Suryanar Kovil is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Hindu Sun-God, The presiding deity is Suriyanar, the Sun and his consorts Ushadevi and Pratyusha Devi. The temple also has separate shrines for the other eight planetary deities. The temple is considered one of the nine Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu.
It is stated in one of the inscriptions found in the temple that it was built during the reign of Kulottunga Choladeva and was called Kulottungachola-Marttandalaya. The current granite shrine is believed to have been built by the Srivijaya King.He is the native of Sri Vijaya it is nearby Indonesia. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The temple is mentioned in the songs of Muthuswami Dikshitar, who has composed a song starting with "Suryamurthe" in Saurashatra ragam.
Sooriyanar Temple is located to the East of Kumbakonam, 2 km from Aduthurai and the Kumbakonam - Mayiladuthurai road. The temple has direct connectivity from lower Anicut and Thiruppanandal. The temple has a rectangular plan with compound walls, pierced by a five-tiered raja gopuram . The central shrine is of Surya, the Sun God, is built on an elevated structure. The central shrine houses the image of Surya and his consorts Usha and Chhaya.
The hall leading to the central shrine has images of Viswanathar, Visalakshi, Nataraja, Sivakami, Vinayagar and Murugan. On the axial line in front of the central shrine, there is an image of Guru , one of the planetary deities. There are separate shrines for all the other seven planet deities namely Budha , Shani , Sukran , Soma , Angaragan , Rahu and Ketu. All the other eight shrines of the Navagrahas are arranged to face the shrine of Suryanar.
Suryanar Kovil Thanjavur
As per Hindu legend, Sage Kalava was suffering from serious ailments along with leprosy. He prayed to the Navagrahas, the nine planet deities. The planets were pleased by his devotion and offered the cure to the sage. Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, was angered as he felt that the planets have no powers to provide boons to humans. He cursed the nine planets to suffer from leprosy and were sent down to earth in Vellurukku Vanam, the white wildflower jungle.
The planets prayed to Shiva to relieve them of the curse. Shiva appeared to them and said that the place belonged to them and they would have to grace the devotees worshipping them from the place. This is the only temple where there are separate shrines for each of the planet deities
The temple is one of the nine Navagraha temples of Tamil Nadu and is a part of the popular Navagraha pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu. The planets are believed to influence the horoscope computed based on time of one's birth and subsequently influence the course of life. Each of the planets is believed to move from a star to another during a predefined period and thus sway over an individual's fortunes. The Navagrahas, as per Hindu customs, are believed to provide both good and bad effects for any individual and the bad effects are mitigated by prayers. As in other Navagraha temples, the common worship practices of the devotees include an offering of cloth, grains, flowers and jewels specific to the planet deity. Lighting a set of lamps is also commonly followed in the temple.