After the sunrise we went and had coffee. Just infront of the coffee shop was this fountain:
Then, we went to the hotel, had breakfast and got ready. We had a chat and decided to start from Suchindram. I inquired about the travel buses for sightseeing but there were no such buses available. The hotel manager told that there are no travel buses available. Instead we could hire a cab for Rs. 1200 that will show some places and come back in the evening. Well, that was a costly affair, as I had to stay a total of 5 days in Kanyakumari. He also told that we could catch local buses, which goes to Suchindram and other places. Well, that was a nice idea. My brother and I went to the Kanyakumari bus stop and got in the bus, which would take us to Suchindram. Amazingly the fare was very cheap just 9 rupees for two of us. After half an hour we arrived at Suchindram. Suchindram (also spelled as Suchindrum or Sucheendram) it is a small village about 12 km. from Kanyakumari and about seven kilometres from Nagercoil. This holy place is located on the bank of the river Pazhayar, adjoining fertile fields and coconut groves and the temple is dedicated to Sri Sthanumalayan. The word denotes Siva, Vishnu and Brahma as Sthanu represents Siva, Mal represents Vishnu while Ayan represents Brahma i.e. Siva, Vishnu and Brahma in “One Form”. Suchindram means the place where Indra attained ‘Suchi’ i.e., purification.
The Sthalapurana has it that Indra suffered a curse from sage Gowthama, when he stealthily cast amorous glances at Ahalya the wife of Gowthama. Not able to suffer the mortification brought about by the curse. Indra had to seek immediate redemption. He came to ‘Gnana Aranya’ as this place was then called and offered worship to Lord Shiva. Relieving Indra of his curse, Lord Shiva granted him of his wish that the place where he attained purification should henceforth be called ‘Suchindrum’.
Another story goes to say that the Trimurthys i.e. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, cajoled by their divine consorts came down to the earth to test the chastity of Anusuya, wife of sage Athri at Gnana Aranya. The Gods for this misadventure had to suffer a curse form the Rishipatni and to undergo the purification process, before they could be restored to their former glory.
It is said that Thanumalaya Swamy temple is the only shrine dedicated to the Trinity in India. The present structure of the temple is the work of a number of persons spread over a number of centuries. It is a complex of many beautiful structures constructed at various times and is one of the best specimens and a storehouse of the Dravidian style of art and architecture.
Just near the bus stop there was a huge gate:
We went inside and found another gate. This was a bit smaller:
Just near that gate was Suchidram holy temple tank:
Then, we went to the famous Sthanumalayan temple:
Well, there was a tradition to remove the shirt before entering the temple. Also, the camera and cell phones are not allowed inside the temple. I deposited them at the counter and gave Rs. 5 for the ticket. The temple here is noted for its exquisite workmanship in stone. It is a treasure house of sculptures. Some of the sculptures in the temple like Vigneshwari, the female form of Vinayaka and the scene of Geethopathesa to Parthasarathi in the form of Trinity are rarely to be found elsewhere. The musical pillars carved out of single stone and which stands at 18 feet is an architectural delight. There are 7 musical pillars in the Alangara Mandapam each cut out of single rock, which emit the sounds of various musical instruments when struck. There are 1035 pillars with carvings in the dancing hall. The Anjaneya or Hanuman statue stands at 22 feet or 3 m and is carved of a single granite block and is one of the tallest statues in India. The Nandi statue, locally known as “Makkalai” made of mortar and lime and which is 13 feet tall is one of the biggest Nandi statues in India. After the darshan I came back and collected my things. Before leaving Suchindram I took a photo of a gate in front of the temple.