India is an incredibly spiritual and religious place. There are literally hundreds of thousands of temples that mark the countryside as you travel throughout India.
Yesterday, while in the field Manjula and I took a break from work to look at a two of the temples that are pretty well known in the state of Gujarat.
The first temple we visited, pictured above is called the Sun Temple and it is in Modhera, Gujarat. It was constructed in 1026-37 A.D. during the reign of King Bhindev I of Patan. It is dedicate dto Surya or the Sun God. There once was a sculpture of the god in the temple that was perfectly illuminated by the sun twice a year, but a Muslim King apparently stole it because it had diamonds on it.
It was a beautiful temple all the same and incredibly peaceful...I could have stayed there for hours and just read on the steps or the lawn, but we had to adventure on.
The second temple we stopped at was only constructed about 20-30 years ago. There were actually still artisans there working on the details of the pillars. It was incredibly beautiful and expansive though. There were little statutes under each one of those towers, almost 200 statues in all. The detailing on this temple was really exquisite, I couldn't stop taking photos.
Despite not being religious and often thinking that the amount of money that is spent on the opulence of temples is contradictory to the core values of almost any and every religion...I always like going to look at Temples, Churches, and Mosques. I think it is because at the end of the day I can put my opinion aside and appreciate the craftsmanship that went into building these holy houses.
Though I think the money could have been better spent on schools or hospitals for the poor, I still appreciate their beauty... it withstood the test of time, and inspired millions of the faithful to reverently look to it in awe and worship.