Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Majestic Sun Temple Of Modhera

Introduction

The Solanki Dynasty of Gujarat has left behind a sample set of amazing architecture. The Rani Ki Vav of Patan has already made it to the World Heritage Site list. The Sun Temple of Modhera, artistically and in scale, is not far behind too. The monument has three sub-structures: the Kund (stepped-pond), the Sabhamandap (assembly-hall) and the Gudhamandap (sanctum). The structures are aligned in perfect symmetry in the east-west direction.

The view of the complex ...
... Kunda in the foreground, Sabhamandap follows
... the Gudhamandap can be seen through the Sabhamandap

The construction of this temple, located by the banks of the river Pushpavati, is attributed to King Bhimdev (1) Solanki from the early 11th century. The temple was damaged during the raids of Mahmud Ghazni. As of today, the temple is just a monument devoid of actual worship. A smaller, modern temple exists next to the Sabhamandap where the worship is now practiced.

-x-x-x-

The Kund

The Kund is the first structure that one sees after entering the complex gates. The structure is rectangular with stone steps leading down to the water level. The steps are punctuated regularly by shrines of various sizes dedicated to multiple gods pertaining to the Hindu mythos.

The Kund - steps and shrines can be seen

A pigeons takes shelter in a shrine of a goddess

The steps and shrines of the Kund

The Kund - as seen from the Sabhamandap

-x-x-x-

The Sabhamandap

The Sabhamandap is artistically the most intricate of the three main structures in the campus. The structure is approached via the western steps of the Kund, passing between two elaborate coloumns of an erstwhile Toran. The inner structure has ornate pillars with sculptures of amorous couples and divine beings. The Sabhamandap has free access from all four sides, with the eastern and western sides opening to the Kund and the Gudhamandap respectively.

The Sabhamandap - as seen from the Kund ... 
... pardon those tourists please
 
The Sabhamandap and the coloumns of the Toran

The intricacy of the Toran is spellbinding
 
The coloumns of the Toran as seen from the Sabhamandap ...
... the steps of the Kund are seen too
 
The ceiling of the Sabhamandap
 
The inner pillars of the Sabhamandap
 
The lower levels of the Sabhamandap - elephants offer their support
 
The Sabhamandap and the coloumns of the Toran as seen from the north

-x-x-x-

The Gudhamandap

The Gudhamandap used to be the main shrine at the complex. The structure is a bit longer than the Sabhamandap and internally divided into two sections: the outer hall and the inner sanctum. The inner sanctum is is surrounded by an ambulatory path. The sanctum is empty and hence sealed off. The ambulatory path is infested with bats - the stench will put you off from any misadventure anyway. Nonetheless, the structure is impressive.

The walls of the Gudhamanda - elephant and daily life motifs
 
Delicate

The sculptures of the Gudhamandap

The ceiling of the Gudhamandap outer hall

The bats reign the ambulatory path

The Gudhamandap as seen from the south

-x-x-x-

The Extra Torans

The area near the main structures has another Toran pair of intricate coloumns and a small step-well. The Toran is probably the remains of a secondary shrine.

Equally artistic

-x-x-x-

Getting In

In order to visit Modhera, Mehsana is the closest rail and road head. Mehsana is well connected to Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Mount Abu in Rajasthan. One can easily cover Patan, Siddhpur and Vadnagar nearby.

Modhera on the map

-x-x-x-

Other Places in Gujarat

Ahmedabad || Adalaj || Patan

© One Of The Road

No comments:

Post a Comment