Suchindram Temple

Suchindram temple, built mainly in the 17th century, is 13 km from Kanniyakumari. It contains a linga, known as Sthanumalaya Swami, the triple aspect of God. This linga is Siva, Vishnu, and Brahma in one form. When you enter the temple, you see a laurel (konnayadi) tree that is about 2000 years old. In the hollow of the tree there is a linga of the Trimurtis-Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. There is a huge white carved Nandi bull in this temple, said to be over 800 years old. At the entrance to the main temple are two large doorkeepers, and on two nearby pillars are two huge yalis. A yali is a lion with an elephant trunk. There are about 30 shrines in this temple. By the side of the inner sanctum, there is the main Deity of Vishnu, made of eight metals. To the right as you enter the temple are Sita-Rama Deities. Across from them is an 18-foot-high Hanuman (including his tail). As you enter the temple, to your left is a Ganesh temple. In front of this shrine is the Navagraha Mandapa which has carvings of the nine planets and the signs of zodiac on the ceiling. There are numerous sculptures of the Ramayana and Mahabharata carved on the temple. In the Alangara Mandapa, which is to your right as you enter the temple, there are four musical pillars carved out of a single block of granite. Each pillar gives the sounds of a different instrument, mridanga, sitar, tambura, and jalataranga. On Friday there is a special sunset ceremony