Places Close to Kanyakumari – Suchindram

This place lies close to Knayakumari on the Trivandrum – knyakumari highway.

Trivandrum – knyakumari highway

This unique temple is also called Sthanumalayan. The main Deity here has three personalities viz. Sthanu-Siva, Mal-Visnu, and Ayan-Brahma in the same form. The temple is rich in sculpture and architecture, and a visitor to this temple

is amply rewarded with the sight of such exquisite art which is hundreds of years old. There are many stories associated with this temple. Anasuya, the wife of Atri Maharsi, was famous for her chastity and her devotion to her husband. She could perform miracles by sprinkling the pada-tirtham (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—Goddess Laksmi, Sarasvati and Parvati—heard through Narada Muni the powers of this earthly woman, they wanted to test her chastity. They approached their husbands Lords Visnu, Brahma and Siva to test Anasuya’s devotion to her husband. The three 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 pada-tirtham on the three old beggars. They were all immediately transformed into babies and throwing off her clothes she offered them food.

The three goddesses learning what had happened to their husbands pleaded with Anasuya to give them back their husbands. Anasuya showed them the three babies. Seeing their sight, Anasuya then restored the three Lords back to their original form. They accepted that Anasuya’s fame as the chaste woman on earth was justified. Thus the trimurti came to be represented by the lingam at Suchindram; the bottom represents Brahma, the middle represents Visnu and the top Siva.

There is another story associated with this temple. Once Indra became infatuated with Ahalya, the wife of Rsi Gautama. One night he came to the hermitage where Gautama was living and cocked like a cock indicating the approach of dawn. Rsi Gautama thinking that dawn was imminent awoke from his sleep and went to the river for his ablutions prior to commencing his prayers. Realizing 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 Rsi Gautama, approached Ahalya and satisfied his desire. Rsi Gautama returning from the river was enraged when he saw his wife in another man´s embrace. He cursed Indra to get an ugly-looking body (his whole body was covered by many female organs) and his wife Ahalya to become a statue of stone. Indra, in order to rid himself of this curse, came to this place Gnanaranya (aranya means forest) and prayed. Here the eyes replaced all the female organs over his body. Thus, even today Indra has many eyes all over his body. At this juncture Indra installed the lingam to represent Siva-Visnu-Brahma in the form of Sthanu-mal-ayan, and the name of the place came to be known as Suchi-Indran (Suchindram), the place where Indra was purified.



Deity of Hanumanji (Anjaneya) in the temple —This is 22 feet in height and created out of single rock piece. Around 260 years ago there was an invasion by Sandha Sahib Khan. The people of Suchindram wanted to protect the 22-feet deity of Hanuman and buried it underground. Hanuman lay buried in this way for 190 years. According to local legends, many miracles started happening at this place and people were forced to dig out the Deity, and then in 1930 it was installed through rituals in the present place. Covering the Deity with butter, vadai (1 kind of vada) garland are the special worships that can be done by devotees to Hanumanji here. There is a grand function with abhiseka on Hanuman Jayanti.