Modhera – Count Your Steps
Modhera is a village in Mehsana district of Gujarat, India. The town is well known for the Sun Temple of Chaulukya era. The town is located on the bank of Pushpavati river.
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 after 1026-27 CE during the reign of Bhimadev solnki 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 the bottom and numerous small shrines.
The shrine proper of the Sun Temple was built during the reign of Bhima I of Chaulukya dynasty. 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 defense. On a block in western wall of cella, there is an inscription “Vikram Samvat 1083” upside down carelessly incised in Devnagari script which correspond to 1026-1027 CE. No other date is found. As the inscription is upside down, it evidences the destruction and reconstruction of the cella. Due to the position of the inscription, it is not firmly considered as the date of construction. On the stylistic ground, it is known that the Kunda with its corner shrines was built earlier at the beginning of the 11th century. The inscription is rather considered as the date of destruction by Ghazni instead of the construction. Soon after Bhima had returned to the power. So the temple proper, the miniature and the niche shrines in the tank were built shortly after 1026 CE. The dancing hall was added much later in the third quarter of the 12th century along with the gateways, the porch of the temple proper and the doorframes of the temple and the cella during the reign of the Karna.
The temple is built on 23.6° latitude (approximately near Tropic of Cancer). The place was later known as Sita ni Chauri and Ramkund locally. No worship is offered here now. The temple is the Monument of National Importance and is maintained by the Archeological Survey of India.
Kunda, a tank or reservoir is known as Ramakunda or Suryakunda. The flight of steps through kirti-torana leads to the reservoir. It is rectangular. It measures 176 feet from north to south and 120 feet from east to west. It is paved with stones all around. There are four terraces and recessed steps to descend to reach the bottom of the tank. The main entrance lies on west. There are steps to reach from one terrace to another on right angle to terrace. These steps are rectangular or square except the first step of each flight of steps which is semicircular. Several miniature shrines and niches in front of terrace-wall have images of gods including many Vaishnavite deities and goddesses such as Shitala.
The stepwell on the west of Kunda has one entrance and two pavilion-towers. It is moderately ornamented. The door-frame has lotus and leaves and the ruchaka type pilasters indicate it belongs to 11th century. The small mandapa above the ground level and located on the second kuta of stepwell may belong to 10th century.
Places To Stay: Hotel Shivalik, Mastiff Hotel Becharaji by OTHPL, Hotel Krishna Palace
Things To Do: Windfarm Beach – Visit, Vijay Vilas Palace – Visit, Shyamji Krishna Verma Memorial – Walk Around, Mazar-e-Noorani – Experience Serenity
Places To Visit: Modhera Sun Temple, Surya Kund, Modheshwari Mata Mandir
Location: Modhera, Mehsana District, Gujarat
How To Reach: You will first have to reach Ahmedabad to reach Modhera. You can either opt for a train or a flight till Ahmedabad from where you can take a taxi till Modhera.
Famous For: Scenic beauty