Arasavalli is home to an ancient temple to the Sun (Suryanarayana) – said to have been built originally by the Kalinga rulers of Orissa around the 7th century CE. Arasavalli is located at Srikakulam near Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.. Also near Srikakulam are the Mukhalingam temples built in the Orissa temple idiom, and Sree Kurmam bearing a shrine to Vishnu depicting his Kurma avataram.
Legend has it that Indra the king of Gods attempted to force his entry into the temple of Koteeshwara – Shiva and was thrown away by the gatekeeper Nandi. Repentful of his arrogance in attempting to force his entry, Indra enshrined Surya the Sun God in a temple and performed worship services, at Arasavalli.
A black granite image of Surya about 5 feet in height bearing lotus buds (hence the name Padma Paani), flanked by his consorts Padma, Usha and Chhaaya, on a 7 horse driven chariot is the object of worship here. At the base of the image are the gate keepers Pingala and Danda and the saints Sanaka and Sananda. Surya’s charioteer Aruna (Anoora) is also depicted in the image.
History: The Arasavalli teemple was built by the Eastern Kalinga Kings 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 believed that those with skin ailments, blindness and barrenness are miraculously cured of their afflictions upon offering worship at this temple.