Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Topic ClosedAmazing sun temples of India

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Topic: Amazing sun temples of India
    Posted: 05-Apr-2013 at 14:45
Solar diety knwon as as Surya or Aditya was one of the important diety of the original vedic Hindu pantheon. Surya is depicted with as riding on a chariot driven by seven horses with each horse representing a day of the week. The chariot is driven by the Arun who is reddish in colour and usually associated with the reddish glow of the rising and setting sun.
 
 
With time The original hindu pantheon of Vedic age lost its importance and when the dieties like Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti etc gained importance during the classical age. None the less The Surya remained an important diety of Hinduism. It was also the chief planet of the Hindu astrology. Many hindus still perform morning pritual to the sun while chanting the hymns and offering water to the sun. Festivals like Chhath and Makar sankranti( aka kite flying festival) are celebrated to honour the Sun god.
 
 
Another important aspect is "Surya namskar" or "Sun salutation" which is basically series of twelve Yoga steps performed in the honour of Sun god.
 
 
Despite this importance, The temples dedicated to the Surya are relatively few in numbers in comparision to the other Gods especially during the medieval time period. And as such the temples dedicated to the Surya were important place of worships. However relatively few sun temples actually survied the Islamic Jihad that engulfed the India into late medieval time period. None the less they are magnificent piece of Architecture and as such deserve a seperate thread.
 
 
 
 
 
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2013 at 15:10
Konark Sun Temple
The sun temple of Konark is not one of the most magnificent sun temple but it is also one of the most magnificent temple of the India. The temple was built in early 13th century by King Narasimhadeva of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, who according to the legend was cured of leprosy by Sun god and as such decided to build the temple in the honour of Surya.
 
The temple is built in Kalinga style of Architecture in east to west direction in such a way that the rays of the rising sun fall on the idol of the Solar diety in the main sanctum. Infront of the temple there is nata mandir (dancing hall?) where the temple dancers used to perform the dance to honour the Sun god.
The temple is designed as a giant Chariot of the Sun god. The side walls are carved by the 12 exquisitely carved huge wheels of chariot which are one of the most amazing part of the temple. There used to be seven horses on the side walls too.  Apart from this the entire complex is richly decorated with the dancing ladies, various scenes from the daily lifes, mythological figures and erotic sculptures. As nobel lauriet Rabindranath tagore truely said "Language of the stone surpasses the language of the human at Konark"
According to legend there used to be huge magnet in the ceiling of the main sanctum and as a result the idol used to float in the air. The magnet was removed during the Islamic raid. According to another legend the magnet used to distort the compass of nearby ships travelling into shallow water resulting in the ship wrecks and as a result portuguese used to call it black pagoda. and they removed the magnet to avoid further accidents.
 
The temple was pillaged by the Muslim general named Kalapahad (black mountain) in 16th century. The main senctum called deoul was completely destroyed along with the other temples of the complex. After that Konark was abandoned as centre of worship. And was covered by forest and remained partially buried under sand. Later on many of the stones and sculptures were removed by the hindu kings to renovate the nearby temple of Puri which was also an important religious cult. None the less the temple still looks  magnificent even in pratially ruined condition. 
 
 
Original plan of the temple
 
 
 
 
Photograph of the surviving complex
 
 
As one can see, the main sanctum is completely missing while the roof of Dancing hall is missing too
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 06-Apr-2013 at 07:05
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2013 at 15:45
Some more photographs of the same temple
 
The wheels on the side wall are the major attractions.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The entrance of the Gate - Showing the Lion crushing the elephant and elephant crushing the human. symbolising that too much Pride( represnated by Lion) and wealth (represanted by Elephant) destroyes the Human.
 
 
 
 
 
Immidieatly after entrance is the Nata mandir where Temple dancers used to perform the dance in honour of the Sun god. It is richly carved with the figures of the musicians, dancers and apsaras. The roof of the Nata mandir is destroyed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 06-Apr-2013 at 07:00
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2013 at 00:25
Front porch of the temple known as Jagan mohan
 
 
 
 
 
 
Main sanctum or deul which was completely destroyed
 
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 06-Apr-2013 at 06:51
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2013 at 00:55
Other notable sculptures
 
Idols of Solar diety
 
 
 
 
 
 
One of the seven horses on the side wall carrying the chariot
 
 
 
 
 
War horse
 
 
 
 
War elephant
 
 
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 06-Apr-2013 at 01:07
Back to Top
TITAN_ View Drop Down
Baron
Baron
Avatar

Joined: 21-Jun-2012
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 480
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2013 at 04:20
Very impressive indeed. Are there any monuments (big sculptures, buildings, statues) that date before Ashoka's era that you would like to share with us? The more impressive, the better!
αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν
Een aristevin
“Ever to Excel“
From Homer's Iliad (8th century BC).
Motto of the University of St Andrews (founded 1410), the Edinburgh Academy (founded 1824) and others.
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2013 at 06:56
Originally posted by TITAN_

Very impressive indeed. Are there any monuments (big sculptures, buildings, statues) that date before Ashoka's era that you would like to share with us? The more impressive, the better!
 
Thanks Titan.
 
Unofrutnately the stone was rarely used in Indian architecture before the Mauryan era. So its very hard to find monuments that predates the Ashoka's reign except for the sites belonging to the Indus valley civilization. I will start a thread on the Ancient Indian architecture later on.
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2013 at 08:00

Modhera Sun Temple

This sun temple was built by the king Bhimdev Solanki in 1026 AD. The Solanki dynasty were considered direct descendents of Solar diety and as such it was considered major diety. The temple was made in such a way that the the rays of the rising and setting sun on the 20th march and 21st september (only days of the year when the day and night are of equal length and the centre of the sun is in allignment of the equator of earth) fall directly on the idol of Sun god entering through main Toran or gate. The idol was made of purely gold with sun riding on his chariot with the seven horse. The idol was looted by the Ghazni's raid of 1030 AD and later on the temple was partially destroyed by the Allaudin khalji. Besides the temple is built with extremely delicate sandstones so many of the images are eroded.

The temple is built in Maru Gurjar style of Architecture (althaugh I am not sure. it may be Nagara style of Architeture) Just like the Konark sun temple was made with the theme of Chariot of the Sun, The Modhera sun temple was built with the theme of the Lotus - as lotus is considered the flower of the Sun god. The temple consists of the 3 portion - Surya kund (sun tank) the steps of which are covered with 108 (holy number in hinduism) shrines of major and minor gods of Hinduism, Sabha mandap - a place to perform the religious ceremonies, Guda mandap - sanctum sanctorum were the main idol was installed. both the mandap are richly decorated with the mythological stories and 12 differant forms of Aditya or Sun.
Surya kund
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 As you can see, The "shikhar" - Pyramidal tops of both main buildings are missing. 
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 06-Apr-2013 at 08:21
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2013 at 08:18
Sabha mandap -  A place were religious ceremonies were performed
 
 
The two columns on the front used to support an arch called "Toran"
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interior of the Sabha mandap
 
 
 
 
 
 
Some of the delicate carvings on the pillars.
 
 
As you can see they aren't as much sharp as it used to be due to the use of fragile sandstone which erodes with time.
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 06-Apr-2013 at 10:48
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2013 at 08:38
Guda mandap - Sanctum sanctoum where the idol was placed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 06-Apr-2013 at 10:39
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2013 at 15:16
Martand Sun Temple
Unlike the sun temples of Konark and Modhera, Martand sun temple is not as much impressive as it used to be. None the less when it comes to the Sun temples of India, Martand sun temple is considered one of the most important sun temples along with the other two sun temples.
The sun temple was built in 8th century by the Kashmiri king Lalitaditya Muktapida in the 8th century at the time when the Karkota dynasty of Kashmir used to rule the entire north India. Just like the Solanki rulers KArkota dyansty was also Suryavanshi (descendents of the Solar diety). The temple is built in the Kashmiri style of architecture which is unique from the other architecture styles of India due to the influence from Chinese, Greek, Central Asian and probably  syrian and Byzantine style of Architecture. The temple was destroyed in 15th century by the muslim ruler Sikandar Butshikan - who is also known as the Sikandar the iconoclast.  The temple is located at very beautiful location and looks impressive in winter even in such bismal condition.
 
Btw MArtand is also one of the name of the Solar diety.
 
Original plan of the temple
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2013 at 15:45
Chitragupta Sun Temple, Khajuraho
Chitragupta Sun temple was built in 11th century by the Chandela rulers along with other temples of the Khajuraho temple Complex which used to be cultural capital of the Chandela dynasty. The temple is built in Nagara style of architecture and just like the other temples of the complex, this temple is also richly carved with the routine day to day scenes, mythological stories and the erotic sculptures. Chitragupta sun temple isn't that much important as the above sun temples and probably isn't as much impressive as other big temples of the Khajuraho Complex. None the less I think its better to mention it as the thread is dedicated to the sun temples of the India.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ceiling of the temple
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 06-Apr-2013 at 15:55
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2013 at 15:54
Some carvings in detail
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2013 at 01:23

Katarmal Sun temple, Uttarakhand

The temples is of religious and historical significance. Aesthetically it isn't as magnificent as the other sun temples. The Temple was built (most probably in the 13th century) by the king Katarmalla of Katyuri dynasty who used to rule hilly region of Kumaon. The temple is sarrounded by numerous small shrines dedicated to the different Gods and Goddesses. The temple used to be decorated with beautifully carved wodden panels and doors which were removed to the National museum of Delhi due to the possible threat of the theft.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 07-Apr-2013 at 01:28
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2013 at 04:12
Sun Temple of Ranakpur
Ranakpur is famous for its extremely beautiful Jain temples. And the Sun temple of Ranakpur looks pale in comparision to the massive Jain temple. None the less its worth mentioning. I don't know much about temple anf from whatever I read on the net, the temple was built in 13th century (most probably by Sisodia dynasty which claims the lineage from Solar diety). The original temple was destroyed and later on replaced by the new temple in 15th century.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The exterior of the temple is carved by the numerours idols of Solar diety who is depicted as riding the horse chariot.
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 07-Apr-2013 at 04:13
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2013 at 10:01
Sun Temple of Jhalrapatan
Jhalrapatan used to be an important junction on the trade route. According to the story it has many temples and as such it is called City of Bells. The Sun temple of Jhalrapatan was built in 10th century althaugh looking from the photographs it seems that additions might have been made to the original structure.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Jinit - 07-Apr-2013 at 10:08
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2013 at 10:07
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Back to Top
Nick1986 View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar
Mighty Slayer of Trolls

Joined: 22-Mar-2011
Location: England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7940
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2013 at 19:04

Fantastic. I seem to remember reading that the wheels on the temple walls are Buddhist in origin and represent the cycle of birth and rebirth.
Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!
Back to Top
TITAN_ View Drop Down
Baron
Baron
Avatar

Joined: 21-Jun-2012
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 480
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Apr-2013 at 09:22
Very beautiful artefacts, indeed!
αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν
Een aristevin
“Ever to Excel“
From Homer's Iliad (8th century BC).
Motto of the University of St Andrews (founded 1410), the Edinburgh Academy (founded 1824) and others.
Back to Top
Jinit View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 16-Mar-2013
Location: India
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 86
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-May-2014 at 11:00
Originally posted by TITAN_

Very beautiful artefacts, indeed!

Thanks Titan. :)




Edited by Jinit - 08-May-2014 at 11:03
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.578 seconds.