SUCHINDRAM THANUMALAYAN TEMPLE KANYAKUMARI

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Suchindrum means the place where Indra attained ‘Suchi’ i.e., purification. At a distance of 12 kms from Kanyakumari (situated on Trivandrum – Kanyakumari road), Suchindram is a holy place located on the bank of the river Pazhayar. It is famous for the temple dedicated to Sri Sthanumalayan. The word denotes Siva, Vishnu and Brahma as Sthanu represents Siva, Mal represents Vishnu while Ayan represents Brhamma, in ‘One Form’.

  • Distance (From Kanyakumari): 12 Kms
  • Visited From: Kanyakumari
  • Trip Duration (Including Travel): 1-2 Hours
  • Place Location: On Trivandrum – Kanyakumari Road
  • Transportation Options: Cab / Auto

History:

Both Vaishnavas and Shaivites flock to this temple, which has a rich Puranic history, including an interesting pastime involving Lord Brahma. The Sage Atri lived here with his wife Anasuya, who was considered a very chaste woman. Lord Brahma, Siva, and Vishnu visited her once during the absence of her husband, hoping to test and prove her chastity. They arrived as sannyasis asking alms and begged Anasuya to feed them, but told her that they had taken a vow under which they could not accept alms from a person wearing clothes. It was a sin to refuse alms to mendicants, but the chaste Anasuya was not baffled. She simply offered prayers on the matter, then sprinkled paatha theertham on the three beggars, transforming them into three small babies. She then disrobed and fed them. The Goddesses Saraswati, Laksmi and Parvati then intervened, and the three babies were restored to their normal forms. As the divine personalities departed, the deities remained behind, manifesting in the form of Swayambulingas, which sprouted under an Amaltas tree. This tree, the Sthala Vriksham, has been dated to approximately 2,500 years old. The tree is now decaying and hollow, and it has been preserved by a meticulous metal plating. Within the hollow trunk are the three separate linga, for Lord Brahma, Lord Visnu, and Lord Shiva. A small and beautiful shrine known as Konnayadi has been constructed in front of the Vriksham, which sits nearby the Nandi shrine.

Suchindrum means the place where Indra attained ‘Suchi’ i.e., purification. The Sthalapurana has it that Indra suffered a curse from sage Gowthama and offered worship to Lord Shiva at this place. Relieving Indra of his curse, Lord Shiva granted him of his wish that the place where he attained purification should henceforth be called ‘Suchindrum’.

The present structure of the temple is the work of a number of persons spread over a number of centuries. It is a complex of many beautiful structures constructed at various times and is one of the best specimens and a store house of the Dravidian style of art and architecture.

Timings: 6 AM to 9 PM

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