Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple
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
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.
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.
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.