On the occasion of the summer solstice, June 21, 2023:
a memory of the temple of the Hindu sun god, Surya, at Modhera in Gujerat, India.
The structures were built originally in 1026 ACE in such a way that the sun fell on a bejewelled idol of Surya.
This idol no longer exists because it was plundered.
The temple itself was more than once attacked and partially destroyed by invaders from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
There are two structures: both fundamentally circles.
The first – the assembly hall – has four corridors of columns leading into its circular center. It is open and full of light.
The second structure – the shrine hall – has an area closed to the light which means that when you enter that building, you enter an area of penumbral shade.
Within the dark is where Surya once resided: people kneel there in veneration still. The bejeweled Surya blazed light.
The two structures make up our world of dark and light.
The carvings are extensive and, in the second structure, include erotica of great delicacy.
The grounds also contain a step well (baoli, vav): symmetrical and without representational imagery.
A small shrine is behind the temple: a place of green and quiet dedicated to Shiva attended by Nandi, his steed and chief acolyte.
A tortoise precedes Nandi.
The grounds of the small park are kept in pristine condition.
The temple is not in active use as such and is preserved as an archaeological site.
Which did not prevent the prostration of adherents to Surya engulfing us as far as the eye could see.