In Tamilnadu Navagraha temples are located within a 60km radius around Kumbakonam. Six of them are situated on the northern bank of Cauvery and three on the southern bank.
This is the only temple in South India dedicated exclusively to Surya (Sun God). Surya is known as the giver of health, success and prosperity. It is built by King Kulothunga Chola I in 1100AD. Every year in mid January, the harvest festival is celebrated in tanks giving and to honour Surya.
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 the months of Purattasi (Sep-Oct) and Panguni (Mar-Apr), Moon’s rays fall on the Lingam. In astrology, Chandran is the planet that removes stress and sorrow.
The presiding deity is Sri Vaidyanathaswamy, is hailed as the healer of all ills. The belief is that if prayers are offered to Ankarakan, he will bestow valour, victory and strength to the person. Jatayu, Muruga, and Surya worshipped the Lord here. There is also a widespread belief that a vist here would remove obstacles that delay marriage.
The Siva shrine here is dedicated to Sri Swetaranyeswara. The Goddess is Brahma Vidyambika. 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.
The presiding deity here is Sri Aabathsagayeswara or Aranyeswara, a Swayambu Lingam, and the Goddess is Umai Ammai. This is regarded as a Guru sthalam or Jupiter where Lord Dakshinamurthy is held in great reverence. 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.
This Shiva sthalam is associated with Sukran or Venus. 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.
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.
The Siva shrine is dedicated to Sri Naganathaswamy, his consort is Giri Gujambika. 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.
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.
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