Ever since the human race started to believe in almighty and incorporated worshiping as a practice, Sun was considered one of the primary gods. This practice had been mentioned in many literary and epic works such as Rig Veda, Tholkapiyam, Silapathigaram. It is believed that god Rama was born in the ‘Ragu Vamsam’ dynasty and when we was fighting against Ravana, saint Agathiyar taught him ‘Athithya Hruthayam’ a mantra dedicated to the Sun god.
Dates, days, weeks, months, horoscope, zodiac signs are calculated based on ‘Sooriya Sithantham’. When Sun moves from one zodiac sign to another, a new month starts. ‘Thai Madham’ is considered as the best month for Sun as the crops are cultivated during this time period. Pongal/ Magra Sankranthi a festival dedicated to Sun god and to cherish the harvest is celebrated on this month.
Sun is considered as the main graha among the Navagrahas. The first day of the week is also named after Sun. Sun god is mainly depicted as crimson red in color, wearing a red dress, holding a lotus flower on his hand and sitting in Badmasana position.
In Tamilnadu, Sooriyanar koil, Thirukandiyur and Panayapuram are the three temples for Sun god. Sooriyanar Koil is located in the Tanjore district. Can be reached through Mayiladurai-Kumbakonam train route which stops at a station called ‘Aduthurai’. Sooriyanar Koil is 2km from Aduthurai. Can be reached through buses from Mayiladurai, Kumbakonam and Aduthurai.
Kaalava Munivar a saint who was capable of predicting the future came to know that he could suffer from leprosy. He worshiped the Navagrahas wholeheartedly to get over the misery he was about to suffer. By seeing the saint’s devotion, the Navagrahas granted the boon and the saint was not affected by leprosy. But this made lord Brahma angry. As the destined thing didn’t happen, he cursed the Navagrahs to suffer from the same disease
To get over the curse, the Navagrahas visited a holy place called Thirumangalakudi and worshiped the goddess Mangala Nayaki. Then they traveled North-East and started worshiping god Ganesha to get rid of the disease. Ganesha removed the curse and cured the disease. Later Kaalava Munivar formed a temple for Navagrahas in the same place
The Sun god married a girl called Sanjigai who is also called as Usha. Vaivachu thamanu, Yaman, Yamunai and Ashwini are the children of Sun god and Sanjigai. But Sajigai was not able to bear the heat of Sun god. So she created a shadow form of her called Prathiyusha. Savarni, Manu, Sani, Pathirai are the children of Sun god and Prathiyusha. Therefore in Sooriyanar Koil, along with Sun god, Sanjigai and Prathiyusha are also presented.
Lord Guru whose shrine is on the west side of the temple is said to quench the fury of the Sun god. There are separate shrines for Moon, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus, Rahu and Kethu.
Unlike other temples, one have to follow a method while worshiping in Sooriyanar temple. The worship should start by visiting the Sooriya Pushkarani pond and should end by visiting the shrine for god Ganesha. The instructions along with the directions to follow are clearly mentioned on the temple.
It is also believed that after visiting the Sooriyanar koil, one should visit the temple at Thirumanagal Kudi which helped the Navagrahas to get over their curse.
Sooriyanar Koil with its uniqueness such as Sun god along with his wives Sanjigai and Parthiyusha , separate shrine for each grahas and the god Ganesha who helps to get rid of illness makes it a must visit sacred place and it is just 25kms from our Hotel Sadhabishegam.