Information on Modhera :
Located in the state of Gujarat, Modhera is a town known for its temples and religious significance. The town lies between the latitude 23.42° in the North to longitude 72.37° in the East. Famous for its Sun temple, the destination is visited by large number of tourists every year.
Built in 11th century, the Sun temple is the most prominent attraction of the destination. The temple was constructed during the reign of the Solanki Dynasty under the orders of King Bhimdev. Dedicated to Sun God, Surya, the temple is known for its singular architectural style. In addition, the temple also comprises three elements, which include Guda Mandap, Surya Kund and Sabha Mandap.
Besides its architecture, the temple is also famous for the Modhera Dance Festival, which is held every year in the month of January. Organised by the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat, this festival is designed so as to present to the world the different forms of classical dance in their original forms.
For those who wish to visit this beautiful town housing the Sun temple have different modes of transportation available such as flights, trains and buses. Tourists travelling by the means of air can board flights to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, which is the nearest airport serving the destination. This airport is located at a distance of approximately 101 km from the destination.
Trains are also available for travellers, which are served by Mehsana Railway Station located at a distance of 27.4 km from Modhera. In addition to flights and trains, buses are also available for travellers, which can be boarded from most of the places located within the state of Gujarat. Most of these buses are operated by State Government. The best time to visit Modhera is from October to March.
Festivals in Modhera :
The main festival of Modhera is the Modhera Dance Festival. Modhera Dance Festival is held during the third week of January every year, after the festival of Uttarayan. This festival is celebrated at the Sun Temple in Modhera. The decision to celebrate the annual festival of Indian classical dances was taken by the Department of Culture, Gujarat, and the West Zone Cultural Centre at the Sun Temple. The idea was to present classical dances in an atmosphere similar to that in which these were originally presented.
Tourist Attractions in Modhera :
The main tourist attraction in Modhera is the Sun temple.
Sun Temple :
Modhera is known for the 11th century Sun temple. The 11th century Sun temple is situated on a knoll in Modhera. The Sun Temple was built by King Bhimdev I in 1026-27 AD, two centuries before the Sun Temple at Konark. This temple is one of the finest Hindu temples in Gujarat, built by the great Solanki dynasty. This temple and the Konark Sun temple in Orissa are very similar. This similarity is that this temple was also designed in such a way so as to let the dawn sun shine on the image of Surya, at the time of equinoxes. The main hall and shrine are reached through a complex, pillared pavilion. Beautiful columns and magnificent carvings decorate the hall. The exterior of the temple is intricately and delicately carved, showing demons and evolving gods. Despite its partial destruction by Mahmud of Ghazni and by subsequent earthquakes, it remains an outstanding monument, set against the backdrop of the barren landscape. Superb carvings of goddesses, birds, beasts and blossoms on the pillars decorate the remaining pillars. Fifty two intricately carved pillars depict scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Unlike the exterior, the interior hall is plain with 12 niches representing the Suryas different monthly manifestations. Erotic sculptures panels complete the sensual decoration.
A large rectangular pool (kunda) with flight of steps and about 100 shrines face the east front of the temple. The shrines of Lord Ganesh, Vishnu and an incarnation of Shiva surround the pool on its other three sides. On the west side a steep flight of steps leads up to the main entrance of the temple. The main temple stands well above the surrounding land, raised by a high brick terrace faced with stone. Passing through the richly carved archway, the pillared hall is 15 m square. The cusped arches became the striking feature of the Mughal buildings about 600 years later. The roof of this entry hall is low stepped pyramid. The west part of the temple contains the inner sanctuary within its oblong plan. The upper storeys have been completely destroyed, though it clearly consisted of a low pyramidal roof in front of the tall shikhara over the sanctuary itself. Suryas image in the sanctuary was once illuminated by the first rays of the rising sun at each solar equinox. Archaeologists are slowly restoring the building with sandstone.
Maatangi Modheshwari Temple :
The Maatangi Modheshwari Temple is dedicated to Goddess Modheshwari, the Kuldevi or family Goddess of the Modh Community. It is believed that demon Karnat was creating havoc in the region by disturbing the Brahmans during their prayers.
For seeking protection from the demon, all the saints went to Shri Mata Modheshwari. On hearing their grievances, she was upset as well as angry and started throwing fire from her mouth, which gave birth to Shri Mata Matangi. This incarnation of the goddess has eighteen arms, each having a weapon, like trident and dagger.
Goddess Maatangi killed the demon on Mahadev Trij and since that day an annual festival is organised in the village. On the days of Chaitra Navaratra and on the 15th of every month, special poojas and religious activities are organised in the temple.