NAVAGRAHA TEMPLES
 
Believers in astrology and the influence of planets over individual destiny will find Tamil Nadu is a great destination. Indian astrology believes that the planetary positions of the nine planets in a geocentric orbit determine the way a person will live, progress and exemplify one’s life to others before death. Nava means nine and graha means planet. There are nine temples located in Tamil Nadu representing each planet in the Navagraha. All nine of them are located within a sixty-kilometre radius around Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district.
     
 
Click for Large View
Planet
Temple
Surya (sun)
Suryanar Koil
Chandra (moon)
Tingaloor Koil
Chevaai (mars)
Vaitheswaran Koil
Budhan (mercury)
Tiruvenkadu
Guru (jupiter)
Alangudi
Shukran (venus)
Kanchanoor
Shani (saturn)
Tirunallar
Rahu
Tirunageswharan
Ketu
Keezhperumpallam
     
 
SURYANAR KOIL Situated 21 kms from Swamimalai is the Suryanar Koil built by King Kulothunga Chola I in the year 1100 AD. This temple is dedicated to Sun God Surya who is known as the giver of health, success and prosperity. Every year in mid January, the harvest festival is celebrated in thanksgiving and to honour Surya.

 
 
THINGALOOR Though there is a question about when this temple was built, historians agree that it must have been in existence since before the beginning of the Bhakti period, which was well before the seventh century A.D. Dedicated to the Moon or Chandran in Sanskrit and Thingal in Tamil, a visit to this temple is said to grant a comfortable and long life. In astrology, Chandran is the planet that removes stress and sorrow.
 
 
VAITHESWARAN KOIL With the Vaitheswaran Koil, there is a special shrine dedicated to Ankarakan or Sevvai or Mars. The belief is that if prayers are offered to Ankarakan, he will bestow valour, victory and strength to the person. Upon entering the temple, devotees first go the Siddhamrita tank. The water is said to have curative properties for various skin ailments. There is also a widespread belief that a visit here would remove obstacles that delay marriage.
 
 
THIRUVENKADU There is a reference to this temple in Valmiki’s Ramayana. Therefore it is said that the oldest part of the temple is more than 3000 years old. Dedicated to Budhan or Mercury this temple in Thiruvenkadu makes up the last of the Navagraha Temples. Budhan is said to bestow wisdom and intellect.
 
 
ALANGUDI This is regarded as a Guru sthalam or Jupiter where Lord Dakshinamurthy is held in great reverence. The shrine attracts a large number of devotees when Jupiter transits between zodiac signs. Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva, is said to have been reborn on the banks of the Amrita Pushkarini within the temple precincts before being reunited with Shiva.
 
 
KANCHANOOR This Shiva sthalam is associated with Sukran or Venus and is maintained by the Madurai Adhinam. It is located in a quiet hamlet of Thiruvaavaduturai.This shrine is also referred to as Palaasavanam, Brahmapurai and Agnisthalam. Brahma is said to have had a vision here of Shiva's wedding with Parvati. Men visit to pray for the well being of their wives.
 
 

THIRUNALLAR This is the only temple that is dedicated to Lord Sani or Saturn. When the planet Saturn transits between zodiac signs, literally millions throng this shrine. The legendary King Nala is said to have been relieved of his afflictions, which were due to the malefic influence of Saturn, after worship in this temple. Of the numerous tanks theertams, the Nala theertam is the most important one. By bathing here, it is believed that one is washed off all kinds of misfortune and afflictions.
 
 
TIRUNAGESHWARAM This vast temple known is for its shrine to Rahu, one of the nine celestial bodies in the Navagraha. A legend has it that the mythological serpents Adiseshan, Dakshan and Kaarkotakan worshipped Shiva here. Legend also has it that King Nala worshipped Shiva here as in Thirunallar.
 
 

KEEZHPERUMPALLAM This is an ancient Shaivite temple and legend has it that Kethu, the other planetary node of the nine celestial bodies worshipped Shiva here. Rahu and Kethu are associated with the legend of the serpent that helped Lord Shiva churn the milky ocean. There is a shrine dedicated to Kethu in this temple.
 
 
 
 
 
     
Copyright Štrichytravels 2007. All Rights Reserved.