Sun Temple

sights / Historic

Sun Temple information

Prices
Indian/foreigner ₹5/100
Opening hours
9am-5pm
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Lonely Planet review

The beautiful Sun Temple was built by King Bhimdev I in 1026 and 1027 and resembles the better-known Konark Temple in Orissa, which it pre-dates by 200 years. It was similarly designed so that the dawn sun shone on the image of Surya, the sun god, during the equinox. The main hall and shrine are reached through a pillared pavilion. The temple exterior is intricately carved with demons and deities. As at Somnath, this temple was ruined by Mahmud of Ghazni, but it remains impressive. Fifty-two intricately carved pillars depict scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The interior contains a hall with 12 niches representing Surya’s different monthly manifestations. Erotic sculpture panels complete the sensual decoration.