There are only two temples for Sun in India, the Konark in North and Suriyanarkoil in South. There is no idol worship in Konark as in the southern temple. Suriyanar (Sun) Temple tower is 15.5 meter high. It has three tiers. At the top of the tower there are five kalasam. Outside the Rajagopuram (main tower) in the north side there is a holy tank called Surya Pushkarni.
As you enter the Temple on the right side there is the Theertha Vinayakar (Ganesh) Sannidhi is there and in the northern corridor one will find Thejas Chandikeswarar Sannidhi.
In the temple facing west, Surya Baghawan is positioned, accompanied on both sides by his consorts Usha and Chayadevi.After Surya Baghawan one should go to Sabanayakar Mandapam and offer prayers to Lord Nataraja, the Navagraha, and at Sthabana Mandapam worship Sri Kasi Viswanathar and Sri Visalakshi Ammai.
Once upon a time, some sages were sitting and doing their penance. Among the Sages there was one Saint called 'KalaMunivar'. He would predict all the three periods of human beings. One day a young saint came to KalaMunivar and enquired about his future. KalaMunivar was predicting the life of the Young saint. The young Saint non-Chalantly asked the KalaMunivar to know about his own future and smiled teasingly, KalaMunivar was surprised as no one dared to ask him such a question. KalaMunivar was willing to know more about the young Saint and asked him who he was. The young Saint replied that he was 'Kala Devan' and disappeared. KalaMunivar started thinking about his past and future. In past, he was eating the legs of Crabs and for which he was bound to get leprosy. As all other Saints came to know the reason for his sadness and they all advised him that none can escape from the fate and only it can be mitigated to lesser extent. They told him that Navagrahas are the ones who inflict the cruel hands to fate on human beings and advised him to offer prayers to navagrahas. KalaMunivar moved from Himalayas to the Southern side. On fixing auspicious date, he started a rigorous meditation and Homas. As Homas continued, the heat generated made Navagrahas to appear before KalaMunivar to reduce the temperature. KalaMunivar prostrated before them and stood in Joy with tears coming down copiously Navagrahas asked the Kalamunivar to express his desire to fulfill. KalaMunivar explained to them his predicament and save him from the dreadful disease. Navagrahas granted his prayer and blessed him. This news reached the Bhrama Deva and naturally Bhrama got angry. He ordered Navagraha to appear before him. Navagraha appeared before Bhrama and told them about their disobedience and remainded them of their role. Bharama cursed them and punished that they have to born on earth individually and undergo the punishment of suffering from leprosy of KalaMunivar. After hearing the punishment, Navagrahas came dead silence and sought forgiveness from lord Bhrama Deva, the creator of the Universe. They pleaded their ignorance and forgiveness. Bhrama was moved and made them to seek redressal for their disobedience. He directed them to reach Bharath and move to south where Cauvery is flowing. In the north bank of the river they can find 'Arghavanam' known as Velerukkakadu. Stay there offer worship from the first Sunday of Tamil month Karthigai for 12 weeks in total of 78 days on Mondays, they have to take bath before sunrise in Cauvery and offer prayers to Prarivaradhan and MangalaNayaki with in 2 1/2hours after sunrise, they have to have curdrice in 'Arka leaf' amd eat the same. On the other days they have to be in fast to release themselves from the punishment. Navagrahas reached the earth and came to bharath. They were in search of Argavanam. They saw 'Agasthiar' and followed him quickly. They enquired about Argavanam where Agasthiar took them there as he was also going to that place. They all reached the place. Everybody took bath in cauvery worshipped Lord Pranavaradhan and Mangalambigai. Agasthiar stretched his hand on cauvery took waters and poured on the lord. It was sight to be seen. Everybody admired Agasthiar. There every Navagraha was afflicted with the disease no leprosy. Slowly and Steadily their body began to shrunk and foul smell started. They asked Agasthiar to guide them on their mode of worship. Agasthiar asked them to choose north-east and place the vinayagar to remove and avoid obstacles for them and start doing their penance from Sunday, Agasthiar asked them to choose nine water spots and each one of them should take bath daily from it. Navagraha enquired about his significance to them the secreat of it. It is one way of curing the illness as the leaf contains some medical touch. Navagrahas as directed by Agasthiar followed the rituals strictly on fath day, Monday much to their surprise they took bath in cauvery and they found that the disease has cured more them 50%. They offered worship to lord Pranavaradhan and Mangalambikai. Both appeared before them and blessed them as they were satisfied about their meditation. They were completely cured from the disease. Lord asked them to stay in the Argavanam constrict temple of their bless the devotees freely. As Navagrahas were in ecstasy, KalaMunivar appeared before them, prostrated and sobbed uncontrollably for their suffering, Navagrahas pacified KalaMunivar and enquired about his knowings on them. KalaMunivar explained to them about his meeting of Agasthiar and narration of Agasthiar. All worshipped vinayakar for his benign blessings to complete their task without any obstacles. They named the vinayakar as "Koltheertha Vinayakar". Navagrahas requested KalaMunivar to build them each temple at Argavanam. KalaMunivar obeyed Navagrahas by building them a temple for each one of them.
Inscriptions from the period of Kulottunga Chola I (1075-1120) refer to this temple as the Kulottunga Chola Martanda Alayam. Kulottunga Chola is said to have had a good relationship with the Gahadwal dynasty of Kanauj (1090 - 1194), whose rulers were Sun worshippers, and hence Suryanar Koyil, is considered 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 are also seen here.
This temple is close to Aduthurai and 15 km from Kumbakonam.
Two kilometres north of Aaduthurai lies Suryanar temple. It is situated on the road between Kumbakonam and Kadhiramangalam and 15 km to the east of Kumbakonam.
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