Sundarnarayan Temple

Sundarnarayan temple is situated at the corner of Ahillyabai Holkar Bridge. The story goes like this : Vrinda Devi was a very pious and faithful wife of Jalandar - a wicked demon. Jalandar, a mighty crook, was the devotee of Lord Shiva. Pleased with his prayers and impressed by Jalandar's wife's chastity, Lord Shiva gave him a boon that made him immortal. With this boon, Jalandar became vicious and started creating havoc on earth. He not only troubled human beings, but also disturbed the Gods. He even ventured to pick up a quarrel with Lord Shiva himself. It became necessary to eliminate him which was contrary to the boon given by Lord Shiva. The only way out was to suspect Vrinda Devi's chastity. For this task Lord Vishnu duplicated himself to look like Jalandar and lived with Vrinda Devi. Thus her chastity was suspected and the boon given to Jalandar was withdrawn and he was destroyed. When Vrinda Devi came to know of the trick played by Lord Vishnu, she got furious and cursed Lord Vishnu. His attractive body turned black due to the curse. Lord Vishnu took a holy bath in the river Godavari and regained his complexion. Since he became beautiful again, - the Lord is named as Sundarnarayana. Sundar in Marathi means beautiful.

The Sundarnarayan temple is built by Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud in 1756. The entrance of the temple is to the East. The two Mandaps may be small but their architecture is attractive and the round dome is made by little ornamental cordons. The arched recesses are impressions by Mughal style because during the Mughal Regime many temples were demolished by Muslims and graveyards were built in their place. The main deity is of Lord Vishnu - alias Narayana . To his left and right are Laxmi and Saraswati respectively. Fine design is carved on the stones of the temple. On the road leading towards Godavari River there is pond named Badarika Sangam Pond. It is said that the king of Devgiri bathed and performed rites in this pond. We also find a mention of this pond in the holy book Dnyaneshwari. One remarkable thing about this temple is that it is built at such an angle that on 21st March, rays of the rising Sun first fall exactly upon the idols.