Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

suchindram

Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple is the unique temple in India where the trinities of Hindu mythology are worshipped together in one sculpture called Sthanumalyam -  Stanu is the synonym of Shiva, Maal for Vishnu & Ayan for Brahma. The idol rest inside the hollow of a 2000 year old Laurel tree (konnayadi). The bottom of the idol represents Brahma, the middle Vishnu & the top is Shiva.
This 17th centuary temple is famous for it's architectural grandeur. The majestic seven-storeyed white Gopuram is visible from the distance. It's 40 m  facade is  covered with  the sculptures of Hindu dieties. At the entrance of the main temple there are two large door keepers (Dwarapalakar) & the two pillars with huge yalis (lion with an elephant trunk). Alangara Mandapa is situated in the right of the entrance. There are 4 large musical pillars. Two of these musical pillars consists of  33 small ones which produces the sound of jalathranga & tambur. The other two consists of 25 small pillars & produce the sound of mridamga & sitar. All these pillars are carved out of a single block of granite. By the side there is an 800 years old  white Nandi - Shiva's Bull.  There are about 30 shrines in this temple. The main diety Vishnu is made of 8 metals & is fixed on the wall. To the right are the Rama- Sita dieties . Opposite to them is the giangatic idol of Hanuman ( Anjanaya)  5.5 m. In the left of the entrance is the Ganesha Temple. Infront of the shrine is the Navagraha Mandapa ,which has carvings of the nine planets & zodiac signs on the ceiling. On each pillar around the corridor there is Deepa Lakshmi (female lamp bearers)
. During Tip Sultan's invasion these sculptures were mutilated.

Suchindram Temple Pond 

temple_pond

Legend : Sage Arti's wife was famous for her chastity & her devotion to her husband. She used to perform miracles by "Paatha Theertha" - water with which she washed her husband's feet. Under the influence of Narada Muni , Lakshmi, Parvathi & Saraswathi decided to test the devotion of Anasuya. They asked the help of their husbands. The Trinities transformed into beggars & approached Anasuya. When she was about to serve food , they told that they had taken a vow that they couldn't accept alms from a dressed lady. In Hindu mythology it was a sin to refuse alms to the mandicants. So after praying, she sprayed the Paatha theertha over them & transformed them into babies. Then she removed her clothes & offered them food. Godessess were shocked to see the fate of their husbands. They approched Anasuya & asked for Maangalya Biksha(gift of married life) & to give back their husbands. Anasuya prayed to her Lord to restore them back to their original form. In return they honoured Anasuya as the chasest woman on earth. 
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Gautama Muni cursed Lord Indra b'coz he misbehaved with his wife Ahalya.To get rid of the  curse, he was advised to perform penance. He worshipped Trimurthi the whole night & got purified all his sins by thrusting his hands into the boiling ghee. It's believed that even now Lord Indra comes here to worship Trimurthi at night .
Suchi means pure & indram means Lord Indra - So Suchindram means the place where Indra was purified ".
It's also said that Lord Shiva stayed here when Devi Kanyakumari came for penance.
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This temple is situated about 70 kms from Trivandum (capital of Kerala) , 7 km frm Nagercoil 11 km frm Kanyakumari. Non hindus are permitted inside the temple but photography is prohibited.