This blog is specifically for people who want to visit Navagraha temples around Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, and India.
There is a cluster of Navagraha Temples dating from the Chola dynasty near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. Each temple is located in a different village, and is considered an abode of one of the Navagrahas. However, the majority of these temples are dedicated to Shiva. The Surya temple is the only one dedicated to the Graham. In fact, it is dedicated entirely to the worship of the Sun-God and the other navagrahas, the former being the object of worship as the principal deity and the latter as attendant deities. It was built around the 11th or 12th century C.E. The other temples were built earlier, ranging back to 7th-9th century.
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I suggest the following order and preferably on a Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday there won’t be any taila bhiskeka [Oil Abhisheka ] to Lord Shaneshwara, only on weekdays, reason being the management of crowd on weekends would be difficult along with regular Pooja and archanas.
Timings may change due to seasons.
Start on Thursday morning from Kumbakonam,
- Chandra/Chandran/Moon Navagraha temple – Thingaloor
Thingaloor Kailasanathar Temple is 33km away from Kumbakonam.
As per the Hindu religion, Prajapathi who is the father 27 girls cursed Chandiran for not treating his all daughters as wife equally except Rohini. So Chandiran worshipped Lord Shiva to remove the curse from Thingaloor. Lord Shiva saved him from the curse and told Chandiran to stay in Thingaloor to give relief to the people prays who suffered by the position of Chandiran in their Horoscopes.
Dosham to mother, mental retardation, skin and nerve problems, jaundice, and fluid accumulation are the diseases caused because of Chandra dosham. By praying to Lord Chandran, the above afflictions can be overcome.
- Guru/Jupiter Navagraha temple – Alangudi
Thursday is the ideal day to visit, might take more time as you can expect very much crowd.
Alangudi Abathsahayeswarar Temple is 17km away from Kumbakonam one of the main Lord Brihaspati Temples in India.
The Devas, when churning the paarkadal for nectar, were hindered by the poisonous fumes from the snake Vasuki and prayed to Lord Siva for deliverance. Lord Siva consumed the deadly poison (Ala Visham), thus giving rise to the name Alangudi to this sthalam and the Lord came to be called Aabathsagayar.
- Raahu Navagraha temple – Thirunageswaram
Advantage on Thursday is that the raahu kaala is from 13:30 to 15:00 afternoon, this is an additional time.
Tirunageswaram Naganathaswamy Temple is 6km away from Kumbakonam.
The king of the nagas, Rahu prayed to Lord Siva and hence this place got the name Thirunageswaram. Here Rahu Bhagavan has manifested with both his consorts. At this sthala, the colour of milk changes from white to blue during Abhishekam.
When amirtham emerged after churning of the Paarkadal by devas and the asuras, Lord Vishnu in the guise of Mohini was distributing the amirtham only to devas. Realising this, Rahu (an asura) with the help of Sukrachariyar, took the form of a deva and consumed the nectar. Suryan and Chandran who noticed this, complained to Lord Narayana. In anger, Lord Narayana hit Rahu on the head with the spoon in his hand. The head was cut off and fell on the ground. But because he had consumed amirtham, his head and body continued to live. The body of the snake got attached to the head. Rahu takes his revenge on Suryan and Chandran, whenever he gets a chance by devouring them. This is commonly called as eclipse. Rahu prayed to Lord Vishnu (Narayana) and got the position of a Sayagraham.
His colour is black, his vahana is blue lion; the grain associated with him is urad; the flower-mandarai; fabric-black cloth; gem- Komedagam; food-rice mixed with urad dal powder.
- Surya/Sun Navagraha temple – Sooriyanar Kovil
It is Situated 2 km North of Aduthurai. It is in between Kumbakonam Kadhiramangalam on the Bus Route. In this Route 15 km east of Kumbakonam.
There are lot of temples having Sun God overall Tamilnadu but Suriayanar Koil is the only temple which very exclusive for Sun God.This temple was west faced one and it was built in the period of chola kingdoms.
Sun God always occupies the central position amongst the all other grahas. His Vahana is Chariot with Seven horses and the color is red.
- Shukra/Sukran/Venus Navagraha temple – Kanjanur
It is just 2 km away from Suriyanar Kovil near Aduthurai. It can be reached from Mayiladuthurai (20 km) via Kadhiramangalam. Kanjanoor Agneeswarar Temple is 17km away from Kumbakonam.
The presiding deity Agneeswarar is the embodiment of Sukran. Sukrachariar was the Guru of asuras. He had got the blessings from Lord Siva after severe penances. In the Vamana Avataram of Lord Vishnu, Vamana sought three footsteps of land from Mahabali, an asura king. Realising Vamana to be no mere mortal, Sukrachariyar assumed the form of a bee and tried to block the flow of water from the kamandalam. Vamana picking up a pavithram blinds Sukracharya in one eye while trying to unclog the hole in the kamandalam.
Sukracharyar has the prowess to bring the dead to living by virtue of his knowledge of Amirtha Sanjeevini Mantra. Using this mantra, in the asura war against devas, he revived the slain asuras. This helped the asura army swell. Devas prayed to Lord Siva for help, who swallowed up Sukracharya in a fit of rage. After residing in Lord Siva’s stomach in a siddha state, he emerged from Lord Siva’s stomach.
Sukra endows those who pray to him with wealth, pleasure, wife, prosperity, vehicles. He is the next most beneficial planet after Guru. If in a person’s horoscope, Sukra is well placed, then the person will enjoy pleasure, beautiful wife, wealth, house, vehicle, good food, fame, love, affection, marraige, siblings, governmental help, chance to govern the country/state and hold influential status.
If in a bad position, the ward will experience a family devoid of love and ties, bad life, enimity amongst family and friends, Kalathira dosham. By praying to Sukra these problems could be mitigated. Wife, arts, sculpture, love, vehicles are the beneficial aspects of Sukra.
Should be done for the day one, come back and visit some Kumbakonam city temples like,
- Kasi Vishwanatha temple, awesome pond outside nice peace of mind for some time
- Brahma temple, here you will see,
- Lord Vishnu with Goddesses Sridevi and Bhudevi
- Lord Yoganarasimha with Goddesses Sridevi and Bhudevi
- Lord Brahma with Goddesses Saraswati and Gayathri
- Guru Raghavendra Mutt/temple, Kumbakonam being the birth place of Sri Guru Raghavendra a must place to visit. Once you enter, take off your shirts and baniyan/inner wear, mind you only the top. The highlight here is that the mutt also houses Guru Raghavendra’s Guru Shri Vijayeendra teertharu. Order of the visit is first Guru Vijayeendra Teertharu and then Guru Raghavendra.
Day two, get up early in the morning and visit in the following order,
- Mangala/Angaaraka/Chevvai/Mars Navagraha temple – Vaitheeswaran Kovil, Thirupullirukku Velur
It is 15 km north of Mayiladuthurai. It is situated in between Mayiladuthurai (15 km) and Chidambaram (25 km). Pullirukkuvelur Vaitheeswaran Temple is 50km away from Kumbakonam.
Once, when Lord Shiva was in deep meditation, perspiration from his third eye fell on earth. The male child that was born of this sweat drop was Angaragan (Chevvai). Angaragan married Sakthi Devi of Avanti town and had a son called Sumarasan. Problems from wife/children/brothers, enimity with friends, loss of wealth, quarrels, problems with Govt., lasting poverty, anger, bad friendship, Kalathira Dosham are because of Chevvai. By praying to him, a person can offset the problems arising out of his afflictions.
- Bhuda/Bhudan/Mercury Navagraha temple – Thiruvenkadu
It can be reached by Bus from Mayiladuthurai (25 km) and from Sirkazhi (15 km). Thiruvenkadu Swetharanyeswarar Temple is 60km away from Kumbakonam.
Lord Shiva resides here in the name of Swetharanyar. This temple is referred in Saiva Thirumurais and Sastras. This place is similar to Kasi with all the Snana Ghats. One can do all the karmas here that should be done in kasi. We can find a separate sanctum sanctorium for bhudan. Bhudan is helpful for improvement in education and Arts.
- Kethu Navagraha temple – Keezhperumpalla
Keezhaperumpallam Naganathaswamy Temple is 65km away from Kumbakonam.
Ketu faces West in the Northern corridor. His color is red and his vahana is the eagle. The grain associated with him is Horsegram. The flower is red lily and the fabric is multi colored cloth, gem is Cat’s eye. Offering is rice mixed with the powder of Horsegram.
- The important one, Shaneshwara/Saturn temple in Thirunallar. Thirunallar is in Karaikal,
Located in Pondicherry. Of course a tax needs to be paid at the RTO Pondicherry. Abhisheka times morning @6:30 to 7:30, @8:30 to 9:30, @11:30 to 12:30. Rest of the day no idea. Please plan accordingly.
It is 5 km from Karaikkal/Pondycherry. Thirunallar Darbaranyeswarar Temple is 54km away from Kumbakonam.
Sani Bhagavan waiting to aspect Nala, noticed that he had not washed the back portion of his feet, while preparing for his prayers. Deciding this was the opportune time, he aspected Nala. Because of this, Nala lost his composure and lost his kingdom to Pudkaran in a game of dice and sent his children to their uncle’s house. Nala departed to the forest with his wife Damayanti. Saneeswara created trouble even there and made Nala desert his wife in the forest. The snake Karkotagan bit Nala, making him lose his stature (was made to look ugly). He took on the job of a charioteer with king Irudhupannan. Damayanti, in the meantime reached the kingdom of her father, and arranged a Swayamvara to locate Nala. Damyanti identified Nala, the charioteer as her husband. Thanks to a boon from Karkodagan, Nala regained his old form. In spite of being back with his wife, Nala feeling very disturbed, sought the solace of sage Bharadwaja and on his advice reached Thirunallar. He bathed in the Brahma Thirtham of the temple, and when he entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, Saneeswara departed from him.
Saneeswara resides in each Rasi for a period of 2 1/2 years. When Saneeswara resides in the 12th, 1st and 2nd house, it is 7 1/2 Naatu Sani or saaDe saathi; when in the 4th house, it is Arthashtama Sani; when in the 8th house, it is Ashtama Sani. During these periods, he troubles the native.
His colour is black; his vahana the crow; the grain associated with him is gingelley; the flower – vanni and black kuvalai; fabric – black cloth; gem – neelam (blue saphire); food – rice mixed with gingelle.
What all needs to be done there,
- First go to Nala Theerta, I presume all are wearing only clothes to be left there itself including the bits and pieces of clothes. With old clothes on, either take bath or just a water sprinkle/prokshana. Once done, head back towards the changing room and mind you do not see the pond back again. Change clothes and move towards Lord Ganesha temple close by, with each person a coconut in hand. Pray to the Lord and do a Pradakshina, come out. Adjacent to temple there is a place where each will have to throw the coconut to break it in one shot. To start with turn opposite, light the camphor rotate the coconut around your head 3 times in clockwise direction, turn back and throw it in force. For kids breaking in one shot may be difficult, any other adult is advised to break on behalf. OK now done with, start towards the main Lord Shaneshwara temple.
- Lord Shaneshwara temple, you can buy some package with the required pooja items available outside the temple premises. Take the abhisheka ticket wait for your time slot. First visit Lord Shiva temple inside, adjacent to Shiva’s temple abhisheka for Shaligrama shila Linga will be performed, this is a rarest sight not to be missed, run towards Lord Shaneshwara temple, wait for abhisheka, and aarathi move to Adjacent Goddess Parvathi temple, come out and do not turn back or go inside again any case. Now mostly done, do not visit any other Temple or any other place and suggest return your home directly.