Sooriyanar Kovil is the first of the 9 Navagraha Temples in Tamil Nadu, about 1 km from Tirumangalakkudi. The presiding deity is Suriyanar, the Sun and his consorts Usha Devi and Pradyusha Devi. Sooriyanar Kovil Temple also has separate shrines for the other eight planetary deities.
Sooriyanar Kovil is one of the few historic temples in honor to Sun god and is also the only temple in Tamil Nadu which has shrines for all the planetary deities.
What is the history of Sooriyanar Kovil?
According to history Kulothunga Chola I built Sooriyanar Kovil Temple in 1100 AD. It features a huge tower with three tiers and five domes at the top. The sanctum and the ardhamandapam consist of stone. This is the only Navagraha temple where all the nine grahas are in separate Sanctums.
Once upon a time a great sage called Kaalava rishi was living in Himalayas region. He realized he will get a deadly disease of leprosy in the future and he worried about it. His fellow sages advised him to worship all the navagrahas (nine gods for each planet).
Kaalava rishi also did a very dedicated penance towards the navagrahas and they appeared as he wished. He told his concerns about leprosy and he prayed that the navagrahas should help him to get out of the deadly disease. The navagrahas granted the boon the rishi won’t get the disease.
Later the God of creator, Brahma came to know this and called upon all the nine devas (navagrahas). He told them, the human beings have to face all the happy and sad incidents in their life and nobody can change it. As navagrahas awarded the kaalava rishi navagrahas will get the disease on behalf of him and they should do a twelve weeks penance at south part of India.
Based on this curse all the navagrahas arrived to south India and did a penance to get rid of Brahma’s curse. Then, as god of Sun (Sooriyan) was heading this penance he was at the center in this temple and the other eight planet gods were surrounded by him at this temple.
What is the significance of the Sooriyanar Kovil?
Here’s the significance of the Sooriyanar Kovil:
- Those who suffer the ill effects of Kalathara Dosham, Vivaha Paribandha Dosham, Puthra Dosham, Puthra Paribandha Dosham, Vidhya Paribandha Dosham, Udyoga Padhibandha Dosham, Surya dasai, Surya bukthi would benefit from worshipping at this temple. Also, Father, Athma, physical strength, right eye, governmental largesse are the beneficial aspects of this planet.
- Devotees also believe that if one bathes in the nine ghats in this place continuously for 12 Sundays, they will be has a peaceful and prosperous life.
- There are shrines of Kasi Vishwanath, Visalakshi and Brihaspati(Guru) within the sanctum while shrines for the other celestial bodies are outside. The Kol Theertha Vinayakar shrine is very important. Malefic effects due to Dasa bukthi and gochara will be nullified by worshipping here.
- The peculiarity of this temple is that the eight other planets here, faces towards the Surya god. The Vahanam (vehicle) of Lord Suryanar is horse, which is called by the name “Saptha”, which refers to number “seven” in Sanskrit. Several horses draw the chariot of Lord Suryanar.
- Sree Surya Puranam is the first Puranam when the world came into existence, the first sound that reverberated was ‘Ohm’. Surya was born from this ‘Omkhara naadham’. Sree Markandeya Puranam has explained this factor. Suryan was the son of Sage Kashyapa and was the grandson of Sage Maarisi. Surya married Soorvarsala, the daughter of Vishwakarma. Vaivasvatha Manu and Yamadharmaraja were his sons and Yamuna, his daughter.
What are the timings of Sooriyanar Kovil Temple?
Here are the timings of Sooriyanar Kovil Temple:
|Morning Darshan||6:00 AM||12:30 PM|
|Evening Darshan||4:00 PM||8:00 PM|
What are the festivals celebrated at the Sooriyanar Kovil?
Some of the festivals celebrated at the Sooriyanar Kovil are:
- Ratha Saptami: Ratha Saptami is dedicated to Lord Surya, the Hindu Sun God. As per the tradition in Hinduism, Lord Surya rides a chariot driven by seven horses – devotees worship this form during Rathasaptami puja and festival.
- Vijaya Dashami: It is celebrated in the lunar month of Ashwin (usually in September or October). Vijayadashami is the victory of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana and also triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo Demon Mahishasura. In the southern part of India Vijaya Dashami is includes the worship of Chamundeshwari or Durga.
- Brahmotsavam festival: The Brahmothsavam is performed in the month of Asweeja (according to the hindu calendar) when the Sun is in the Kanya Rashi. The festival commences with ceremony- the Dhwajarohanam or the hoisting of the flag. Further, in the center of the outer court of the temple stands a huge stone-pillar called the flag-stand (Dhwajasthamba).
What are the Poojas and Rituals of Sooriyanar Kovil?
Poojas and rituals of Sooriyanar Kovil are:
- To offer worship at Sooriyanar Temple, one has to reach the Rajagopuram (Main Entrance) and more towards North where Pushkarani of temple is present.
- One can take bath in the tank or sprinkle holy water in the head as purification. Next after the bath one has to offer prayers at the RajaGopuram before entering the temple. After entering the temple, one has to turn towards Southeren side where Koltheertha Vinayagar is there.
- One also has to do the Sankalpam and Archana as Hindus find Vinayagar as turnover of all obstacles. After worshipping Vinayagar, one has to climb steps to reach ‘Narthana Mandapam’ at Northern Side. And then more towards ‘Sabanayakar Mandapam’ where one can offer prayers to ‘Urchava Moorthi’.
- After Sabanayakar Mandapam one can reach ‘Main Mandapam’ and offer prayers to SriKasivisvanathar and Smt. Visalakshi. Also, next to Main Mandapam, there is Maha Mandapam where Sannathi to Sun-God, there is Guru Bhavan(lord Jupitee) stands there.
- People do the Archana for Guru and offer prayers to lord Sun. One has to move South wards to come out of Sanctum to reach the lord Saturn (Sani). Lord Kuja, lord Mars are present separately then more northwards to offer prayers to lord Moon and Kethu.
- Next movement would be towards west where lord Sukra and Raghu are present. Finally one has to offer prayers to Sandikeswarar. After finishing prayers at Sandikeswarar, one has to come clockwise to reach the vinayakar to give final prayers.
How to Reach Sooriyanar Kovil?
Here’s how to reach Sooriyanar Kovil:
- Air: The nearest airport is Trichy airport, 58km from Thanjavur.
- Rail: The nearest railway station is the Aduthurai Railway Station.
- Road: Suryanar Koil is about 21 km from Swamimalai and 15 km from Kumbakonam. It is about 20 km from Mayiladuthurai on the Kumbakonam – Aduthurai – Mayiladuthurai Road.
Where to stay near near Sooriyanar Kovil temple?
Some of the places where one can stay near Sooriyanar Kovil Temple are:
- Sivamurugan Hotels Contact: 60 Feet Main Road | Near New Bus Stand,, Kumbakonam 612001
- Mantra Veppathur Resort Contact: 536/537A,No.1, Bagavathapuram Main Road Extension, | Srii Sailapathipuram Village, Veppathur,, Kumbakonam 612103
- Hotel Le Garden Contact: Thiruvidaimaruthur Road, Kumbakonam 612001
- DSR Madhanam Inn Contact: 75/3 Asoor By Pass Nh 45c | near Karuppur By Pass,Kumbakonam 612002
- Hotel Riverside Resort & Spa Contact: 32 College Road, Kumbakonam 612001
- Quality Inn VIHA Contact: #2, New Railway Road | Kumbakonam, Tanjore Dist,Kumbakonam 612001
Where to eat near Sooriyanar Kovil temple?
Some of the places where one can eat near Sooriyanar Kovil Temple are:
- Thanmayi Restaurant Contact: New Railway Road, Kumbakonam, India
- Raya’s Restaurant Contact: 18,19 Head Post Office Rd, Kumbakonam 612001
- Habibi RestaurantContact: 29/921 Sarangapani East Street, Kumbakonam
- Dosa Plaza Kumbakonam Contact: 332 Nageshwaran North Street Kurinchi Metro Bazzar
What are some temples near Sooriyanar Kovil Temple?
Some of the temples near Sooriyanar kovil temple are:
Brihadeeswara Temple: The Brihadeeswara Temple or the Peruvudaiyar Kovil is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. Moreover, Raja Raja Chola I had this temple constructed in 1010 AD. Also, the presiding deity is Shiva in the form of a Lingam, Peruvudaiya, Rasjarajeshwaramudvya.
Neelamega Perumal Temple: Thiru Thanjaimaamani temple or Sri Neelamega Perumal Temple is situated in Vennathankarai village of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also one of the 108 Divya Desam Temples. Further, the Lord in this temple appears in sitting posture as Veera SingaPerumal and Narashimar. Sri Yoga Narasimha is also in the front Mandap.
Sarangapani Temple: This is an important divya desam of Vishnu and is also known as Tiru Kudanthai. This is also one of the Pancha Ranga Khestras. Moreover, Sarangapani temple is the biggest Vishnu temple in Kumbakonam and it belongs to 13th century. The temple sanctum also has design like a chariot with wheels which horses and elephants pull.