20 May 2013

Suriyanar Temple - First of the Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

The Suryanar Temple is a Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu South India  It is located in the village of Suryanarkoil in the Thanjavur district. It is dedicated to the worship of the Hindu Sun-God and the other Navagrahas, and is considered one of the Navagraha temples

Suryanar Temple
It is to be noted that thee are only two temples dedicated to Sun God  in India - the Konark in the North and  the Suriyanar temple in the south.  There is no idol worship in the Konark temple as in the southern temple.

Suryanar Temple Gopuram
The Suriyanar temple has three tiers.The stretches to about 15.5 meters in height.  At the top of the tower[gopuram] there are five kalasams.  Outside the Rajagopuram, on the north side, there is a holy tank called Surya Pushkarni.

Lord Suryanarayanawith His Consorts
Usha and Chayadevi
The temple faces west.  Surya Bhagawan is positioned, accompanied on both sides by his consorts Usha and Chayadevi.  The presiding deity here is Suryanarayana in a chariot like vimaanam, representing the sun's chariot. There are also shrines to Kasi Viswanathar,Visalakshi and Brihaspati [Guru] in the sanctum. Shrines to the other celestial bodies are located outside of the sanctum.

Suryanar Temple Layout
The sanctum and the ardhamandapam are built of stone, while the rest of the shrines are brick structures. The Kol Theertha Vinayakar shrine is considered to be of importance here. An elaborate worship protocol involving circumambulating the entire temple nine times, is prescribed for devotees visiting the temple. Protocol requires that one visits the Tirumangalakkudi-- Shivastalam before visiting Suryanaar Koyil.

Ratha Saptami in the Tamil month of Thai, and the first Sundays in the months of Aavani  and Karthigai.  

It is stated in one of the inscriptions found in the temple that is was built in the reign of Kulottunga Choladeva [AD 1060-1118] and was called Kulottungachola-Marttandalaya.  Kulothunga Cholan is said to hae had good relationhip with the Gahadwal Dynasty of Kanauj [ 1090 to 1194], whose rulers where sun whorsippers, and hence the Suryanar Koil i sconsidered to be an expression of their influence in South India.  Inscriptions from the period of Krishna Deva Raya, speaking of endowments made to this temple, is also seen here.  

How to reach this Temple:
This temple is near to Aaduthurai and 15Km from Kumbakonam.  Suryanar Temple is about two kilometers north of Aaduthurai.  It is situated on the road between Kumbakonam and Kathiramangalam and about 15km east of Kumbakonam.  

A favourably positioned Sun in the horoscope manifests as intelligence, perception, strength of will and character in the inmate. It creates endurance, stamina, vitality, positive spirit, direction, courage, conviction, confidence, leadership, independence and straight- forwardness.
An unfavourably positioned Sun results in lack of intelligence, poor perception, weakness of will and character. Surya’s worship benefits include strength, health, good eyesight, intelligence, relief from skin ailments and long life. Cool water is used for Abhishegam. Offerings of wheat & archana with red lotus please him. Devotees who are unable to visit any of the other Navagraha temples can perform the necessary parihara poojas to the respective planet at this temple.

On Sundays, attired in clean red clothes, offer lotus flower to the God, facing the east and recite the following mantras.
Surya Moola Mantram : Aum hram hrim hraum sah suryaya namah.
Surya Gayathri om ashwadhwajaaya vidmahae padma hasthaaya dheemahi tanno surya: prachodayaath
Temple Timings : 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Temple Address
Arulmigu Siva Suriyaperuman Temple,
Thirumangalakudi P.O
Thiruvidaimaruthur T.K.
Thanjavur D.T.
Ph : 0435-2472349

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