Arasavalli is home to an ancient
temple to the Sun (Suryanarayana) - said to have been built originally by the Kalinga
rulers of Orissa around the 7th century CE. Arasavalli is located at Srikakulam
near Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.. Also near Srikakulam are the Mukhalingam temples built in the Orissa temple
idiom, and Sree Kurmam bearing a shrine to Vishnu depicting his Kurma
Legend has it that Indra the king of
Gods attempted to force his entry into the temple of Koteeshwara - Shiva and was thrown
away by the gatekeeper Nandi. Repentful of his arrogance in attempting to
force his entry, Indra enshrined Surya the Sun God in a temple and performed worship
services, at Arasavalli.
A black granite image of Surya about
5 feet in height bearing lotus buds (hence the name Padma Paani), flanked by his consorts Padma,
Usha and Chhaaya, on a 7 horse driven chariot is the object of
worship here. At the base of the image are the gate keepers Pingala and Danda
and the saints Sanaka and Sananda. Surya's
charioteer Aruna (Anoora) is also depicted in the image.
History: The Arasavalli teemple was
built by the Eastern Kalinga Kings
who ruled over the Kalinga region from the 4th through the 14th century CE. Inscriptions
reveal grants made by Aditya Vishnu Sarma and Bhanu Sarma
of the Kalinga clan. The present structure is largely a result of 18th century
The Temple is a panchayatana temple
with Aditya in the center, with Ganesha, Shiva, Parvati and
Vishnu in four corners of the quadrangle. An image of Indra is
also enshrined in this temple.
It is believed that those with skin ailments,
blindness and barrenness are miraculously cured of their afflictions upon offering worship
at this temple.
It is to be noted that in the courtyard of
the Alampur Navabhrahma
temples (near Curnool - near Sree Sailam in
Andhra Pradesh), is located a Suryanarayana temple, dating back to the