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Updated January 19th, 2024 at 00:25 IST

Ancient Sun Temples In India That Give You Accurate Position Of Sun Throughout The Day

Sun temples like Konark, Modhera Sun temple around the world are a harmonious convergence of architecture, spirituality, and astronomical precision.

The Sun Temples
The Sun Temples | Image:Odisha.gov.in
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Sun temples around the world are strategically aligned with sunrises; these architectural structures reflect a profound connection with the celestial sphere. From Konark Sun Temple to Stonehenge Temple, various sun temples highlight the universal fascination with the sun's journey across the sky. These architectural structures are not only masterful craftsmanship but also serve as a deep reverence for the cosmic dance of light that inspired cultures across continents throughout history.

Know about various types of Sun temples:

Konark Sun Temple, Odisha

The famous Konark wheel, featured on India’s currency notes, has various interpretations. Some view seven horses as days of the week, the 12 pairs of wheels as months of the year, the 24 wheels as hours in a day, and the eight major spokes as the prahars (three-hour periods) of a day. In fact, it is believed that the four wheels of the chariot function as sundials, and guides at the popular tourist site will expertly demonstrate how to tell the exact time using sunlight and shadow.

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Image credits: Odisha.gov.in 


Modhera Sun Temple, Gujarat


The 1000-year-old Sun Temple at Modhera is a marvel of the Maru-gurjara architectural style under Bhima I's rule in 1026 CE. Interestingly, the sandstone temple is perfectly positioned on the Tropic of Cancer to align itself with the movement of the sun. The main shrine is positioned so as to catch the first rays of the morning sun during the solar equinoxes.

Image credits: gujarattourism.com


Katarmal Sun Temple, Uttarakhand


The Katarmal Temple was built by Katarmalla, who dedicated the shrine to the ancient avatar of the god Sun, Burhadita or Vraddhaditya. The main shrine is positioned in such a way that during specific days, particularly around the equinox, sunlight penetrates through an opening in the walls to illuminate the main idol in the shrine.

 

Unao Balaji Sun Temple

The Sun Temple at Unao in Madhya Pradesh is special in its architecture. The Sun God is the main deity of this temple. The Sun God stands on the brick platform covered with black plates. Twenty-one triangles, representing the 21 phases of the sun, are engraved in the shrine.

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Image credits: datia.nic.in


Abu Simbel Sun Temple, Egypt


Every year, the temple faces east, and at the solstices, twice a year, the dawn sunlight is aligned to light the entire length of the temple entrance corridor (some 200 feet inside), lighting up three of the four statues at the end of the corridor.

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Stonehenge temple, England

Stonehenge was built to align with the sun on the solstices. On the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone in the north-east part of the horizon, and its first rays shine into the heart of Stonehenge. On the winter solstice, the sun sets to the south-west of the stone circle.

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Published January 19th, 2024 at 00:25 IST

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