Surya is also known as Savita and is a special god who dwelt in the body of the sun. Surya is described as the husband of dawn, and for thousands of years, millions of dvotees have recited prayers to him when they start their day. Surya is also the guardian of the southwest quadrant.
His father is the sky god Dyaush or Indra. One Hindu story tells how he arose from the eye of the world-giant Purusa. Surya has golden hair and golden arms. He drives in a chariot drawn by a team of 4 or 7 white horses, which is drawn by the Arjuna, hero of the Mahabharata. In India, he corresponds to the Greek Helios.
Traditionally, the role of Surya was similar to that of Lord Brahma; they were both credited with creating the universe. He also is believed to have a role similar to that of Vishnu as preserver of the world, as his warmth and light help to nourish the universe.
Surya can be depicted either with two arms, both holding Lotus blossoms (a symbol of divine creation and purity), or with four arms. When shown with four, Surya will be depicted holding a single lotus blossom, a conch shell, and a discus (known as a chakra), which is both a weapon and a symbol for the circle of the universe.
In modern day India, Surya plays an important part in Hindu astrology, and thus it is believed that he has an impact on the daily lives of believers. So while despite being a lesser deity in the Hindu pantheon, he still is believed to have a presence in the every day existence of Hindus.