Modhera is an ancient Gujarati village located at a distance of about 100 KM away from the metro city of Ahmedabad. The town is famous for its Sun Temple, the second largest Sun temple after the famous Sun temple of Konark. Surprisingly the Sun Temple at Modhera was crafted even before the Sun Temple at Konark, Odhisa. The temple is located near the river Pushpavati. It has a well decorated main building and a magnificent tank next to it. There is a museum comprises of sculpture and statues related to the temple.
The temple was constructed by Solanki ruler, Bhimdev I during 11th Century. The basic principles of Vastu Shastra and astrology were thoroughly followed. This temple was constructed much before the Konark Sun Temple, which was constructed in 13th Century, hence it is older. The temple provided a glimpse of the rich culture, heritage and architectural skills of ancient India. Not just walls and pillars but also the ceiling and other parts of the building have been decorated lavishly with carvings and sculptures of the Hindu Gods, Goddesses, scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharta and many more depicting every inch of our culture. The temple was plundered by Muhammad Ghazni when he invaded India.
It is an impressive building made of red sandstone, constructed on an elevated platform facing the east side next to the river Pushpavati. The temple complex comprises of three main parts. Once you enter the complex first thing that appears is a tank, the steps of tank lead you to an assembly hall located next to the tank, this hall is further connected to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
Rama Kund (Kund means tank) is a ceremonial tank located on the easternmost side of the complex. It is about 175 X 120 feet enclave by steps on all four sides, the step comprises of 108 shrines of various Hindu God, Goddess, out of which three sides has three main shrines are surrounded by some small shrines, the three main shrines are dedicated to Lord Ganesh, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The fourth side leads to the assembly hall.
Sabha Mandap (Assembly Hall) It is located on the western side of the tank connected through steps of the tank. It is an octagonal hall supported by 52 pillars, each depicting 52 weeks of the year. It is decorated in the best possible way, every inch of the building is covered with carvings and sculptures of Hindu Gods, Goddesses, scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharta. The best part of the building is it’s well decorated ceiling.
Garbhgriha ( Sanctum sanctorum) It is located on the western side of the assembly hall. It is the main part of the temple used for worship. It houses the 12 images of Sun God. In addition to this it also houses the images of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh and Goddess Durga. The inner and outer side of the building is well decorated.
Mythologically speaking, the walk from the kund to the sanctum through the main temple is observed as transcending journey from death to moksha. And it’s indeed thrilling.
The tour to modhera comes in a package with a visit to Rani ki Vav at Patan. It is a one day tour with base camp at Ahmedabad. The town is located on the way to Patan from Ahmedabad, it is about 100 kms away from Ahmedabad and about 33 Kms away from Patan. It is about 3- 3.5 Hrs drive, hence, I prefered road trip for this tour. I rented a bike from Ahmedabad. In order to avoid traffic, I decided to start my journey early in the morning, but got late and started my trip at around 8:00 AM, it was the office timing and I came across heavy traffic on the way, it took me about 2.5 Hrs to reach Modhera. Ahmedabad and Mehsana are connected through Highway, hence the ride was smooth ride but the road between Mehsana and Modhera was a narrow road and this 25 Kms stretch was not so smooth, but overall this 2.5 Hrs bike ride relaxed me a lot, and let me enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
How to reach:- By road:- It is a one day tour to Modhera and Patan with base camp at Ahmedabad. The route for the tour plan can be started from Ahmedabad to Mehsana, about 80 Kms (about 1.5 Hrs.), further Mehsana is directly connected to both our destinations, if you want to visit Modhera, you have to leave the highway and follow the connecting road, Modhera is about 25 Kms (about half an hour). In total Modhera is about 100 Kms from Ahmedabad, it will take about 2- 2.5 Hrs to reach. Further Patan is about 35 Kms from Modhera, it will take about 45 Min. to reach. On the way back from Patan you can skip Modhera and directly reach Mehsana, Patan is about 50 Kms from Mehsana and will take about 1 Hr to reach, and Patan is about 130 kms from Ahmedabad (about 2.5 – 3 Hrs).
Bus service and taxi service are also available. The roads are in good condition and it is safe for bike riders also. As in all metropolitan cities, heavy traffic in Ahmedabad and nearby areas, the problem appears upto Adalaj, once you pass by Kalol, the traffic reduces.
Places to visit in Modera:- The Sun Temple.
Palaces to visit outside or nearby:- Rani Ki Vav, Patan is about 33 Kms.
Minimum Duration of visit:- It will take about 2 to 2.5 Hrs to reach the place, 1 Hr to visit the Temple complex and relax.