India, also referred to as ‘Incredible India’ is a spectacular land of beauty, religion, mythology, culture and more. The country boasts of rich art & architecture including awe-inspiring religious temples of numerous deities, gods and goddesses that are revered with pious heart and soul. Amongst the many deities that are worshipped across the land, the Sun God holds a great deal of prominence and significance for worshippers from all walks of life. In fact, there are many Sun God temples in India, which were originally constructed by numerous ancient kings who regarded the deity to be the supreme lord of energy and power. According to Hindu mythology and religion, Lord Sun is also referred to as Aditya or Surya and is believed to be the creator as well as the sustainer of life on the planet. Even the Hindu Vedas and Puranas feature several hymns and references about God Sun.
Read on to discover more about some of the prominent and remarkable Sun temples across India and why you must visit them –
Gaya’s Dakshinaarka Temple
Situated in Gaya, Bihar, the Dakshinaarka Sun temple depicts several old and ancient images of Lord Sun Aditya. What’s interesting to note though is that the temple features an image of Sun God carved out of granite, which is shown as wearing a waist griddle, jacket as well as high boots in accordance with the Iranian tradition. The temple also encompasses a tank, which is popularly known as the Dakshina Maanas or the Surya Kunda tank where devotees make offerings to their ancestors. The temple boasts of simple yet astounding architecture and is situated near the renowned Vishnupaada temple.
Unao, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhramanya Dev Temple
Yet another Sun temple that you must add to your bucket list is the Brahmanya Dev temple at Unao in Madhya Pradesh. According to the local citizens, a visit to the temple offers instant relief to individuals suffering from severe ailments like leprosy, blindness as well as other serious skin problems and diseases. Walk into the temple and you will come across an image of Lord Sun erected beautifully on a platform made up of brick, which is further covered up with a number of black plates. The temple also features 21 intricately carved triangles that essentially represent the different phases of the sun and add to the overall beauty and magnificence of the temple.
Arasavilli, Andhra Pradesh’s Suryanarayanaswamy Temple
Another must visit Sun temple is the Suryanarayanaswamy Temple in Arasavilli, Andhra Pradesh, which was originally built by a Kalinga king in the 7th century. Here, devotees worship a five feet tall image carved out of black granite. The image is basically of the Sun God Padmapani and can be seen holding a bud of the lotus flower. On either side of the image are Chhaya and Usha that denote eternity whereas Lord Sun or Padma symbolizes wisdom.
Tamilnadu’s Suryanaar Temple
The ancient and magnificent Suryanaar Temple is situated close to Kumbhakonam, Tamilnadu. The temple embodies the Surya, Visalakshi and Kasi Viswanatha. Apart from the Sun God, the temple also enshrines eight other celestial bodies including Angarakan, Chandran, Brihaspati, Budhan, Saniswaran, Sukran, Ketu and Rahu. The temple is visited by pilgrims from all corners of the world. Devotees first offer their prayers at Lord Ganesha’s shrine and later worship the other deities including the image of Lord Sun. The temple boasts of the Dravidian style architecture and is more than 800 years old.