One of the temple that people in Gujarat hold in high honour is the Becharaji Temple in Becharaji city. It is one of the Shakti Peeths in India, the original temple being about five km away. The Becharaji Temple complex is huge and quite modernised.
People bring their children here for the ‘mundan’ (getting the child’s head completely shaved for the first time after birth). People who are not blessed with a child also pray at this temple by making a clay form of a child and keeping it there.
It is said that everyone’s wish for a child has been fulfilled here so far. After the birth, people hang a picture of their child at the temple. This temple has got a dome and a shikhar and there is a tree in the complex where people have been praying for almost a thousand years. Various vendors line the entry to this temple, selling sweets, flowers, etc.
The Sun Temple is a majestic and true example of the artistry of Gujarat kings back then. It was built in AD 1026-27 during the reign of Bhimdev I. Today it is looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India, and although in a dilapidated condition, still looks elegant and ropes in quite a crowd.
A steep water reservoir in front of the temple, known as “Suraj Kund” or “Ram Kund” to the local people, is accessed by stairs. It is surrounded by small statues of 108 Gods. This was where king used to pray after taking a bath and then going inside the Sun Temple.
The Sun Temple is built on an upside-down lotus flower and the first building of it is supported by 52 pillars representing the number of weeks in an year.
During the equinoxes, the sun’s rays fall directly inside the carvings of the temple. Stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are carved on the temple walls. This temple was plundered by Mahmud of Ghazni. After seeing the artistic work done in this temple, I felt applauding the true talent of the people back then who gave their days and nights to building such a masterpiece.
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