Location and Place
Sooriyanar Temple is in East of Kumbakonam, Kumbakonam – Mayiladuthurai road. It is exactly 2Km to the north of Aduthurai and the temple is well connected from lower Anicut and Thiruppanandal.
All the Passengers have to alight at Thirumangalagudi Kaliamman Koil bus stop and walk for two for long north east to reach the temple.
This temple is in the banks of Cauvery in Thiruvidaimarudur Talulk which falls under Tanjore district known as Head Quarters of King Chola.
Rail Route : Piligrims have to get down at Aduthurai Railway Station and catch the bus bound for Lower Anicut to visit the temple.
Two kilometers north of Aaduthurai lies Suryanayanar Koil. It is situated on the road between Kumbakonam and Kadhiramangalam and 15 km to the east of Kumbakonam. There are two other holy places near Suryanar Koil – Thirumangalakudi and Kanjanur. Of the nine grahas, the primary position is given to Lord Surya which is why the first day of the week is said to be Sunday. The seven days of the week refer to the seven grahas, including the Sani Bhagawan.
Mode of Worship
Sooriyanar Koil and Thirumanagalakudi are closely related. Navanayakars did their meditation and offered worship to pranavaradeshvarar and Mangalanayaki.
People who offer worship at Sooriyanar temple have to go to Thirumangaladudi to offer worship there. In early days both places were same and it was called ‘Argavamam’ before dividing. Both the temples have Erukan plant as ‘Thalavirukcha’
Thirumangalakudi Temple is a famous temple. Both Thirunavukkarasar and Thiruganasambandar had rendered songs of lord Siva. Mangalakudi, Mangala Vinayagar, Mangala Nayahar, MangalaNayaki and Mangala Theertham are five auspicious ones in Thirumangalakudi.
There is a marked difference of worshipping in this temple from other temples, one has to follow the custom of worshipping.
To offer worship at Sooriyanar Temple, one has to reach the Rajagopuram (Main Entrance) and more towards North where Pushkarani of temple is located. 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 placed. One 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.
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 placed separately then more northwards to offer prayers to lord Moon and Kethu. Next movement would be towards west where lord Sukra and Raghu are placed. 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,After all the prayers are over, one would reach the ThothaSampatnam (flag post) and prostrate before it. Then nine rounds of the temple is a must. After nine rounds again one has to prostrate and mediatate on the nine planets for some times.
The eighth graha is Raaghu. Of the seven days in a week, 10 hours are reserved for Raaghu, i.e., one-and-a-half hours per day. This one-and-a-half hour is what we call as ‘Raaghu kalam’.
The ninth graha is called Kedhu. Like for Raaghu, the same amount of time is reserved for Kedhu also. These one-and-a-half hours is called ‘Yama kandam’.
Raaghu kalam and Yama kandam are believed to be inappropriate for performing auspicious deeds.
Lord Siva, pleased with their devotion absolved them of their sins and decried that there will be nine sannadhis for the navagrahas in the Suryanar temple (this is the only temple where all the navagrahas are present with separate sannadhis) and those who pray here will get relief from their problems.
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. Father, Athma, physical strength, right eye, governmental largesse are the beneficial aspects of this planet.
If one bathes in the nine ghats in this place continuously for 12 Sundays, they will be saved from sufferings and blessed with a happy and peaceful life.
Sree Surya Puranam When the world came into existence, the first sound that reverberated was ‘Ohm’. Surya was born from this ‘Omkara naadham’. Sree Markandeya Puranam has explained this factor. Suryan was the son of Sage Kashyap and was the grandson of Sage Maarisi. Surya married Soorvarsala, the daughter of Viswakarma. Vaivasvatha Manu and Yamadharmarajan were his sons and Yamuna, his daughter. It should be mentioned here that the chariot of Surya has only one wheel. It is drawn by seven horses in seven colors. Lord Surya, who is the chief of the grahams, appears with a lotus in his divine hands. Surya Bhagawan blesses his devotees with good health, fame and efficient management.
The presiding deities are Puranavaradheeswarar and his consort Mangalanayaki. Surya is the Lord of Simma Rasi and occupies the central place amongst the navagrahas. The adidevatha is Agni, prathyutha Devatha – Rudran. His color is red and his vahana is a chariot drawn by seven horses. The grain associated with his is wheat; the flower – lotus, yerukku; fabric – red clothes; gem – ruby; food – wheat, rava, chakkara pongal.Suryanaar Koyil was built by the Chola kings.
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.
The temple the tower of the temple is 15.5 meter in height and consists of three tiers. At the top of the tower are five domes. To the north of the rajagopuram lies the sacred bathing ghat, called Surya Pushkarni. It is important to bathe in this ghat before offering worship at the temple. If not, one should at least sprinkle its water on one’s head.
Special features of the temple All the grahams face Surya Bhagawan in this temple. As soon as one enters the temple, there is a sacrificial platform (Bali peetam). To its east lies a mandap where one can see an idol of a horse. The Lord’s vehicle is the horse (vaahanam) which goes by the name ‘Saptha, meaning seven in Sanskrit. The one-wheeled chariot is drawn by seven horses.
According to Atharvana Veda, one who worships Surya Bhagawan will be relieved from diseases pertaining to the eyes and heart. This temple is open from 6 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on all days.
Requirements for worshipping the Lord Flower – Senthamarai (Red Lotus)
Samith (sacrificial fuel ) – Erukku ( madar plant )
Dhaniyam (grain) – Wheat
Vasthram – Lotus red
Neivedhyam – Sakkarai pongal
Ratha Saptami in the Tamil month of Thai, and the first Sundays in the months of Aavani (Leo) and Kartikai(Scorpio) and Vijaya Dasami are celebrated in this temple.
Mantra for Sun – Aum hrim hrim suriyaye namah Aum
Temple Timings – 6 A.M. to 12.30 P.M. and 4 P.M. to 8 P.M.