This famous Sun (Surya Devata) Temple in the world is situated in Arasavalli Village which is at a distance of about 1 KM east of Srikakulam Town in Andhra Pradesh, India. Srikakulam is the capital and head quarters of Srikakulam District and is the largest town in Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh in India. It is one of the ancient two Sun God (Surya Devata) temples in Bharat. According to Padmapuranam, Sage Kashyapa installed the Idol of Surya at Arasavalli for the welfare of mankind. Therefore, the Surya is of KaashyapaGotra . He is also termed as planetary King.
The sthalapuranof the temple narrates that Devendra(Indra) had founded this temple and installed the existing idol of the Sun Deity commonly known as ShriSuryanarayana Swamyunder the following circumstances .
Once Lord Devendra, ignoring the words of Dwarapalaka Nandi, attempted to force his entry to obtaindarshan of Sri Rudrakoteswara Swamyat an untimely hour when Shiva was along with his consort. The Dwarapalaka Nandi in the discharge of his duties kicked the intruder. Thus kicked and injured by the divine attendant Indra fell down senseless. And in his unconscious state Indra dreamt that he would be relieved of his pain of injury in his chest caused by Nandi if he built a temple and installed an Idol of the Sun Deity. After regaining his consciousness, he remembered his dream. Following which he picked up handfuls of earth three times at a place where he lay, and there he found this beautiful idol of Sun Deitywith his three consorts Usha, Chaya and Padmini. At the base of the idols are the figures of Mathara and Pingala the Dwarapalakas and high up are the two divine saints, Sanaka and Sanatana holding ‘Chatrams’ (An Umbrella). The Sun Deity is depicted riding a chariot drawn by Anura, the rathasaarathi(the charioteer). All these figures exquisitely carved out of a single black finely polished granite stone.
The Arasavalli temple was built by the Eastern Kalingakings 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 renovations.
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 to be noted that in the courtyard of the Alampur Navabhrahma temples (near Kurnool – near Sreesailam in Andhra Pradesh), is located a Suryanarayana temple, dating back to the 9th century.
Srikakulum is well connected by rail and road. The nearest airport is at Visakhapatnam.
By Rail :Srikakulam is the big railway station in Srikakulam district on the Chennai Kolkata line. Trains run to Hyderabad Chennai, Howrah, Vijayawada, Nellore, Tirupathi, Secunderabad and other places. Konark express, Howrah mail, Visakha express, Coramandel express.
By Air : Visakhapatnam airport is the nearest airport to Srikakulam district. Vishakhapattanam is nearly 100 kms from Srikakulam.