Sun Temple - Modhera


The Sun temple of Gujarat is situated at Modhera. It is akin to the Sun Temple at Konark and is dedicated to the Sun God, Lord Surya. Though the temple has lost its glory of the yore, it is still an architectural and art master piece. The temple serves as the venue for the Dance Festival held in January each year. It was built in 1026 AD by the Solanki King Bhimdev I of Patan. The Solankis were Suryavanshis, the descendents of Sun God and therefore built this temple in the honor of Lord Surya. However, the temple was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni.


Devotees perform ceremonial ablutions here before worshipping the Sun God. The structure of temple consists of Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap. Sabha Mandap is big hall used for meeting and conference. Sabha Mandap is open from all sides. Guda Mandap is the original temple of Lord Sun where rays of the rising sun fall directs on image of Lord Surya.

Modhera or Modherapura also known as Mundera is said to have been the original settlement of modha Brahmans. Having its legendary past relating to the Ramayana it is further believed that modha Brahmans received Modhera as a krsnarpana on the occasion of the marriage of Rama and Sita. According to the Skanda Purana (3.2.40-67) after defeating Ravana, Lord Rama consulted Muni Vasishta to show him a place of pilgrimage where he could go and purify himself of the sin of Brahma hatya (the slaying of a Brahman). The Muni showed him dharmaranya.

From the point of view of structural designing, the sun temple at Modhera is truly the one of its kinds. The Modhera sun temple encompasses three main chambers, namely Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap. Surya Kund is basically a beautifully carved stepped tank that was named after Sun God. Sabha mandap is the hall, where people gather for discussions on religious topics. Guda Mandap is the sanctum sanctorum, also known as the main temple.

One of the most striking features of the Modhera Sun temple is that the first ray of the sun falls on the deity at the time of the equinoxes. The temple has a unique architecture and consists of a number of other magnificent buildings in the vicinity. The main buildings are the Surya Kund, the Sabha Mandap and the Guda Mandap (Sanctum Sanctorum). Apart from this, there is a beautiful hall in between the Sabha Mandapa and the Sanctum Sanctorum. It has remarkable pillars and arches and shows the different aspects of the Sun God in each month.


Location info:

Address:Pushpavati river in Modhera,Gujarat,India
District: Mehsana
Nearest City: Ahmedabad
Best time to visit: October to March


Summers 23°- 44°C. Winters 10°-36°C


According to the Skanda Purana and Brahma Purana, the areas near Modhera were known during ancient days as Dharmaranya (literally meaning the forest of righteousness). According to these Puranas, Lord Rama ,after defeating Ravana, asked sage Vasistha to show him a place of pilgrimage where he could go and purify himself from the sin of Brahma-hatya (the sin of killing a Brahmin, because ravan was a Brahmin by birth). Sage Vasistha showed him Dharmaranya, which was near the modern town of Modhera. In the Dharmaranya, he settled at a village Modherak and performed a yagna there. Thereafter he established a village and named it Sitapur. This village is about 8 km from Becharaji Modherak village and it subsequently came to be known as Modhera.


The Sun Temple was built by Raja Bhimdev I of Solanki Dynasty in AD 1026. This was the time when Somnath and the adjoining area was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni and reeled under the effects of his invasion. The Solankis, however, regained much of their lost power and splendour. Anahilvad Patan, the Solanki capital, was restored to glory. Royalty and traders jointly contributed to build grand temples.Solankis were considered to be Suryavanshis, or descendants of Sun god. The temple was so designed that the first rays of the sun fell on the image of Surya, the Sun God, at the time equinoxes.

Interesting things to do:

Modhera dance festival is the major festival that is observed by the Sun Temple. This dance festival is organized to keep the Indian traditions and culture alive. It is held in the third week of January every year. The classical dance forms in the premises of this temple revive the imperial ambiance during the period. Gujarat Tourism organizes this event to promote tourism at this place.

Interesting things to Visit:

Surya Kund:
Surya Kund is a deep stepped tank in the front of the temple. The tank was named after the Lord Surya (Sun God). In the earlier times, this 100 sq meter rectangular tank was used to store pure water. The devotees used to take a halt here for ceremonial ablutions before moving towards the temple. Not less than 108 shrines mark the steps of this tank including the shrines dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva, Sheetala Mata and many others. In front of this tank, a huge 'torana' (archway) leads to the Sabha Mandap.


Sabha Mandap:
Literally, Sabha Mandap refers to an assembly hall where religious gatherings and conferences are conducted. This hall is open from all the four sides and has 52 delicately carved pillars. The intricate carvings depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata (Indian Epics) and scenes from the life of Lord Krishna. In order to get into the Sanctum Sanctorum, one has to cross the passage with pillars and arches.

Guda Mandap:
Guda Mandap is the sanctum sanctorum that is supported by a lotus-base plinth. Once, this hall used to house the idol of the Sun God. The designing of the hall was done in a way, so that the idol gets the first glimpse of the Sun at equinoxes. However, the idol was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni yet the walls represent the Sun God in his 12 different facets of each month. The carved walls also depict the aspects of human life like the vicious circle of birth and death. The façade of this hall was renovated in the recent years, despite the fact that the roof over the Guda Mandap had already been shattered.

Mobile range info:

How to reach?

Nearest Railway Station: Mehsana Railway Station
Nearest Airport:Ahmedabad airport.
Road Transport:State transport buses and private luxury coaches are available to reach Modhera from various cities of Gujarat.

Nearest Visiting places:

Rani ki Vav:
The Rani ki Vav, a step well in Patan is an excellent example of subterranean architecture in Gujarat and has steps that lead down to the water level. This Vav is situated about 134 km north-west of Ahmedabad, and about 57 km from Mehsana. The Rani ki Vav was built by Rani Udayamti of the Solanki dynasty, probably as a memorial for her husband Bhimdeva I (1022 - 1063 AD).


Sahastralinga Talav:
Sahastralinga Talav, an artificial tank, was built by the Siddhraj Jaisingh (1093 -1143 AD), the Chalukyan ruler of Gujarat in Patan. This tank is situated on the north-western part of Patan, on the banks of the Saraswati river. The architecture of this tank integrated the great sense of water management and sanctity of water in Hindu religion. The tank used to receive water from a canal of the Saraswati river and had spread about five km with masonry embankments.

Khan Sarovar:
Khan Sarovar is located outside South Gate. This is a water tank from Solanki period with stone steps and masonry. Mirza Aziz Kokah renovated this tank using the stones from ruined structures.

Hemachandracharya Gyan Mandir:
Hemachandracharya Gyan Mandir contains thousands of rare ancient manuscripts in Sanskrit and Prakrit. Hemachandracharya was a great scholar and grammarian, the first one to formulate the grammar of the Gujarati language.

Mahavir Swami Temples:
There are 100 Jain temples in Patan. The most important Jain temple is the Mahavir Swami Derasar in Dhandherwad with exquisitely carved wooden dome. The important Hindu temples are Kalika Mata, Sindhwai Mata, Harihareshwar Mahadev and Brahma Kund.

Langhanaj locality:
The Langhanaj locality of Mehsana is an interesting place. It is an excavation site, where 14 fossilized skeletons and monoliths were unearthed. The locality bears evidence to the life of early man of Langhanaj. It bears close affinity with the East Africans.

Nearest Petrol Pump:

Jyothi Petrol Pump:Mehsana,Gujarat,India

RM Petrol Pump:Patan,Gujarat,India


Hotel Gurjari:Patan,Gujarat,India

Hotel Siddharaj Place:Patan,Gujarta,India

Things to carry:

Tips & Suggestions:

Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:
Nearest Hospital:
Old Janta Hospital:Patan,Gujrat,India
Government Maternity Hospital:Patan,Gujarat,India
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