Lord Sun graces in the temple facing west with a Lotus on both hands accompanied by His consorts Ushadevi on the left and Pradhyushadevi on the right. The Navagrahas (nine planets) are without their their vahans-vehicles in this temple.
Sri Suriyanar Temple, Suriyanarkoil, Thanjavur. Phone no:+91- 435- 2472349.
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. 8.00 p.m.
10 day Ratha Sapthami in Thai month (January-February) is a very important festival in the temple. This marks the U turn of Lord Sun's Rath–Car from South to North beginning the six months called Utharayanam from Thai to Aani month – June–July.
On the first day of each Tamil month special pujas and abisheks are performed to Lord Suriya–Sun who heads the Zodiac family. This is called Maha Abhishek drawing huge number of devotees. Also Saturn (Sani) and Jupiter (Guru) transition days are celebrated with special pujas.
Sage Kalava Muni was suffering from severe leprosy. He worshipped all the planets begging total cure. All the planets graced the Rishi with what he wanted, the cure from leprosy. Lord Brahmma strongly objected to the response of the planets to Rishis penance on the ground that in accordance with the orders of Lord Shiva.
The planets were to give the effects of good and evil deeds of the individuals and that that the planets had violated this rule by directly giving boons to a devotee and cursed them to suffer from leprosy themselves. The planets came down to a white wild flower jungle (Vellerukku vanam) and performed penance on Lord Shiva for relief. Lord appeaed before them and said that the place belonged to them and allowed them to grace the devotees worshipping them enduring a variety of hardships.
It is noteworthy that there are only two temples in India dedicated to Sun God, one at Konark in North and this in South. There is no idol worship in Konark while this temple follows idol worship. Lord Sun graces from the sanctum sanctorum facing west with Mother Ushadevi on the left and Pradyushadevi (also known as Chayadevi) on the right in wedding form. He is holding lotus in both hands with a smiling face. As Sun is noted for His scorching heat, to cool down the effect, planet Guru (Jupiter) is just opposite the shrine, facilitating His worship under a bearable temperature. Sun's Horse vehicle is also before Him, as Nandhi is before Lord Shiva.
This is a temple dedicated for the nine planets – Navagrahas. The devotees can worship all the planets as presiding deities. In other temples, the planets are but sub–deities only. The speciality is Sun God graces with His consorts in wedding form. He is not furious but calm and gracing.