Arasavalli is the corrupted form of the Sanskrit word ‘Harashavalli’ - the creeper of Joy. It is well connected with all parts of India. Pilgrims and tourists from far and near including foreigners, who have free entrance without any restrictions, visit the shrine throughout the year, especially on Sundays, because the Sunday is considered the most auspicious harbinger of health and happiness. The idol of Surya at the temple is ‘nulli secundus’ and it is handsomely carved out of in ‘ Aruna Sila’ stone about 60 “into 30” facing eastwards.
The Lord is accompanied by the three spouses - Usha, Chaya and Padmini. Two attendants, the ‘Parsva-devatas’, forward on either side are Mathara & Pingala. On the upper side, Sanaka & Sanandana are serving the Lord with Chamaram & Chatram , Anoora, the charioteer a whip in his hand and the one wheeled heavenly chariot ‘Vyjayanti’ yoked with seven horses on hind-legged. Above the Lord’s crown there is a ‘Sarabha Salva’, emblem of his banner, which stands for kingly valour, vigor and majesty. Surya is of ‘Kaashyapa’ Gotra. The gem on the crown of the Sun is called Surya mani. The central figure of the Sun-God is in standing posture holding two lotus flowers in both palms uplifted, as if to denote ‘abhayamudra’. A dagger stuck on right side of the waist, called ‘Surya Churika'!.
There is an esoteric significance in the idol. Three wives represent the three great solar energies, Maha Gayatri, Maha Savitri, Maha Saraswati. Even a highly intelligent man is seized and bound to the threefold pillars - birth, life and death. Through prostration and devotional prayers and virtuous deeds, he implores Surya to loosen the bonds of his sins, and save him from the evils he has committed. This is represented here as three wives of the Sun-God and this gives birth to the well known ‘Adhibuta, Adhidaiva and Adhyatama’ and these three realms are physico-chemical, biological and psychological. The three wives further represent three ‘gunas’ of human nature, ‘sattwa, Rajas and Tamas’ - Rhythm mobility and inertia.
The solid, liquid and vaporous states of matter. White, red and black are their colors; waking, dreaming and deep sleep are their states; sky, space and earth are their seats. Seers says it: “RADHASTHAM BHASKARAM DRISTWA PUNARJANMA NAVIDYATE ” - There will be no rebirth own one who sees the lord on the chariot. Such is His grace. SYSTEM OF WORSHIP Though the Sun-God called maker of the day (Dinakara), Sunday is considered to the most auspicious day for Sun Worship. On that day devotees perform very important Surya Sahasranama and Surya Vrata and etc., for their wishes to be fulfilled.
Most of the devotees are offering milk, called ‘Tapta Ksheera’ generally termed as ‘Amrita gundi’ or ‘Ksheerannam’ - ‘milk-gruel. In good olden days, it is prominently mentioned in ‘Yaatra charitra’ by late Mandapaka Sitarama Sastri, poet-laureate in Bobbili Samstanam of Rangarao Bahaddur, that number of putties of milk gruel was offered to Surya Deva and distributed to the pilgrims freely. Some perform milk-bath, and submitting a paid of silk dhoties to the Lord. Some offer ‘Kalyana utsavams. The following are the some of important festivals made to Sun God at Arasavalli in addition to daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly ‘Aradhanas’.
The spring festival, Surya Jayanti, is celebrated on bright seventh day of Magha month (Jan. - Feb. ), Dola (Holi) festival in Feb. - Mar, annual kalyanotsavam during March - April(Chaitra), Mahavaisakha, during April-May, Car-festival, Janmasthami, Vinayaka festival, Dusserah, Boat-festival, Dhanurmasa festival, Pongal-Makara Sankranti. The celebrations of Maha-Sivaratri and all monthly Sivaratri's are being performed in their own way to Kshetrapalaka of this Temple.
Sri Ramalingeswara swamy and his consort Bhuvaneswari Devi. ‘Alekhya Sampradaya’ & 'Soura Agama' is in prevalent in this temple, acording to which, a devotee who cirumambalater the temple 108 times all the while chanting an one of the Surya Mantras - every Sunday, or for 40 consecutive days, with achieve the best results, and whosoever does sofor 360 days(one year) will have the Lord’s grace showered on him. Such a person is considered to have made one “Parikrama’ or ‘pradakshna’ around the Surya Mandala along with the earth.
In Arasavalli Sun temple, there is a unique phenomenon; the rays of the Sun touch the Lord in ‘Sanctum Sanctorum’ twice in a year during the 2nd week of March and September, respectively. O resplendent Sun, when you move on with the aura of glory directed with season-forming beams along with the constellations, you give rise to the five seasons: rain, summer, autumn, winter and spring. For this you are complimented with appropriate praises. Many glamorous evil forces, decorated with gold and jewels, have been spreading over the face of the earth. But, mighty as they are, they can not trimputh over godly men. These dark forces are dispersed by the rising Sun of Wisdom”.