Suryanar Temple is a must visit if you are on a pilgrimage to South India and want to visit temples dedicated to the
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The History Of Suryanar Temple
The stone inscriptions in the temple state that a king of the Chola Dynasty built this temple structure during the reign of Kulothunga Chola I. He ruled this region between 1080 to 1118 AD. The kings of the Vijayanagara Dynasty later renovated the temple. A king belonging to the Srivijaya Dynasty constructed the granite shrine. The Srivijaya Empire covered modern Indonesia and much of the Malay Archipelago. Currently, the temple is under the administration of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the TN Government.
Some Interesting Facts About This Temple You Didn’t Know
The priests: Shaivite priests perform the temple functions and rituals. Additionally, the religious aspects are under the administration of the Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam, a Saivite mutt
Location of the Temple: Suriyanar Temple, located in a small village called Suriyanar Koil, is near the famous pilgrimage centre of Kumbakonam.
Major Festival:The temple celebrates the 10-day Ratha Saptami Festival during the Tamil month of Thai (January-February). This marks the beginning of the Uttarayana Period where the Chariot of Surya (Sun God) turns northwards.
Suryanar Temple Timings: This temple is open all year round. Pilgrims can visit the temple in the mornings between 6:00 am to 11:00 am and in the evenings between 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Suryanar Temple Pooja Timings: This temple conducts six special pujas each day, from early morning till late in the night – 5:30 am. 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 6:00 pm, 8:00 pm, and 10:00 pm.
Special Features of this Temple: This is one of the few major temples in India with the Sun God Surya as the presiding deity. It also has separate shrines for all the nine planetary deities or Navagraha.
Temple Architecture: The temple, built in the Dravidian style architecture. It has a rectangular plan and the five-tiered tower (gopuram) tops the main entrance. The corridor leading to the central shrine has walls lined with images of Nataraja, Vishwanatha, Sivakami, Vishalakshi, Vinayaka, and Murugan (Shanmukha).
The Deities At Suryanar Temple
The central shrine, dedicated to Surya, the Sun God has three idols. This shrine has images of Surya, and his consorts Sharanya, and Prathyusha (Chaya Devi). Additionally, the image of Guru (Jupiter) sits opposite to this shrine. Additionally, there are separate shrines for the other seven planetary deities (Soma, Angaraka or Mangala, Budha, Shukra, and Shanishwara), making this a unique temple in Tamilnadu with shrines for the entire Navagraha deities.
The Unforgettable Legends Of Suriyanar Kovil
It is believed that a sage, Kalava Muni, was the main cause for the existence of this temple. He was suffering from leprosy. As it is believed that celestial influences cause these problems, he prayed to the Navagrahas to provide relief from his sufferings. They granted his wish. However, the planetary deities could not grant boons. They could only provide negative or positive effects on all creatures as dictated by their Karma. So, Brahma, angered by the violation of this rule and cursed them to suffer from leprosy too. He sent them to this region which was called the Vellerukku Vanam (forest of the White Calotropis flowers).
Therefore, saddened by this turn of events, the Navagrahas went to this forest and meditated deeply on Lord Shiva for a long time. Pleased, Shiva appeared before them, relieved them of the curse, and gave this place to them. He told them to remain there and grant the wishes of all devotees who came to worship them.
Travel Route to Suryanar Temple From Chennai
This temple is not located nearby
- Airavatesvara Temple – This is a Shiva Temple, and the main deity is called Airavatesvara. This is because of a belief that he was worshipped here by Airavata, the vehicle of Indra.
- Sarangapani Temple – This is a Vishnu temple. Here, Vishnu is in a Reclining Pose, and Mahalakshmi is worshipped here as Komalavalli. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams or divine sites that have been praised in the works of the Alwars, or Vaishnavite saints.
- Adi Kumbeswarar Temple – The Chola Kings constructed this huge Shaivite temple with four gateways over a thousand years ago. This is the temple and deity that is said to have given the region its name – Kumbakonam.
- Mahamaham Tank – This is a holy temple tank located in Kumbakonam. Every 12 years, a huge number of devotees come here to take a dip in this tank dung the Mahamaham festival.
Best Suriyanar Temple Kumbakonam Hotels To Stay At
Suriyanar Koil is itself a small village. Still, you will find many good hotels within a few kilometer radius. Sivamurugan Hotels, Jeyam Residency, and DSR Madhanam Inn are good, affordable options in the surrounding region. If you have a higher budget, Quality Inn Viha, Mantra Koodam, and INDeco Swamimalai have very good reviews.
In addition to this, you can also book a tour of other Navagraha Sthalas nearby. These include Thingalore (Chandra or Moon), Kanjanur (Shukra or Venus), Alangudi (Guru or Jupiter), and Thirunallar (Shanishwara or Saturn). While in Kumbakonam, you should also consider visiting the many ancient temples, both Shaivite and Vaishnavite, in this region.