Mandapa of the Surya Temple, Modhera, from the tank
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the sabha mandapa of the Surya Temple at Modhera from the tank, 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, and a gateway. The sanctuary has a closed adjoining hall (gudha mandapa) and an open pillared portico (sabha mandapa) all are aligned to the east and built on a stepped plan. The lower portion of the main shrine and adjoining hall, is elaborately carved with friezes of elephants, horses and the upper wall portions have panels with many images of the divinities. The sabha mandapa, seen in this view, has four entrances with intricately carved cusped arches above columns carved with miniature figures and scrollwork. In front of the portico are two columns, the remains of the gateway, or torana, at the top of a flight of steps that lead down to the Surya-Kunda. This large rectangular tank has a double flight of steps with miniature shrines around the edge.