Entrance to Gudha Mandapa of the Surya Temple, Modhera
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the entrance to the gudha mandapa of the Surya Temple, at Modhera in Gujarat, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. This temple is one of the finest achievements of the Solanki period in Gujarat. It was built in 1027 and although in ruinous condition it still reflects its former splendour. The temple consists of the sanctuary, two mandapas or columned hallways, a gateway, and a tank, all aligned to the east. The closed hall, or gudha mandapa, adjoins the sanctuary and the open pillared portico, or sabha mandapa, stands between the closed mandapa and the tank, all are built on a stepped plan. The lower portion of both structures is elaborately carved with friezes of elephants, horses and the upper wall portions have panels with many images of the divinities. In the gudha mandapa tall columns arranged in an octagon support the roof. The columns are richly carved with miniature figures of divinities and amorous couples, scrollwork and jewelled motifs. Figures of ghanas project from the brackets and the architraves are also covered with sculptures. This view is taken from the sabha mandapa looking westwards to the entrance porch of the gudha mandapa, in front of the main sanctuary of the temple.