Thanumalayan temple, Suchindram, Kanyakumari where Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma form the "Linga"

Suchindram Thanumalayan temple, TN

Suchindram Town, about 12 kms from KanyakumariTown, Tamil Nadu in the tip of Peninsular India, is a famous destination for tourists who visit the near-by town Kanyakumari where three seas converge - the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian sea.  This is the southern most end of the Indian subcontinent beyond which one can see nothing but a vast expanse of water up to the Antarctic Ocean. The quiet surroundings, the Vivekananda Mantap, where Swami Vivekananda was engaged in deep meditation before his journey to Chicago,  USA and near-by giant statue of Tamil saint  and bard  Tiruvalluvar, attract lots of visitors from across India. Here, they can spend their holidays in a productive way free from preoccupation with drab and mundane life of the madding urban environment. Sure, visiting  Kanyankumari  District will be a new and exciting experience and  is an easy detour for many pilgrims. 
Suchindram Thanumalayan temple,
Above image: Thanumalayan temple, Suchindram. Prakaram or Prathakshana path around Srikovil or sanctum. ..................

Suchindram town, located between Nagarkovil and Kanyakumari,  is famous for the  Hindu temple Thanumalayan Perumal temple, also known as  Suchindram Anjaneyar Temple. Known for its sculptural grandeur,  this temple was built in the 17th century and has inspiring  sculptures well- known for their quality of workmanship and artistic excellence. A good example is the 18 foot tall stone musical pillars made of one  stone (monolithic) located in Alankara mantap. The other place called Dancing hall has 1035 ornate pillars that may leave you spell-binding. The 7-tiered entrance gopuram (roughly 40 meter tall) - tower, white in color, is quite visible from a distance. Like  countless Tamil Nadu temples,  the tower has nicely carved sculptures of Hindu deities. The major attraction  here is a giant stone statute of Anjanayar. It is 22-foot tall made of hard stone - I presume granite-related rock. Butter offerings is a common feature and is daubed on the stone image. Later, itis scooped out and distributed as prasadam among the devotees.  Hanuman worship is quite popular here. The Shiva's mount - Nandi (bull), here, is  made of mortar and lime  and not of hard stone.  It is 13 feet (4.0 m) tall, 21 feet (6.4 m) long and 20 feet wide, and  is one of the biggest Nandis in India. There are Oonjal mantap as well as Chitra sabha where many mythological paintings are on display. Some depict various Tandavas (dances) of Lord Shiva, famous Cosmic dancer.
Hanuman statue. Suchindram Thanumalayan temple,
A historical fact attracts our attention about this giant Hanuman statue which was discovered way back in 1930 and later was consecrated.  Apparently the statue was buried in 1740 fearing raid by Tipu Sultan of Mysore. Yet another aspect of this temple is 
it is dedicated  to the Trinity gods in the Hindu pantheon - Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma and the Linga in the sanctum represents all the three Gods and it goes by the name of  Sthanumalyam. Both 
Nayak rulers of Madurai and Travancore Royal family made endowments for the up-keep of this temple. In 1875 The Travancore Maharajah_Ayilyam Thirunaal collected roughly Rs.40,000.00 through lottery to repair the damaged parts of the temple. 

Suchindram Thanumalayan temple, TN /
The Thanumalayan Temple attracts  both Shaivite and Vaishnavite sects of Hinduism, as the name Stanumalaya denotes Trimurtis; "Stanu" means Siva; "Mal" means Vishnu; and the "Ayan" means Brahma. Earlier, this temple was under  the control of Travancore Devaswom Board and presently it is under the HRCE of Tamil Nadu, a  government  organization taking care of Hindu temples. It was previously controlled by the Nambudiris, one of the main Namboodiri families called the Thekkumon Madam was in charge of this temple. It is said, still the main priests in this temple are from Namboodiri Brahmin sect and not  Brahmins of Tamil Nadu!!
Legend (Sthalapurana) has it that the three Gods Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma appeared before Anusuya, the wife (Pathini) of Sage Atri in the guise of Brahmins for biksha  and  imposed a condition that that they would eat if she served them in nude (Atheists may be wondering about the perversion of Gods!!). Being a chaste woman with power of chastity, she converted all the three into small babies and fed them. Upon the request of Goddesses, Anusuya restored them and they became one form - a  Linga. God Indira was believed to have been cured of a curse and became purified here. Suchi means purifying, hence the name Suchindram.  Vaishnavite scholar  and poet Namazhwar in his work Tiruvoimozhi mentioned that one must visit this temple, before one reaches the old age. 
Trinity gods in one form. Suchindram Thanumalayan temple
This is one of few temples in India where we can see the Trinity Gods in one form - Sthanumalyam worshipped by both Vaishnavite and Shaivite communities living here. There are also shrines dedicated to Goddesses, thus taking care of the religious aspirations of Devi worshippers. 
Suchindram Thanumalayan temple, Chariot
The 10-day Car (Chariot) Festival of  this temple held annually \between December and January attracts thousands of people who actively participate in this colorful event with Bhakti and religious fervor.