History of Suryanarayana Temple
The Suryanarayana Temple was constructed by the Kalinga rulers who were under the Kalinga region from the 4th to the 14th century. The temple had been renovated during the 18th century.
Legend of Suryanarayana Temple
According to legend Balarama, the brother of Lord Krishna had dug Earth with His Chakra. He is said to have built many temples on Earth. One such temple built in Srikakulam was Sri Umarudrakoteswara Swami that was dedicated to Lord Shiva.
One day Lord Indra came to visit the temple. He was however blocked by Nandi as he was entering at odd time. When He forcibly tried to enter the temple premises the Nandi kicked him and he felt unconscious about two miles from the place. During that time Indra had a dream. He saw that Lord Surya advised him to build a temple of the Sun God at that place. After Lord Indra regained his consciousness, He picked up handful of Earth thrice from the place he felt unconscious and made the beautiful idol of Sun God with his three consorts Usha, Chaya and Padmini. He installed the idols there and also constructed a beautiful temple. The temple was designed by Lord Vishwakarmawho is the chief architect of the Gods. Thus the temple of Lord SuryaNarayana came into existence in this place.
An epigraph found from an Eastern Kalinga king revealed the fact that Aditya Vishnu Sarman and Bhanu Sarman, the two brothers were the sons of Narayana and Bhattu who are greatly attached to Lord Surya at Arasavalli. Another inscription stated that a General of the king Srikarana had donated five acres of land to the Sun God. This land was donated to set up a school and a hostel for educating pupils studying Sanskrit in those days.
Structure of Suryanarayana Temple
The idol of Lord Surya in the Suryanarayana Temple has been carved out of black granite. The idol is 5 feet in height and is seen holding lotus buds. Lord Surya here is surrounded by his consorts Padma, Usha and Chhaaya. The idol is depicted as riding on a chariot driven by seven horses. The gate keepers Pingala and Danda and the saints Sanaka and Sananda are portrayed on the base of the idol. Lord Surya's charioteer, Aruna has also been depicted in the image.
Suryanarayana Temple is also known as Panchayatana Temple, with five deities installed here. Aditya in installed in the center, with Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva, Parvati and Lord Vishnu in four corners. The idol of Indra lies in positioned in the center of the Suryanarayana Temple. One of the major celebrations of the temple is the festival of Maha Sourayagam. Devotees from far off places visit the temple to receive the blessings of the Lord. It is believed that people suffering from skin diseases, blindness and barrenness are cured remarkably by worshipping Lord Surya in this temple.
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