A temple where the Sun never rise

Recently we visited Polo Forest, a recently discovered place in Sabarkantha of Gujarat due to its value of nature and the amount of lush green forest it holds. However, the world is unknown about the amount of heritage it holds in its heart. Being a heritage lover, I tend to dissect the place when I feel the air has stories to tell. Met local guides local priests, and people and came across unknown stories which the world hardly knew. One was such a beautiful temple sitting alone shining at its best in the evening. The present government is making good efforts at least to preserve the archaeological remains to some extent. As we can see boards that protected such monuments. 

Athamnu surya mandir
Sun temple- Polo forest

Otherwise, it was another stone structure which was disrupting the way of the village people. Searching through the forest we came along a monument that had arches, and stairs that led to a kind of heaven. A few local folks were sitting and chitchatting inside the premises. Dogs wandered and ships neighed. The premise was huge settled on a mandap that had many stairs to climb. The centre mandap had 4 mandaps surrounding it which were broken and shattered but all of them had few stairs to climb to enter the garbh griha. This temple should be surely in its full glory once upon a time. Despite this marvel, could feel the heaviness in the air. The entire structure was stupendous and the main temple had amazing garbh griha with obviously no murti settled in it. It was attacked by invaders and the structure was ruined. Even the sculptures were broken to pieces. They still spoke of the glory. I noticed one thing about the temple. The temple had rays of the setting sun reaching the garbh griha and shining at its best when the Sun was setting. Why so? I asked the guide and he had the entire history of the temple. 

The temple we visited was the temple of Sun but not the usual one. It was the ‘Athamnu surya mandir’. Now, what is this Athamnu Surya mandir? It is the temple of the Setting Sun. Usually, when a temple is built it is built in such a pattern that anyhow the Sun rays fall somewhere inside the garbh griha- which is the main centre of the temple where the preceding diety recides. However, here, the centre of the temple had the setting Sun rays falling inside. The story goes like this.  

Once upon a time, there lived a queen named Kantha Rani. She had two valiant sons. However, one day both of her sons were killed by the invaders who destroyed the entire area and kingdom simultaneously. She had nothing on her hands. She lost control of her emotions and was tremendously unhappy. Her two sons were lost and her kingdom as well. The temple that existed here shows her emotions. She built this temple just to remind us that this kingdom had a severe downfall. This temple showed her tremendous emotions saying,

 “This temple will showcase the downfall this kingdom faced once upon a time.”

This temple will showcase the downfall this kingdom faced once upon a time’. This marvel stands as a reminder of the downfall now.

Things to keep in mind before visiting: 

  • Season matters a lot
  • If you are visiting in summer, make sure tocarry a water bottle with you.
  • Most of the heritage places are under the archeologicaldepartment. Many of them are under renovation.
  • If you can hire a good guide, go for it. Otherwise, there still will remain another stone-disrupted buildingstanding in front of you.
  • History matters a lot. Survey and read a lot before visiting any of the places. 
  • Polo forest is a natural habitat anddeciduous forest is lush green in monsoon. In summer sameforest stands lonely for its leaves to come back. 

Best time to visit Polo Forest

Monsoon is the best time to visit Polo Forest where you will see only greenery around. Lush green deciduous forest looks beautiful amidst the Aravalli hills. Heritage site seem to play hide and seek with the green tall deciduous trees to give marvellous look of gem amidst the jungle. However winter and spring season have their own importance too.

How to reach:

Polo Forest is 148 km and 2.40 hours drive from Ahmedabad. Once you reach your hotel you can ask for either a guide which is mostly provided by the hotel or go on your own if you are well versed with the places. This place is amazing and was approximately half an hour’s drive from our hotel. The name of the temple is Surya Mandir of Polo Forest. 

Check on this post of Surya mandir of Modhera which is exceptional because of its location. 

There are ample of other heritage sites hidden in the Jungle of Polo Forest. Check other post for the same. POLO FOREST.

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