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Suryanar Koil – Sun Temple, Kumbakonam

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Suryanar Koil – Sun Temple, Kumbakonam
SURYANAR KOIL Situated 21 kms from Swamimalai is the Suryanar Koil built by King Kulothunga Chola I in the year 1100 AD. This temple is dedicated to Sun God Surya who is known as the giver of health, success and prosperity. Every year in mid January, the harvest festival is celebrated in thanksgiving and to honour Surya.

About the temple:

The temple is a Navagrahasthalam. The presiding deity in this temple is Sri Suryanarayana the first among the Navagrahas, with his consorts Sri Usha Devi and Sri Pratyusha Devi . There are shrines dedicated to Kashi Vishvanathar, Visalakshi and Kol Theertha Vinayakar . The sacred tank here is called as Surya Theertham. The Navagraha idols here are present without weapons depicting their protective aspect. Guru Bhagavan here is depicted as offering worship to Surya Bhagavan.

The temple is built by the Chola kings and inscriptions from the period of Kulottunga Chola I (1075-1120)
show this temple as Kulottunga Chola Martanda Alayam. Inscriptions also portray that Krishna Devaraya has made endowments to this temple.

It is a must that one should first offer worship to Lord Shiva and Parvati at Thirumangalakudi before offering worship to Suryanarayana and the other Navagrahams here. People flock the temple to nullify the malefic effects of planets in their birth chart.

Suryanar Koil – Sun Temple, Kumbakonam
The Sivasuryanarayana temple at Suryanar Koil is one of the Navagraha temples and is dedicated to Suryan. This temple dedicated to Suryan has shrines for each of the other planets as well. The legend says that Kalava Munivar had the rare ability to see the future. One fine day, he realised that he was soon going to be affected by leprosy. Since the Navagrahas controlled all the aspects of ones life, he prayed to the Navagrahas and sought to be saved from the disease. Pleased by his devotion, the Navagrahas granted his wish. On coming to know of this, Brahma was furious because nobody had the right to change the destiny of a person. He cursed all the nine planets that they will have to undergo what Kalava munivar was destined to, and hence all the nine planets were affected by leprosy. The Navagrahas apologised and requested to know how they could overcome this curse. Brahma advised them to go the Thirumangalakudi and worship Prananatheswarar, at Vellerukkakadu, who alone could help them. After worshiping Prananatheswarar and his consort Mangalambigai, they installed an idol of Vinayakar a little away from there and started their penance. By God’s grace they attained papa vimochanam (salvation from their sin).

Kalava Munivar, for whom the Navagraha had undergone all the trouble, as a mark of gratitude, raised a temple at the same spot where the Navagrahas had performed their penance.

The presiding deity in this west facing temple is Suryanarayana in a chariot like vimaanam, representing the sun’s chariot. Sivasuryanaraya is in a standing position with his two consorts, Usha & Prathyusha (Chaya). There are also shrines dedicated to Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi and Guru Bhagavan in the sanctum. Shrines for the other celestial bodies are located outside of the sanctum. Vellerukku (Madar Plant) is the sthala vriksham. Pillayar made out of the Vellerukku is sold in the shops here. It is a very prized possession and protects from the evil forces.


Once King Kulothunga’s Minister Alaivanar was building a temple from the tax collected without obtaining the King’s permission. The King had him beheaded when he came to know about this. As his death wish, the minister requested that he be cremated in Thirumangalakudi. His wife prayed to the Mangalambikai at Thirumangalakudi and brought back her husband to life. Women pray to the Goddess here for long life and the well being of their spouse.

Method of Worship

Devotees are first required to have the darshan of Prananatheswarar and Mangalambigai at Thirumangalakudi before visiting Suryanar Koil. This temple is just 1 km from Suryanar Koil, and is situated in the same village. The method of worship at this temple is very different from other temples. We should first worship the Kol Vinai theertha vinayakar. He is called by this name because He helped the navagrahas get rid of their problems. Thus, Kol Vinai Theertha Vinayakar is a VERY IMPORTANT deity. We then worship the Nataraja in narthana mandapam. Then at the main sanctum worship Visalakshmi & Kasi Vishvanthan (this is a small lingam on your left hand side as you approach Suryan’s Shrine) before worshiping Suryan. After worshiping Suryan, worship Guru Bhagavan who is facing Suryan. Now, the circumambulation or the pradarshanam procedure is very different from other temples. We now go in an anticlockwise direction and worship Saneeswaran, Budhan, Angarakan, Chandran, Kethu, Shukran and Rahu before worshiping Chandikeswarar. Then we proceed in a clockwise direction and return to worship Kol Vinai Theertha Vinayakar. This may seem very confusing but there are signboards at the temple to guide the devotees. After this prostrate or do a namaskaram near the dhwajasthambam. Then it is recommended to do 9 pradarshanams of the outer praharam.

Suryanar Koil – Sun Temple, Kumbakonam

Suryanar Temple Festivals

The annual Ratha Saptami festival (Rathasapthami) during the Tamil month of Thai (January – February) is one of the main festival celebrated here. The first Sundays in the months of Aavani (Leo) and Kartikai (Scorpio) is also considered very auspicious. Vijaya Dashami and annual Brahmotsavam festival (Bhrammotsavam) are also held with much devotion.

Temple Timings

Suryanar Temple is opened from 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

1 comment:

  1. Hi, This is Ashok. Can anybody please send me the web link related to nakshatras and temples referred by N.B.Sharma.
    It will be of great help. My e-mail id: