Sunday, December 18, 2016

A quick visit to Modhera Sun Temple, Gujarat

Today, I simply couldn’t help visiting my blog that’s been neglected for quite some time now. I felt guilty of not writing and thought I wasn’t being fair to myself! And of course during the last 12 months, I haven’t made many memories either, if I had, it would have definitely been up on my blog! Though the year seems to have been impoverished in terms of filling my repository with precious memories, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to key-in few words, as my stay comes to an end at the guesthouse of the beautiful EDI campus, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

I was lucky that this work related visit  gave me few hours to rewind and renew my energies with a short-long drive to the nearby historical Sun Temple at Modhera.  I missed visiting this precious monument during my last visit to Gujarat and this time I managed to sneak a few hours. 
 Modhera is about 80 Kms from Gandhinagar, and the drive was quite pleasant. And the cab driver Joshibhai made the journey even more interesting with his anecdotes on demonetization and many other tidbits of current affairs. There was so much to catch up I thought! 

Well, the most interesting story he told me was about how he dealt with a passenger, a chain smoker who was willing to give away any number of old notes to get packs of cigarettes and the funny incidents that followed...the drive was quite entertaining with a chatty companion. After we crossed Mehasana, the road was a bit patchy and uneven but this didn’t bother us much as we saw the many golden mustard fields on both sides of the road. It seemed like a scene straight out of the Kajol and SRK’s song in DDLJ J

The Sun temple was built in 1027AD by the Solanki kings and suffered a lot of damage during the rule of Mohamad Ghazni. No deity is worshipped in the temple and it is maintained by the Archeological Survey of India. Being Sunday, the temple was filled with foreign tourists and local visitors and it presented a beautiful sight bustling with selfie-lovers, architecture and history lovers and heritage enthusiasts. The fun part of my visit was to see Joshibhai clicking many selfies and videos as this was his first visit to the place. For a moment I wanted to forget about my selfie-shyness but that didn’t work; and Joshibhai was quite expert at taking pictures. 

Another memory I carry from this visit are those little school kids from a primary school who were accompanied by their teacher. Two of the came to me and asked shyly “what your name? and others joined them and wanted to talk in English. They told me they are from a Gujarati school and the teacher was apparently unhappy with the kids breaking out of their group. I listened to some very creative English from them and took a group picture.

We went around the temple and saw the intricate carvings (though mostly damaged) and also spent some time inside, admiring the exquisite pillars, the arches and the ceiling. The next point was the adjoining ornated step well with interestingly beautiful geometrical patterns when viewed from the top. As you get down the steps it’s a wonderful feeling to real the water level and look up to get a magnificent view of the temple (both the mandapas). The vast lawns around the temple complex make the environs serene and peaceful.

This memorable short trip was refreshing and got me recharged to get back to my timelines and roadmaps, resuming from where I paused!