Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Sun worship in India has been prevalent since time immemorial. Venerated as an inexhaustible source of energy, the Sun God is portayed seated on a chariot frawn by seven horses. The more well known sun Temple are :-

The Konark sun Temple at Konarks, in Orissa.

Suryanagar Koil near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu.

The Surya Paha Temple at Goalpara in Assam.

The Modhera Sun Temple in Patan Gujarat.

The Suryanarayana Temple at Arasavalli in Andhra Pradesh.

The Dakshinaarka sun Temple at Gaya in Bihar.

The Sun Temple at Ranakpur in Rajastan.

The Sun Temple at Unao in Madhya Pradesh.

The central state of Madhya Pradesh has a rich history that can be traced back to Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd ventury BC, who built a great Stupa at Sanchi, not far from present day Bhopal. The Chandellas who ruled the north-eastern parts of Madhya Pradesh, between 950 and 1050 AD gave India the famous Khajuraho Temple. Madhya Pradesh is also home to two ancient pilgrim centres : Ujjain and Omkareshwar.

The ancient city of Gwalior was once known as Gopadri or Gopachala. The Chaturbhuj Temple here is dedicate to Lord Vishnu. The saas – Bahu Temple (meaning the Mother-in-law. Daughter-in-law Temple) are located on the eastern side of the Gopadri Hill. Both thse ornately decorated Temple are built in the Nagar style of architecture. Teli-Ka-Mandir is the highest building in the fort of Gwailor, reaching a height of 100 feet,. While the decorative details follow the North Indian idiom., the tower is in the Dravidian style. Near the temple is the Suraj Kund, a tank belived to have miraculous properties.

Unao, near Jhansi houses a Sun Temple the Bhramanya Dev Temple. The stone image of the Sun God here stands on a brick platform covered with black plates. 21 triangles, representing the 21 phases of the sun are engraved in the shrine.

Orchha, once the capital of the Bundelas, ia today home to some impressive Temples that date back to the 16th century. They are still in use and are visited regulary by thousands of devotees. The more significient of these are the Raja Rani Temple and the Lakshmi Narayan Temple.

The village of Khajuraho is home to several renwowended temples from the 9th to the 13th centuries. The temples, built in the indo-Aryan Nagara style of architecture, can be divided into three district groups. The western group has temple to Shiva and Vishnu, the northern group has Vaishnava temples. The south-eastern group consists of Jain temples.The oldest of these temples is the Chaunsat Yogini Temple in the western group. Aboutn 65km north of sanchi is Udaypur. The large Neelakanteshwara Templehere isprofusely and very finely carved. The Temple is aligned is such way that the first rays of the morning sun shine on the Shivalingam in the sanctum.

Ujjain, one of the seven Mukti Stals, is a highly venerated pilgrim centre. The Temple heree enshrines Mahakaleswar, one of the Jyotirlinga manifestations of Lord Shiva. Also in Ujjain are the Bade Ganeshji – Mandirthe Parvti-Harasiddhi Devi Temple. The marbal-spired Gopal Mandir and ancient Chintaman Ganesh Mandir.

Ujjain is one of the sites of the Kumbha Mela, which is held here once in 12 years.

Near Indore is Omkareswar, one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Loard Shiva. Pereched on the Mandhata Hills on the banks of River Narmada., this temple built in the Nagara style, in characterized by a lofty shikara. There are also shrines of Annapoora and Ganesha here.

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