Suchindrum is a small village about 12 km. from Kanyakumari and about seven kilometres from Nagercoil. This holy place is located on the bank of the river Pazhayar, adjoining fertile fields and coconut groves and the temple is dedicated to Sri Sthanumalayan. The word denotes Siva, Vishnu and Brahma as. Sthanu represents Siva, Mal represents Vishnu while Ayan represents Brahma i.e. Siva, Vishnu and Brahma in “One Form”.
Suchindrum means the place where Indra attained ‘Suchi’ i.e., purification. The Sthalapurana has it that Indra suffered a curse from sage Gowthama, when he stealthily cast amorous glances at Ahalya the wife of Gowthama. Not able to suffer the mortification brought about by the curse. Indra had to seek immediate redemption. He came to ‘Gnana Aranya’ as this place was then called and offered worship to Lord Shiva. Relieving Indra of his curse, Lord Shiva granted him of his wish that the place where he attained purification should henceforth be called ‘Suchindrum’.
Another story goes to say that the Trimurthys i.e. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, cajoled by their divine consorts came down to the earth to test the chastity of Anusuya, wife of sage Athri at Gnana Aranya. The Gods for this misadventure had to suffer a surse form the Rishipatni and to undergo the purification process, before they could be restored to their former glory.
It is said that Thanumalaya Swamy temple is the only shrine dedicated to the Trinity in
. The present structure of the temple is the work of a number of persons spread over a number of centuries. It is a complex of many beautiful structures constructed at various times and is one of the best specimens and a store house of the Dravidian style of art and architecture. India