Temple of the Sun Deity
In North Bharat, the Chat puja or Chat parva (fortnight) signifying the worship of the Sun Deity is celebrated by lakhs of Hindus with great fervour.
At Aurangabad, in the state of Bihar, there is a beautiful temple of the Sun Deity. It is believed to be constructed overnight by Vishwakarma (Architect of the Deities). The main entrance door of this temple faces the West. This is the only Sun temple in Bharat with the main door on the West. There is no clear record available of the exact construction period of the temple, but it is believed to be have been constructed 1.5 lakh years ago. During the Chat parva festival, lakhs of devotees visit the temple to worship the Sun Deity.
1. Unique features of the temple
This is a historical temple from the Tretayug, facing the west. This temple is famous not only for its sculptural beauty but also for its historical importance. It is situated at a place called Dev, 18 kilometres from Aurangabad and is 100 feet tall. The temple is built using black and red stones and its structure is similar to the Jagannath temple from Odisha. There is a stone inscription about its construction period outside the temple. According to a verse in Brahmi script translated into Sanskrut, it is after the completion of the Tretayug that Ilaputra Pururawa El erected this temple. The stone inscription indicates that this temple is 1,50,017 years old.
2. History of the temple
The story behind the construction of this temple is that once a king named El had gone hunting to the jungle. He became thirsty and asked his servitor to get him a tumbler of water which he fetched from a nearby puddle of water. Wherever that water touched the king, his leprosy lesions on his body vanished. When he became aware of this, the king bathed in that water and was completely cured of the disease. That night he had a dream that there are three idols in that water puddle. The next day the king removed those idols from that puddle and installed them in a temple.
3. Bharat’s unique heritage – Sun Deity temple
This temple has idols of Sun Deity in three forms Udayachal (Rising sun), Madhyachal (Afternoon Sun) and Astachal (Setting Sun) carved in stone. The 100 feet tall temple is an excellent example of architecture and vastu science. No lime or chemical of any kind has been used in binding two stones while building the temple. Yet the stones in oval, square, pentagonal, round, triangular and other shapes are seen bound to each other making the temple very attractive and wonderful. It is indeed a unique heritage of Bharat.
4. Every year lakhs of devotees visit the temple to pay obeisance to the idol of the Sun Deity
Every year during the Chat fortnight lakhs of devotees from Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and other states visit the temple to perform Chat puja. It is the belief of Hindu devotees that the wish of the one who performs ritualistic worship of Deity Sun in this temple gets fulfilled. To fulfil desires, the Sun Deity is given offering of water referred to as arghya.
5. Traditions of the temple
The Suryakund pond situated near the temple has special significance. After bathing in this pond devotees who have taken a vow, perform ritualistic worship of the Sun Deity. The chief priest of this temple Sacchidanand Pathak said that the Sun Deity is awakened every morning at 4 a.m. by ringing the temple bells. Then the idol is bathed and sandalwood paste is smeared onto Its forehead and it is then dressed in clean clothing. Then the Adityahruday stotra (Holy verse) is then recited. This tradition is continuing for several years.