Indian Cultural Blend At Modhera’s Sun temple

Modhera Dance festival-The annual dance festival held at the famous sun temple of Modhera near Mehsana –Gujarat. One of the few dance festivals held by Gujarat Government, which showcases traditional classical dances from all over India.

And Modhera Tour With Boss

My boss was going on a business trip to Modhera. I came to know and requested him to give me lift there to visit the dance festival. Luckily for me, he agreed and we set sail for Modhera. 

Since my friend had told me about the dance festival at Modhera-the city of sun temple, near south-west of Mehsana-Gujarat. I wanted to go and be part of the festival myself. The Modhera dance is held for 3 days by Government of Gujarat’s tourism department after Uttrayan in January. The main aim is to promote and showcase Indian culture in the form of dance and music.

As I had learnt in my school days about the Modhera sun temple, I wanted to know more about the place. The temple is dedicated to Sun, regarded as sun god in Hindu mythology. It showcases Lord Surya the sun god in different outer walls of the temple with sculptures of him. The sun temple was built by Solanki king and later maintained by his dynasty. The sun temple has been made such that the first rays of the sun early in morning falls directly on the image in the temple through main gate or entrance.

History Around Modhera’s Sun Temple

The history states that temple now in ruins was built during king Bhimdev 1 of Patan near banks of Pushpavati River around year 1026-27 A.D. The temple was later destroyed by Mahmud Gazni.  Near the temple, I saw a pond known as Rama Kund surrounded by step terraces on all sides with numerous small temples. There are various graphical representation on Mahabharata events on the pillars of the temple.

After the visit to the sun temple, I got ready for the dance festival. The dance festival as I had learnt is organized annually and showcases traditional dances of Solanki Empire Reign. I learnt from a local that the Modhera dance festival is also known as Uttarardh Mohatsav. It is a mixture of music, dance and art along with culture of the country and state.

Mesmerizing Dance at Modhera’s Sun Temple

 I saw that there were dance groups from all over the country, who performed various dances in variety of different forms and styles. It is always a pleasure to watch classical and different ethnic dance. Since the dance festival is organized very near to the temple, I somehow felt that the dances blended well with the temple dome in background. It was a wonderful experience for me to see the dances similar to the ones that may have been performed during the past era of the temple.

There were various Garba dances that were being performed by various Dancers. The Garba dance was beautiful and elegant. I Saw that everyone present there were either recording or shooting pictures of the dances. Various other dances  of India like Bharat Natyam, Kathak and kuchipudi etc were being  performed with much enthusiasm amidst various lights, different costume colors and of course great energy of people.  There were classical and folk dancers of different states along with their musicians. There were many special foreigner guests who had come specially to see this event.

After some time, the dance stopped and it was followed by only instrumental music being played. Men and women dancers were matching each other’s dance moves in a very elegant and graceful way. Since, it was a winter; people had bought their extra jackets to keep themselves warm. A gentle winter wind was blowing, which added fun and entertainment to the whole programme.

The dances from different cultures continued till late night, after which everybody retired to their destinations for sleep. I got a chance to talk with some dancers, who told me that they come here every year after getting invitation from Gujarat Government. They are now training the younger dancers to dance well and perfectly and preserve the ancient heritage and culture of Indian dance.

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