The famous Temple of the Sun God located in the village of Arasavalli, which is at a distance of about 1 K.M. east of the district headquarters of the city of Srikakulam on the north coast of Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the ancient temples and one of the two sun gods in our country. According to Padmapuranam, the sage Kasyapa installed the idol of Surya in Arasavalli for the welfare of mankind. Therefore, the Surya is from Kasyapasa Gotra. It is also called the Planetary King. According to the ‘Sthalapuranam’ of the temple, Lord Devendra found this temple and installed the existing idol of the Sun God commonly known as Lord Suryanarayana Swamy Varu under the following circumstances.
Once Lord Devendra, ignoring the words of Dwarapalaka Nandi, tried to force his entry into the Darshan of Sri Rudrakoteswara Swamy varu at an inconvenient hour when Lord Siva was together with his consort. The Dwarapalaka Nandi in the performance of his duties kicked the intruder. Thus kicked and wounded by Devine’s assistant, Indra fell senseless. And in his unconscious state, Indra dreamed that he would be relieved from the pain of the chest wound caused by Nandi if he had built a temple and installed an idol of the Sun God. After regaining consciousness, he remembered what he had dreamed of.
Following his dream, he collected handfuls of earth three times in a place where he lay, and there he found this beautiful idol of the Sun God with his three consorts Usha, Chaya and Padmini. At the base of the idols are the figures of Mathara and Pingala the Dwarapalakas and at the top are the two divine saints, sanaka and sanadana holding ‘Chatrams’ (An Umbrella). The Sun God is depicted riding on a chariot drawn by Anura, the Radhasaradhy. All of these figures are exquisitely carved from a single finely polished black granite stone.
HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE OF THE TEMPLE: –
Archaeology experts say that the stone inscriptions available at the temple shed some light to the effect that Devendra Varma, the ruler of the Kalinga Kingdom, must have built this temple and installed the image of the Sun God on it at the last. middle of the 7th century. The translation of the stone inscriptions reveals the donation of some lands to the Sun God for lamps to be installed in the temple, to run a school or a hostel for students learning Sastras and Vedas. These donations are claimed to have been made by the successors of King Devendra Varma of Kalinga before the 11th century AD. The temple is built in such a way that the sun’s rays are focused on the feet of God twice a year in the months of March and September in the early hours of the day. The rays so focused on the feet of the Idol through the five entrance doors of the temple remain a few minutes.
FESTIVALS IN SUN GOD TEMPLE
- Ratha Saptami
- Maha Sivaratri
- Maha Vaisakhi
- Rakhi Pournami
- Naraka Chaturdasi & Diwali
- Vaikuntha Ekadashi
- Makara Sankranthi
WORSHIP OF SUN GOD :-
This temple has the unique characteristic of attracting crowds of people from different walks of life, cultures and creeds and making them believe that God is one and that there is no difference between Siva and Kesava. The Five idols (Panchayatana installed in a particular place in the temple) namely: – 1. Aditya 2. Ambika 3. Vishnu 4. Ganesha 5. Maheswara, represent all religions. Finally, the devotees who visit this temple, go and worship the presiding Sun God, whom the Puranas speak of as the embodiment of Trimurthies, Brahama, Vishnu and Maheswara. The Lord who physically sees everything in the course of his daily journey through the universe and who fully understands the truth behind all things is not only considered Pratyaksha Daivam (visible God) but also the source and sustainer of all life. People who perform ‘Suryanamaskara’ recite Maha Soura and Aruna Manthras which contain powerful beejaksharas from Rigveda and Yazurvada to give good health, hence it is said as “Arogyam Bhaskaradhischet”. The mantra or hymn is a harmonizing spiritual formula of sound that always protects the register in all senses. This is the secret of worshiping the Sun God. Sunday is considered the most auspicious day for worshiping God.
Distance By Road Distance From Visakhapatnam to Srikakulam 100.00 kms Distance From Vijayawada to Srikakulam 452.4 kms Distance From Hyderabad to Srikakulam 724.8 kms Distance From Chennai to Srikakulam 910.3 kms Distance From Bangalore to Srikakulam 1112.7 kms
You can reach Srikakulam by buses, trains or planes. Srikakulam is well connected to other parts of the state of Andhra Pradesh and also to the major cities.
The nearest Airport is at Visakhapatnam Airport which is 106 km away from Sri Suryanarayana Temple.