April 4, 2008

Surya Mandir, the Sun Temple


I visited the Sun Temple, popularly called Surya Mandir in Gwalior, which is located at a distance of approximately 5 kms from the city centre.


The main gate had emblems of the sun and the pillars on each side had the sign of the swastika designed on the purnakumbha.


In Hinduism, purnakumbha is an object symbolizing God and is regularly used during different religious rites. It is an earthern pot filled with water, representing the divine essence, with fresh leaves of the mango tree and a coconut placed on the top. In addition to Om (Aum) and the swastika, purnakumbha is another important symbol in Hinduism.


There is a neatly kept garden within the landscape around the temple.

The sacred Sun Temple attracts tourists and locals alike, who flock to catch a glimpse of the same. Even though it is not very old, it is one of the most venerated shrines of the ancient city of Gwalior.

I conversed with a couple who had come to the Sun Temple to seek blessings. The girl had a typical Indian look about her draped in a colourful saree, head partially covered, wearing a mangalsutra around her neck and bindi on her forehead. I was given permission to photograph them.


The elegant Sun Temple is a newly constructed temple dedicated to Sun God. It's architecture has been inspired by the famous Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa. Photography of the deity inside was not allowed.


26 comments:

Zhu said...

Wow, the girl is beautiful! You really captured something in the couple picture.

I miss visiting temples... I used to do it in China. There's a very specific atmosphere, one that's hard to describe. Peace and freedom.

AJEYA RAO said...

Sun temple looks pretty,

The pic of the couple looks so complete

GMG said...

Hi Celine! Here I am for my at least weekly visit...
The Tansen post is beautiful; having now seen Mughal tombs, I wonder how beautiful they may look! And the sun temple post is another of your perfect journeys. A wonderful start for the weekend!
Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter, where I’m still strolling around Bilbao. Look forward to reading you back there!
Have a great weekend!
Gil

CHEWY said...

Celine,
If I traveled as much as you do, I'd need to have a blog just to remember everywhere I've been and what I've seen. I enjoyed you Spring post also.

Jeff B said...

The archetecture of the sun temple is stunning.

Mridula said...

Beautiful pictures Celina. I liked the green scenery and of course the couple a lot. How I am missing travel these days.

indicaspecies said...

Zhu,

Thank you.

I quite agree with your description at most such places. :)

indicaspecies said...

Ajeya,

Thank you. Glad you liked. :)

indicaspecies said...

Gil,

Thank you for the kind words and I am glad the Mughals have made an impact on you. ;)

I hope you have a great weekend too. :)

indicaspecies said...

chewy:

That's what I am trying to do, making an attempt to put up memories on this blog. Thank you for your visit, and kind words Darlene. :)

indicaspecies said...

Jeff,

Thank you very much. :)

indicaspecies said...

Mridula,

Thank you and I am glad you liked these pictures. I'd like to think you would be able to grab an opportunity to travel again shortly. :)

bendtherulz said...

whow - was not aware of sun temple in MP. So this makes it 4th temple in whole of India -right !! And there I thought first that only 1 existed (konark-orissa) - Have you seen that ??

indicaspecies said...

Mridula,

Thank you for the link up. Appreciated. :)

indicaspecies said...

bendtherulz:

In addition to the famous Sun Temple at Konark, the ones I have read about are in Gaya, Bihar; near Jhansi in UP; in Modhera, Gujarat and some places in Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. That makes it at least 8. ;)

No, I have not yet been to Konark, but it's on my list of 'must see' places. I must mention here that after seeing the wonders of Kajuraho, about which I am overwhelmed till today, I am in no hurry at all. :)

backpakker said...

Understanding these symbols is like opening a different world ...I like visual interpretations ..

indicaspecies said...

Lakshmi,

These symbols and anything that connects me home gives me brief respite under the circumstances. :)

Never Mind!! said...

You paint a completely different and beautiful picture of most places that I have only heard of. Although traveling is most people's passion, very few people like you actually have it in them to pursue it.

And honestly, I thought there was only one Sun temple in Konark. You blog is a great place to discover places off the beaten track and I love it!!

indicaspecies said...

Never Mind!!:

Thank you for your visit to my blog and also for your gracious comments.
Your words are highly encouraging Aparna and again, thanks a lot. :)

priyank said...

Nice temple. Does it have an idol of the Surya dev? And is the idol... (you know my question.. lol!) The other possibility is that it has a symbol of sun. Was it carved in stone or how did the altar look like?

indicaspecies said...

Priyank,

Thanks. I have a good idea of what you want to say..haha!

On a serious note now, I don't recall the idol was carved of what material exactly but I do remember that there was some sort of arrangement where the sun rays were to fall directly on the murti (idol). The idol in the sanctum sanctorum was awesome - beautiful and dazzling!

Indrani said...

I missed out so many posts. You have an amazing speed at posting. All stuffed with juicy bits and bytes. :)

indicaspecies said...

Indrani,

Thank you for your regular visits here and kind comments. :)

ram prakash said...

The Sun Temple looks very nice...couple pic is also very good...i have visited this temple three times and it is really a nice place to visit and find peace...

indicaspecies said...

Ram Prakash,

I agree it is a very nice place. Thank you for your kind comment.:)

Konark temple said...

Nice pics. Konark Sun Temple is also called as Konark Temple. Temple is attract tourist most, it is located in Orissa india.The chariot is very huge and has 12 pairs of stone-carved wheels and also a squad of seven running horses. Seven horses, symbolizes the seven days of the week, 12 pairs of wheels symbolizes the 12 months of the year.