Arasavalli village in Srikakulam district is popular for a temple dedicated to Lord Sun known as Suryanarayana temple. It is one of the very old and all among the two temples dedicated to Sun God in India.

Inscriptions on the temple walls indicate that it was constructed in the 7th century by the Kalinga Ruler Devendra Varma of Orissa. Further, it reveals that grants were made by Aditya Vishnu Sarma and Bhanu Sarma of Kalinga clan towards the maintenance of temple during the later periods.

Built in typical Orissa Style, the temple holds testimony to the architectural skills of the Vishwakarma Brahmins or Maharanas of Orissa. Arasavalli Suryanarayana temple is highly renowned for its magnificence and beauty.

Special Features of Arasavalli Suryanarayana Swamy Temple

The temple is constructed in such a way that sun’s ray fall directly on the feet of the Lord for few minutes during the early hours of the day, twice a year in the months of February and June. Sun’s rays would fall on the feet of the Lord through the five entrance doors. These rays are believed to cure several eye ailments.

The temple is built in Panchayatana style, wherein the main shrine is surrounded by four subsidiary shrines. The idol of the Lord Surya is at the center with Ganesha, Shiva, Parvati, Vishnu idols in four directions across the four corners of the quadrangle. The 5 ft tall idol of the Surya exquisitely carved in black granite bears lotus buds in his hand (hence referred to as Padma Paani), flanked by his consorts Usha, Padmini and Chhaaya riding on the seven horses driven by Charioteer Aruna.   At the base of the idol are the gate keepers Pingala and Danda and high up are the two divine saints Sanaka and Sanandana holding Chatrams (umbrellas).

It is believed that devotees visiting the temple are bestowed with good health after performing the Surya Namaskaras in the premises. It is also regarded that the ill effects of the Ravi Dasa or Antar Dasa are nullified by offering prayers to Sun God.


According to the Padmapurana, the idol was believed to be installed by Sage Kashyapa for the welfare of mankind. The Sun God, termed as planetary God is thus considered to belong to Kashyapasa Gotra.

As per the Sthala Purana, Balarama in Dwaparayuga brought the River Nagavali to Earth by tilling the land and consecrated the temple of Uma and Koteswara on the shores of this river.  When the Gods, Angels and their minions arrived on the shores of the Nagavali to worship Lord Rudra, Indra, the king of Lords became late. Ignoring the words of Dwarapalaka Nandi , attempted to force his entry for Darshan of Sri Rudrakoteswara Swamy varu at an untimely hour when Lord Shiva was along with his consort . The Dwarapalaka Nandi in the discharge of his duties kicked the intruder. Indra lay unconscious with body pains. Then he prayed to Lord Sun to relieve of the body pains and exhaustion. Lord Surya heeded to his prayers and touched him with his rays whereby Indra regained strength.

Indra then requested Lord Sun to remain in this place and bestow health to mankind. Sun God obliged. Thus Lord Indra himself consecrated the place with the idol of Lord Sun.

It is said that Indra dug the land with his Vajrayudha whereby a pond appeared, the pond that is now known as Indra Pushkarini.  Even today, devotees visiting the temples tonsure their heads, take a dip in the pond and then proceed for Darshan.

The most important festival celebrated in the temple is Radhasaptami.  All the Sundays in the month of Magha are considered sacred. Thousands of devotees from Andhra and neighbouring states visit the temple during Sundays.





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