Modhera Dance Festival, Gujarat

The Modhera Dance Festival or Uttarardh Mahotsav is set against the backdrop of Modhera’s majestic sun temple, dressed in its best suit of lights for the occasion. It is organised by the Gujarat Tourism Corporation. It brings together dance troupes and solo performers from all over India, offering a panorama of India’s many dance styles.

Modhera
The temple of Modhera in colorful dress

The festival is held on the third weekend of January, just after the Uttarayan celebrations for the new season.

Uttarardh Mahotsav takes its name from the Sun’s planetary and astronomic configuration.

Modhera
The mandapa of the temple particularly highlighted by the lighting

Modhera temple is consecrated to the sun god and to worship of the Earth’s cycle around the sun.

Uttarayan is the day the sun begins its northward journey (uttara mans north). It symbolises the end of winter and the moment the days begin to lengthen.

Dancers during the Modhera dance festival

During Uttarayan, the sun transits from Sagittarius (Dhanu) into Capricorn (Makara). It marks the end of winter and the start of longer, warmer days. 

This beautiful festival should be on any traveller’s list of absolute musts in India.

The mandapa of the temple of Modhera reflected in the pond

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