Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published in association with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Vol 18 no 2 (Autumn/Winter 2014 will be published in July/August 2016. Vol. 19 (2015) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2013 Sophia Centre conference on Celestial Magic and is scheduled for publication in September/October 2016. Vol. 20 (2016) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2014 Sophia Centre conference on the Marriage of Heaven and Earth.

Volume 2, No. 1

People, Planets and the Sun: Surya Puja in Tamil Nadu, South India

J. McKim Malville & R. N. Swaminathan

This paper analyzes architectural alignments and reports the results of interviews with priests and lay persons at those temples in the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu in which sunlight of the rising or setting sun enters the sanctum, primarily near equinox. The event, known as Surya puja, occurs most frequently in Shaivite temples and is most often understood to be a case of the sun worshipping Lord Shiva. At some temples it is believed the sun suffers from leprosy, which may be associated with an outbreak of sunspots in the late 11th century. Many of today's Surya puja rituals have strong astrological dimensions, which have probably grown in intensity since the temples were built.

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