Arasavilli in Andhra Prades is perhaps one of the very few sacred places in India, where one can see a sun temple in a fine state of preservation in sharp contrast to the dilapidated sun shrines in other parts of the country. Historical evidence traces, the origin of the Arasavilli shrine to the seventh century. Inscriptions found on the outer walls of the Surya-Narayanaswami temple at Arasavilli reveal that Devendra Varma, a Kalinga ruler, constructed this temple as a mark of his respect to the Sun. The presiding deity of the temple depicts a five-foot tall black granite image holding lotus buds in both the hands. The hood of the divine serpent Adisesha, is spread over the figure. On either side of the Lord are His consorts Usha and Chaya. At the base of the figure are Pingala and Danda, gatekeepers of the solar world. A great spiritual significance is attached to this particular image of the Sun-god called Padmapani; Padma, the lotus, stands for wisdom and Usha and Chaya signify endless and timeless space.
Regarding the origin of the shrine, there is a Puranic episode. Once, Indra, the chief of the gods, tried to force his entry into the sacred shrine at Koteswara, where Shiva was enjoying the company of Parvathi. On learning of the audacious act of Indra, Shiva’s gate-keeper, Nandi, kicked the intruder. Humiliated and crest-fallen, Indra fell down unconscious at a place about two miles from Arasavilli. While he was in a state of unconsciousness, he had a vision that he would be relieved of his agony if he puts up a shrine to Surya and offer him worship. Accordingly, Indra built a temple to Suryanarayanaswami which, with the passage of age, acquired great spiritual power.