. The remains of this splendid architectural monument still show glimpses of grandeur.

• Modhera, also known as Mundera or Modherapura, is said to be a settlement of the Modha Brahmins. In mythological point of view, this temple has association with the Ramayana. It is also believed that on the occasion of marriage of Rama and Sita, Modha Brahmins received Modhera.  

• This temple has three main parts – sanctum sanctorum and Gudhamandapa, assembly hall (sabhamandapa) and Suryakunda.

• The main temple consists with a sanctum and an ornate mandapa which is called gudhamandapa.

• The hall of the temple is an octagonal chamber. Toranas installed in it seem to welcome the devotees. There are exquisite carvings on the pillars of the hall. Also, there are semi-circular parts between the pillars, which are called mandovara. Vimana and Shikhar of the temple are seen separately from this structure.

• 52 pillars have been installed in the hall, which represent the 52 weeks of a solar year.

• There is a Suryakund or step well type structure at the eastern end of the temple complex, which is called Ramkund. Many small temples are built on its steps which are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Ganesha, Vishnu etc.  

• The structure of this Sun temple has been done in such a way that at the time of equinox i.e. on 21st March and 21st September, the first ray of sun falls on the idol located inside the sanctum sanctorum.

• Elephant sculptures have been made on the inverted lotus base. It is called Gaja Patika.

• A unique feature of this temple is that lime has not been used anywhere as adhesive.

• Apart from this, the famous temple of Matangi Madeshwari Mata is also located here. The original temple is in step-well. People of Modha community worship Mata in the form of family deity.