The Sun Temple in the hamlet of Modhera stands out as Gujarat’s treasure. Known for its architectural marvel, the exquisitely-carved Sun Temple, built by the Chalukya dynasty, is a testament to the highest level of craftsmanship.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Modhera today, the age-old question arises: where is the Sun Temple’s idol? During his visit here in 2009, the PM had suggested the temple’s Sun Idol be traced.
Interestingly, the lesser-known temples around, Kheralu, Vadnagar and Panchasar, have Sun Idols.
It’s widely held the Sun Idol might have been shifted to another place to secure it from burglars. Also, it’s thought that the Hindus apprehended that India’s biggest minority community posed a threat to the idol’s safety.
Similar idols may be found elsewhere, but whether one of them is from the fabled Sun Temple can’t be ascertained. Senior archaeologists believe the size of the idol can take us to the truth.
Lore has it that architects constructed the Modhera temple such a way that the first sun rays during equinox days would fall on the idol’s forehead. March 21 and September 23 are equinox days, the time when the Sun is above the equator and day and night are of equal length.
The temple is known as Gujarat’s Khajuraho for erotic sculptures carved in 1027 by Patan King Solanki Bhimdev. History records that Allauddin Khilji, emperor of the Khalji dynasty, had plundered the temple. As of now, the temple displays the sculpture of seven horses associated with the Sun God.