Dev Surya Mandir is located at 18Km from Aurangabad district headquarter. Important from the archaeological diety, the peak of this temple is 100 feet high.
The rarest and oldest of Sun temples of India, there is a shilalekha outside, on which a shloka that is inscribed, has been taken from the book of Aryabhatta that says that on the fifth day of Magha month’s shukla paksha, Thursday, Eila’s son Aiel established this Sun temple in Tretayuga twelve lakh sixteen thousand years ago. Eila was the daughter of Manu. As legend has it, King Aiel who was suffering from leprosy and was out hunting in the forest here, discovered that the muddy water of a pit cured him of the disease. He dreamt of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh statues in the pit and was ordered to install them. Thus this temple came up. Priest Sachchidananda Pathak says that these three statues depict the eleventh form of Sun God out of twelve. Sun God is depicted as Brahma in Udayakal, as Mahesh in Madhyakal and as Vishnu at Astakal. Below the central statue of Sun God as Mahesh, a chariot is depicted being pulled by seven horses and Arjun as charioteer. One has to walk through a large verandah to reach the sanctum. Outside the main temple is a statue of Lord Vishnu, with that of Saraswati having Veena in her hand. The other statues are those of Lakshmi, Hanuman and Durga. This temple follows a unique feature of worship. There is a book called Aditya Hridaya Strota, which is a collection of the communication of Lord Krishna and Arjuna from Bhavishyapurana. This is the ritual book for the temple, the mantras from which are used to worship the deity and cure leprosy too. The temple is built in Nagar style of architecture and is 105 feet high. It is made up of large stones joined together with iron rods, which are inextricably linked.
Beautiful designs are carved on these stones. Uniqueness of the temple is that whole temple is encircled by the garland of Rudraksha, which is carved in its stone walls. One more significant thing is that all twelve temples of Sun God are represented here through carvings at the gate, on the walls and domes. The top of the temple’s dome is in the shape of a lotus, above which a golden kalash is placed. The architecture of the temple is such that anyone can see the deity in the sanctum from the first entrance gate, which is though rather far. The first entrance is constructed in such a manner that devotees have to bow down before entering the temple as a gesture of respect.
A Surya Kunda to the south, is where devotees take bath and comes to the temple by doing dandawata pranaama. Bhoga of red edible items such as sweets made from molasses, raisins and almonds are offered and arti is done at sunrise and sunset, so its timing fluctuates. Janma divas of Surya Devta on Achla Saptami, in the Magha month’s shukla paksha, is when devotees come here and a special kheer, prepared with rice and milk is distributed among them. Chhatha Puja in Kartika and Chaitra is celebrated here on a grand scale. Devotees offer arghya to the Sun God from Surya Kunda. Every year, the Bihar government celebrates Surya Mahotsava here, in which an exhibition is held in which the details of different government departments are displayed and many cultural events organised.