Legend has it that the Trinity [Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar] appeared here on request by sage Atri and his wife Anusuya. There is another myth revolving around the origin of the Thanumalayan temple. Once Lord Indra was cursed by Rishi Gauthama for indulging into sexual affair with Rishi’s wife Ahalya and thereafter Inorder to free himself from the curse he visited Gnanaranya and pleaded to the Trimurtis for freedom. Once he got rid of the curse and changed into his original form, he built a temple around a Lingam representing the Trimurtis Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. That is how the place where the temple stands got its name “Suchindram”, which means the place where Lord Indra got purified.
The seven storeyed 134 feet tall white Gopuram [temple tower] with various Hindu deities carved on the facade provides an architectural treat for the visitors. Built in the 17th century, the whole temple is a great piece of Dravidian art. It covers an area of 4 acres. There is a 22 feet Hanuman statue artistically carved out of a single granite block which makes it one of the tallest of its type in India. There is a 13 feet high and 10 feet wide idol of Nandi which is unlike the Hanuman statue, made of lime and mortar. Another striking feature of the temple architecture is its 4 musical pillars carved out of stone standing 18 feet tall and one of the major highlights of the temple. The speciality of these pillars is that it emits sounds of various musical notes when tapped. There are also a staggering number of 1035 pillars carved in the dancing hall area. The Navagrahas [Imperial stars] are engraved on the ceiling of the temple.
The best time to visit here is during the 10 day Car festival held between the months of December and January. Another auspicious occasion is during Teppam festival which is celebrated during the months of April and May. Visit the temple in the early morning, so that the temple will be less crowded and there will be no hassle in having multiple darshans. The ambience inside the temple during early morning is so peaceful that you may feel revived after the visit.
The temple timings are as follows:
|Morning||4:30 am – 11:30 am|
|Evening||5:00 pm – 8:30 pm|
|Abhishekam for Moola lingam||4.15 AM|
|Abhishekam for Thanumalayan Shrine||4.45 AM|
|Daily festival Pooja||5.30 AM|
|Tharai Abhishekam||6.30 AM|
|Mistanga Pooja||7.00 AM|
|Uchikkala Pooja, Deepa Aradhanai||11.00 AM|
|Deepa Aradhanai, Ahala Pooja & Arthajama Pooja||6.30 AM|
How to Reach?
The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. It is 78 kms from Thanumalayan Temple, about two and a half hour drive. After getting down at Thiruvananthapuram Airport, grab a taxi and head towards Suchindram where the temple is situated.
The nearest railways stations are Nagercoil [3.2 kms], Kanyakumari [11.5 kms] and Valliyur [13 kms]. You can get down at any of these stations as there are regular trains passing through these railway stations. After getting down, you can either grab a taxi to Thanumalayan Temple or a board in a government bus to Suchindram.
There are frequent bus service from all cities in both Tamil Nadu state and Kerala to Nagercoil. After reaching Nagercoil, board in a local bus to Suchindram.