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Suchindrum Thanumalayan Temple:

            Suchindrum is located in 11 kms from Kanyakumari. Its the one of the important pilgrim center in Kanyakumari district. Suchindram temple is unique in the whole of India in that it is dedicated to three different deities represented by one image in the sanctum and is called Thanumalayan (Thanu - Shiva; Maal - Vishnu and Ayan - Brahma) Temple. This 17th-century temple is famous for its architectural grandeur. The seven-storey white Gopuram is visible from the distance. Its 40 m facade is covered with sculptures of Hindu deities. The temple is rich in sculpture and architecture and a visitor to this temple is amply rewarded with the sight of such exquisite art of hundreds of years old.
            The entrance tower to this temple is visible from a distance as it rises majestically for 134 feet. The face of the tower is covered with sculptures and statues from Hindu mythology. There is a covered area in front of the main entrance and the entrance itself is about 24 feet high with a beautifully carved door. There is only one corridor running along the outer wall of the temple with many shrines and mandapams scattered in the inner area. This temple attracts both Vaishnavites and Saivites in large numbers. About 30 shrines to various deities within the temple complex, the large Lingam in the sanctum, the idol of Vishnu in the adjacent shrine and a large idol of Hanuman at the Eastern end of the Northern corridor represent almost all the deities of the Hindu pantheon. 
            The temple is an architectural achievement, known for its quality of workmanship in stone. There are four musical pillars carved out of a single stone, and which stand at 18 feet (5.5 m) in height; these are an architectural and design highlight of the temple grounds. They are in the Alankara Mandapam area, and they emit the sounds of various musical notes when struck. There are an additional 1035 pillars with carvings in the area known as the dancing hall.
             There is an Anjaneya or Hanuman statue which stands at 22 feet (6.7 m) and is carved of a single granite block. It is one of the tallest statues of its type in India. It is also of historical interest that this statue was buried in the temple in 1740, fearing an attack by the Tipu Sulthan and was subsequently forgotten.it was rediscovered in 1930. Its also a myth, that the Hanuman statue was a small size statue and it was growing day by day. So the last finger of left leg of Hanuman was disturbed by scratch marks to stop the growth. Those scratch marks were visible on the Statue.
            There is also a Nandi statue, made of mortar and lime, which is 13 feet (4.0 m) tall and 21 feet (6.4 m) long, it is one of the biggest Nandi statues in India. Its said that during British period the Nandhi statue was was to be destroyed, the people protested. the British officers put some grass and sealed the temple. When they opened they was surprised to see the cow dung.
            There are many legends  to say about the temple. When Shiva came to marry Devi Kanyakumari, He stayed here along with Vishnu and Brahma. (detailed under post Kanyakumari Bagavathi Amman) .
            Another, Anasuya, the wife of Atri Maharishi was famous for her chastity and her devotion to her husband - an embodiment of a Hindu wife. She could perform miracles by sprinkling the 'paatha theertham' (water with which she washed her husband's feet) to bring rain to a parched earth or to transform objects to her desire.
            When the three Devis, - Goddesses Luxmi, Saraswathy and Parvathy heard through Sage Naradha the powers of this earthly woman they wanted to test her chastity. They approached their husbands Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to test Anasuya's devotion to her husband. The three Moorthys transformed into three old mendicants and went to the hermitage where Anasuya was living and sought alms from her. When Anasuya was about to serve them food they told her that they had taken a vow whereby they could not accept alms from a person wearing clothes. As it was a sin to refuse alms to mendicants she prayed to her Lord and sprinkled a little 'paatha theertham' on the three old beggars. They were all immediately transformed into babies and throwing off her clothes she offered them food.
            The Goddesses learning what had happened pleaded with Anasuya to grant them 'maankalya biksha' (gift of married life) and to give them back their husbands. Anasuya showed them the three babies. The Devis ran to the cradle and picked one baby each. Anasuya then prayed to her Lord to restore them back to their original form. Lo and behold! Brahma was in Luxmi's embrace, Siva in Saraswathy's lap and Parvathy cuddling Vishnu. They accepted that Anasuya's fame as the chastest woman on earth was justified. Thus the Thrimoorthy came to be represented by the Lingam at Suchindram; the bottom represents Brahma, the middle represents Vishnu and the top Shiva.
            There is another lore associated with this temple. Once Indra was infatuated with Ahalya, the wife of Rishi Gautama. One night he came to the hermitage where Gautama was living and crowed like a cock indicating the approach of dawn. Rishi Gautama thinking that dawn was imminent awoke from his sleep and went to the river for his ablutions prior to commencing his prayers. Realising that it was too dark for dawn and too early for morning to break he returned to his hut. In the meantime Lord Indra took the physical appearance of Rishi Gautama, approached Ahalya and satisfied his desire. Rishi Gautama returning from the river was enraged when he saw his wife in another man´s embrace and cursed the man's entire body be covered with 'yoni' (the female organ) and his wife Ahalya to become a statue of stone. Lord Indra in order to get rid of this curse went to Gnanaranya and prayed to the Three Moorthys to rid him of this curse. When he was rid of his curse and transformed into his original form he built a temple and installed the Lingam to represent the three Moorthy - Thanu-Maal-Ayan, and the name of the place came to be known as Suchi-Indran (the place where Indran was purified).
 How To Reach: 
  • All Buses running from Kanyakumari to Nagercoil Stop at suchindrum.
  • Its at distance of 13 kms from Kanyakumari and 7 kms from Nagercoil.
  • Land Mark : Near Pazayar Bridge found Cross the river. The entrance tower (goopuram) is Visible from a long distance.