Monday, 27 May 2013

Beautiful Sun Temple - Modhera (India)

The Sun Temple, at Modhera in Gujarat, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. This temple depicts the essence of ancient times. The sculptures and architecture present in this temple are still magnificent after all these years. In the present times, prayers are not offered in this temple. This temple is now under the supervision of Archaeological Survey of India.



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 Ravana was aBrahmin 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 15 km from Becharaji Modherak village and it subsequently came to be known as Modhera.
The Sun Temple was built by Rushabh 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 Suryavanshi, Gurjar 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. The temple is partially in ruins after it was also finally destroyed by the Allauddin KhiljiHowever, enough has remained of the temple to convey its grandeur.





















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