Modhera Surya Mandir, a Poetry on Rocks!

Solanki dynasty is famous for their beautiful temple architecture and Modhera Sun Temple is one of their exquisite display. From Skanda and Brahma Puranas we get to know that the surrounding was known as Dharmaranya and Modhera was a village here, called as Modherak. Puranas also tell of a yagna done here by Lord Rama to purge himself from sin of killing a Brahmin, Ravana. According to Saura Purana this temple was originally made by Samba, Lord Krishna’s grandson and later rebuilt by King Bhimdeva of Solanki dynasty in 1026

I already gave the engineering part of the temple. [CLICK] Here’s the architecture and sculpture part. The Temple consists of three parts – First you have the Surya/Rama Kund, next the Sabha mandapa or the assembly hall and finally the Garbagriha with an attached Guda Mandapa.

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Image Courtesy – Google

Kund consists of the diagonally intersecting steps placed symmetrically on all four sides. Another unique feature is the presence of 108 shrines surrounding the Kund. 108 has always been sacred number for Hindus. Of them there are four major shrines dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva, Shitala Mata & Ganesha. The Sabha Mandapa is an example of stone craft at is best! It consists of 52 pillars symbolizing the no. of weeks in a solar year. Each pillar is a masterpiece depicting episodes from Ramayana, Mahabharata, war scenes, nritikas, musicians etc. Every surface of the Sabha Mandapa is intricately carved and you can watch it for hours yet feel like getting more! The Guda Mandap has sculptures of 12 Adityas or forms of Surya Dev symbolizing the 12 months in a solar year. Each Aditya has 7 horses as his vahana, representing the 7 colors that form white light. The entire structure of Guda Mandapa and Sabha Mandapa appears to float on an upturned lotus. Just above the lotus are 365 elephant sculptures representing 365 days of a year.

Every corner, every niche of the temple is painstakingly transformed into a canvas of beauty. The ornately carved columns, the intricately carved sculptures, everything unbelievably enthralling.  It was wealth that was reason for attack by Mohamad Ghazni and later by Khilji. With such devastating attacks we find ruins inside the temple yet what remains is extremely beautiful and glorifies love of art of Solankis.

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8 thoughts on “Modhera Surya Mandir, a Poetry on Rocks!

  1. Mesmerising! Thanks a ton for sharing. Such a beautiful place, such intricate sculpture designs. Amazing!

    Like

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