General view from the south of the main shrine of the Surya Temple, Modhera, Gujarat
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the main shrine of the Surya Temple at Modhera, 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. This a view of the main shrine, or sanctuary, and adjoining closed hall, from the south. 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 closed hall tall columns arranged in an octagon support the roof, which once carried a dome. 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.