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Sun Temple at Aurangabad in Bihar – Surya Mandir at Deo near Aurangabad

Sun Temple at Aurangabad in Bihar is unique as it faces west, the setting sun not the usual rising sun. Surya Mandir is located at Deo or Dev around 22 km from Aurangabad. The presiding deity here is known as Trikal Surya – Forms of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. Brahma depicts the rising sun, Shiva the mid-day sun and Vishnu represents the setting sun.

Outside the main sanctum sanctorum, in the front hall section, there are three broken murtis. They are not worshipped but it is believed these were the original murtis worshipped in the temple. Invaders destroyed it. The broken murtis are of Surya (the Sun God) with seven horses, Uma- Maheshwara and Vishnu. Shivling and Ganesh murti can also be found in the shrine.

It is believed that the present shrine was constructed between 8th and 12th century AD.

The structure of the temple is simple and follows the Nagar style of architecture prevalent in North India.

Legend has it that originally the temple faced east. During the invasion of Kala Pahar, he tried to destroy it. But the priests stopped him saying that misfortune would befall if the temple was destroyed. Kala Pahar then told the priests that the temple would turn west if it was so miraculous. The priests told that even that would happen. Next day during sunrise, the temple miraculous faced west.

The most important festival observed here is the Chhath Puja in November/December and also in March/April. Ardra Nakahstra and Sundays attract maximum crowd.

Surya Kund and Rudra kund located nearby are considered highly meritorious. Taking holy dip in the ponds help in curing leprosy, skin diseases and other acute ailments.