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Information about Modhera
The village of Modhera is situated about 106 kms. north west of Ahmedabad. Modhera was a site of great importance at one time. Today, Modhera is a vitually deserted hamlet. Far more off the beaten track and much less well known than the Konark Sun temple, Modhera retains a great deal of its atmosphere and charm. Modhera is known for the 11th century Sun temple. In January, Modhera is also the venue for the three days dance festival.

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 Surya's 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. Surya's 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.

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