Modhera Sun Temple

Sun Temple in Modhera: The Ultimate Guide for 2024

India has a rich and diverse architectural heritage, the epitome of which is the countless temples built in the ancient and early medieval ages. One such specimen of architectural perfection is the Sun Temple of Modhera. It is one of the very few temples in India dedicated to Surya, the Sun God. In its grandeur, it indeed stands only second to the famous Sun Temple of Konark. Right and left, inside and out, there’s a snippet of superior craftsmanship all around the Sun Temple of Modhera.

Sun Temple
The majestic Sun Temple of Modhera. The beauty is literally jaw-dropping.

It is amazing how the two prominent Sun Temples of our country – one located on the eastern coast and the other diametrically opposite on the western coast – represent sheer architectural and sculptural brilliance. Hence, both will leave their spectators speechless at the very first sight.

Location of Sun Temple, Modhera:

The Sun Temple is located in the small village of Modhera in the Mehsana district of Gujarat. The distance from Ahmedabad to Modhera is about 103 km. Accordingly, it takes approximately 2 hrs by car.

Small shrines on the step
There are numerous small shrines on the steps of the Surya Kund.

How to reach Sun Temple, Modhera:

  • By train: The nearest railway station is Mehsana. Many trains ply daily From Ahmedabad to Mehsana. It takes around 1.5 hours to reach Mehsana by train. From there, Modhera is half an hour journey.
  • By flight: Ahmedabad is the closest airport as also well connected with every major Indian city.
  • By road:Government and private buses run regularly from Ahmedabad and Mehsana to Modhera. However, it will be best to book a cab from Ahmedabad to visit the Sun Temple. Also outstation Ola and Uber are also available from Ahmedabad.

What is the best time to visit Modhera:

Summer months are scorching in Gujarat. Hence, it’s best to visit in the autumn and winter. By and large, October – March is the best season to travel to Modhera.

Pillars inside Sun Temple Modhera
The interior of the temple has exquisite carvings and sculptures.

Also, visiting the temple in the early morning is perfect, as the crowd is almost absent and the weather remains soothing.

Timing of the Sun Temple:

The temple remains open every day for visitors from 6 AM till 6 PM.

Ticket booking for the Sun Temple:

Tickets are mandatory here. Indian visitors need to pay INR 15 and foreign tourists INR 200.

Steps of Surya Kund
The steps leading to the Surya Kund have a charm of themselves.

History of the Sun Temple:

The Chalukya Solanki ruler Bhima – I built Modhera’s Sun Temple. The construction was completed in 1026-27 AD. Later, Mahmud of Ghazni destroyed and plundered this temple. He looted the golden idol of the Sun God along with other precious items.

Architecture of Modhera’s Sun Temple:

The Sun Temple of Modhera is a masterpiece of creative genius. It is built on the bank Pushpavati river. Moreover, the Tropic of Cancer passes right through the location of this exquisite temple.

Sabha Mandapa of Modhera Sun Temple
Devotees circling the ‘Sabhamandapa’ of Sun Temple.

The architecture of this temple is awe-inspiring. It is built-in “Maru-Gurjara” style and divided into three distinct parts: ‘gudhamandapa’ or sanctum sanctorum, ‘sabhamandapa’ or assembly hall and Surya Kund or Ram Kund, a stepped water tank. It is believed particularly that a walk from the Surya Kund to ‘gudhamandapa’ through ‘sabhamandapa’ symbolizes the transcending journey from death to moksha or liberation.

Surya Kund as seen from Sabha Mandapa
Surya Kund, as seen from inside the ‘sabhamandapa’.


The Surya Kund, also known as Ram Kund, is a sacred tank, situated right in front of the temple. The step of this tank has many tiny shrines dedicated to Visnu, Ganesha etc. Even Shitala, the Goddess of Chicken Pox., has a temple devoted to her. The rectangular tank measures 176 feet from north to south and 120 feet from east to west.

Surya Kund Sun Temple Modhera
The Surya Kund.


The ‘sabhamandapa’ is the assembly hall or dancing hall. Most of the splendid sculptures depict scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Sri Krishna’s life. 52 richly carved toranas or pillars set apart the ‘sabhamandapa’. They represent the 52 weeks of a solar year. Their sculpture exhibits skillful precision and master craftsmanship. The ornately carved exterior of ‘sabhamandapa’ has a series of recessed corners giving a star-like impression. The ceiling also has fascinating carvings.

The ornate ceiling inside ‘Sabhamandapa’.
Toranas of Sun Temple Modhera
The intricately sculpted ‘torana’ inside the ‘sabhamandapa’.


The ‘gudhamandapa’ is where the sanctum sanctorum of the Sun Temple once existed. Its design is interesting. Hence, the first rays of the sun used to fall on the idol of Surya inside during Equinox. The idol was made of pure gold. It depicted the Sun God sitting on his chariot drawn by seven horses.

Gudhamandapa Sun Temple Modhera
The ‘sikhara’ of ‘Gudhamandapa’.

Beautiful sculptures characterize the exterior of ‘gudhamandapa’. It has 12 images of Surya, each representing 12 months of a solar year. Some of the idols even have Persian influence. In addition, there are various other figures of Varuna, Agni, Ganesha, Saraswati and others.

The entire temple complex was built to be resistant to earthquakes.

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Entrance to the ‘Gudhamandapa’.

Modhera Dance Festival:

The Tourism Corporation of Gujarat organizes a three-day dance festival every year in January. Known as “Uttarardh Mahotsav”, its celebration marks the “Uttarayan” festival of Gujarat. Eminent classical dancers from all over India and the world participate in this dance festival. In fact, the primary objective is to perform a classical dance in an atmosphere that would remind the bygone days.

A chart of distances:

  • Ahmedabad to Modhera: 98 kms
  • From Gandhinagar: 83 kms
  • Vadodara to Modhera: 209 kms
  • From Mehsana: 25 kms
  • From Patan: 35 kms

A few useful tips:

  1. Try visiting the temple as early as possible. We reached by 7-30 in the morning. Nonetheless, the temple already had ample visitors.
  2. It takes around one hour to explore the nooks and corners of this temple. Take your sweet time for admiring the fantastic carvings and sculptures.
  3. Though the temple is not functional at present, it will be wise to dress modestly here. Also, no need for taking out your shoes here.
  4. Carry hats, umbrella and sunglass as the sun is quite harsh since morning.
  5. Follow Covid-19 protocols. Check the official website of Gujarat tourism for further details.
Ruins of Sun Temple Modhera
Ruins are scattered all around the temple complex.

A trip to Gujarat remains incomplete without a visit to the Sun Temple of Modhera. The idol of the Sun God is lost in oblivion. Also, the Solankis relegated to an obscure chapter of history. And yet, when the sun rises every morning, one can almost hear the chanting of hymns, the smell of flowers and incense, and the sound of bells and cymbals. The temple takes you back to its past, long lost but not forgotten.

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The temple will leave you speechless.
The Floating Pebbles