Suchindram, on the banks of the Pazhayar River
, is a pilgrim town in Kanyakumari District
of Tamil Nadu
. It is 12 km north-west of Kanyakumari
and 7 km south-east of Nagercoil
. National Highway 47
passes through Suchindram.
Formerly known as Jnanaranya, Suchindram is strewn with legends. Legend is that once Lord Indra had to suffer a curse from sage Gowthama and as a result he worshipped Lord Shiva and relieved from curse – hence the name Suchindram meaning the purification of Indra.
According to another legend, Trimurti (Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma) cajoled by their divine consorts came down to the earth, to test the chastity of Anusuya - the wife of sage Athri. The Gods for this misadventure had to suffer a curse from Anusuya. Ultimately as per the wish of sage Athiri, they have to born as his three sons – Chandra, Dattatreya and Durvasa.
Suchindram bears the imprint of various kingdoms. The prime attraction here is the Thanumalaya Swamy Temple – a shrine dedicated to Trimurti. Built in Dravidian style, the temple is noted for its architectural grandeur comprising exquisite carvings, musical columns and an impressive 3 m high tall image of Lord Hanuman. A major draw is the festivals celebrated here during Markazhi (December-January) and Chithirai (April-May).
Suchindram Railway Station is on the Kanyakumari-Nagercoil rail route. Trivandrum International Airport in Kerala is the nearest airport.