The Suriyanar Koil is a village located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It is dedicated to the Sun and is a Navagraha Sthala. The village is well-known for the Sivasuryanarayana temple which is a Hindu temple and is dedicated to Surya (Sun God). Devotees can also see the shrines of other planets in this temple. The temple is famous for its astrological significance, and a large number of pilgrims visit the place to strengthen the effects of planets for wealth and to reduce the bad effects of planets on their health.
About the Temple
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 ‘Sthalavirukcha’. 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 meditate 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.
About the Deity
The presiding deities are Puranavaradheeswarar and his consort Mangalanayaki. It is noteworthy that there are only two temples in India dedicated to Sun God, one at Konark in North and this in South. There is no idol worship in Konark while this temple follows idol worship. Lord Sun graces from the sanctum sanctorum facing west with Mother Ushadevi on the left and Pradyushadevi (also known as Chayadevi) on the right in wedding form. He is holding lotus in both hands with a smiling face. As Sun is noted for His scorching heat, to cool down the effect, planet Guru (Jupiter) is just opposite the shrine, facilitating His worship under a bearable temperature. Sun’s Horse vehicle is also before Him, as Nandhi is before Lord Shiva. The devotee can worship all the planets as presiding deities. In other temples, the planets are but sub-deities only. The speciality is Sun God graces with His consorts in wedding form. He is not furious but calm and gracing. Every planet has its own shrine and is only graceful in nature offering solace to the devotee. There is no vehicle for any planet.
Legend and Stories
Sage Kalava Muni was suffering from severe leprosy. He worshipped all the planets begging total cure. All the planets graced the Rishi with what he wanted – the cure from leprosy. Lord Brahmma strongly objected to the response of the planets to Rishis penance on the ground that in accordance with the orders of Lord Shiva, the planets were to give the effects of good and evil deeds of the individuals and that that the planets had violated this rule by directly giving boons to a devotee and cursed them to suffer from leprosy themselves. The planets came down to a white wild flower jungle (Vellerukku vanam) and performed penance on Lord Shiva for relief. Lord appeared before them and said that the place belonged to them and allowed them to grace the devotees worshipping them enduring a variety of hardships.
10 day Ratha Sapthami in Thai month (January-February) is a very important festival in the temple. This marks the ‘U’ turn of Lord Sun’s Rath-Car from South to North beginning the six months called Utharayanam from Thai to Aani month – June-July. Seasons are calculated by the movements of Sun God. On the first day of each Tamil month special pujas and abisheks are performed to Lord Suriya-Sun who heads the Zodiac family. This is called Maha Abhishek drawing huge number of devotees. Also Saturn (Sani) and Jupiter (Guru) transition days are celebrated with special pujas.
Best time to visit Suriyanar Koil
The time between October and March is the best season to visit Suriyanar koil and the other Navagraha temples or sthalas.
Surya Moola Mantra
Aum hram hrim hraum sah suryaya namah.
Surya Gayathri Mantra
Om ashwadhwajaaya vidmahae padma hasthaaya dheemahi tanno surya prachodayaath
Devotees perform a ritual called Nadi Pariharam, Navagraha Homas and Surya Archana. They also perform with sugar pudding (Sarkarai pongal) which is considered very important here. They do abishek and archana to the planets as prescribed. They also offer wheat, jaggery and their farm yields equal to their weight – a ritual called Tulabaram. Those seeking child boon offer cradles. The Prasad is distributed among the visitors. Feeding also is followed besides usual abishek etc.
Requirements for worshipping the Lord
Flower – Senthamarai (Red Lotus) Samith (sacrificial fuel ) – Erukku ( madar plant ) Dhaniyam (grain) – Wheat Vasthram – Lotus red Neivedhyam – Sakkarai pongal
Sun occupies the first place among the nine planets, so His temple. Devotees throng the temple to submit their prayers to the planets to protect them from their adverse aspects in their lives. Those undergoing the seven and half years Saturn period, his position in the 8th and birth Rasi houses according to their hoscopes and those facing such aspects by other planets come to the temple seeking relief. They stay in the temple for 12 Sundays called Thala Vasam covering about two and half months from the morning of first Sunday. The period covers about 78 days. They bathe in the sacred springs known as Nava theerthas, observe fasting and worship Lord Tirumangalakudi Prananatha and Mother Mangala Nayaki and other deities in the place. They do remedial pujas according to their problems for removal of the doshas-adverse aspects. Those undergoing Sun main and sub-periods worship on Sundays. They also succeed in their efforts.
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.
Nearby Places to Visit
1. Agneeswarar Temple
2. Sri Purushotma Temple
3. Thirumananjeri Temple
4. Kailasanathar Temple
5. Uppiliappan Temple
6. Sri Sunderaswarar Temple
7. Nageswarar Temple
8. Sri Kalahastheeswar Temple
The nearest airport is at Trichy. The nearest railway station from the place is the Aduthurai Railway Station. The Suriyanar Koil is approximately 15 kms from Kumbakonam and 21 kms from Swamimalai. It is roughly 20 kms from Mayiladuthurai.
Arulmigu Siva Suriyaperuman Temple,
Suriyanar Koil, Thirumangalakudi P.O,
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Cure from heart and eye related ailments
- For general well-being of people born under Krittika/Karthikai
- Uttaraphalguni/Uttiram/Uttram stars
Palasha Pushpa Sankaasham Taarakaa Graha Mastakam Rowdram Rowdraat Makam Ghoram Tam Ketum Prana Maa Myaham
Meaning -I pray to Ketu, who looks similar to the Palaasha flower, who is the head of the stars and planets, who is scary and violent.
6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.4 p.m. to 8 p.m.