Eu3+ doped and Eu3+, Yb3+ co-doped Gd3Ga5O12 phosphors have been developed by facile solid state reaction method which can be easily scaled-up in large quantity. The synthesis has been optimized to get a single phase material at 1300 °C. The phase and crystal parameters have been analyzed by using X-ray diffraction measurement. Photoluminescence excitation (monitored for the 5D0 → 7F1 transition of Eu3+) depicts that the active ion (Eu3+) can be excited through direct excitation into 4f band of Eu3+, through charge transfer band (Eu3+-O2-) excitation and also through the excitation into 8S7/2 → 6IJ intra f–f transition of Gd3+ ion, which significantly all together cover a broad excitation region in 200–420 nm. In addition, in the presence of Yb3+ ions, the emission is also achieved by near infrared excitation (976 nm), through a typical upconversion (UC) process. Thus, the material efficiently behaves as a dual mode emitting phosphor (emission is achieved both through normal fluorescence and through UC process). The conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells is only 15% of terrestrial solar energy for 200–400 nm region and also the sub-band gap energy (in infrared region) is lost as heat; therefore, this kind of dual mode phosphors may be used to overcome the above mentioned incomplete utilization of the solar spectrum and can open realm of new possibilities for energy harvesting.