Navagraha Temples are the imperial stars”, which incorporate the planets such as Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, and it includes the Sun, the Moon, and positions in the sky, Rahu (north or ascending lunar node) and Ketu. Navagrahas are believed to be the transmitters of Universal, quintessential energy or power.
The Navagrahas are closely associated with the fixed stars in the Zodiac. This is the reason that the Navagraha temples are considered to be the popular destination to get rid of from the influence of planets.
Navagraha temples are the nine beautiful temples dedicated to Navagrahas (nine planets or nine celestial bodies). The Navagrahas temples are located at different places in and around the city Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu.
Eight temples among these Navagraha temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshiped as the primary deity. And Suryanar temple is the only Navagraha temple which is dedicated to Grahas (celestial bodies).
The list of Navagraha Temples are:
- Suryanar Temple representing Surya (Sun)
- Agneeswarar Temple representing Shukra (Venus)
- Kailasanathar Temple representing Chandra (Moon)
- Vaitheeswaran Temple representing Mangala (Mars)
- Tirunageswaram Nageswarar Temple representing Rahu
- Tirunallar Darbaaranyeswarar Temple representing Sani (Saturn)
- Keezhperumpallam Nagannathaswamy Temple representing Kethu
- Abathsahayeswarar Temple representing Guru (Jupiter)
- Tiruvenkadu Swetharanyeswarar Temple representing Budha (Mercury)
Suryanar Temple is located at Aduthurai, Tanjore district of Tamilnadu. This temple is dedicated to the Sun god.
Suryanar temple is the only Navagraha temple which is dedicated to Grahas (celestial bodies). And it also holds the importance that Suryanar Temple is the only temple where the eight other planets are also housed inside its temple premises, and each planets are located in separate Sannadhis of the temple.
And the best part of this temple is that the eight other planets located at eight Sannadhis of this temple, faces towards the Surya god.
Agneeswarar Temple is located at Kanjanur, Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu. This temple represents the Navagraha Shukra (Venus).
The presiding deity of Agneeswarar Temple is Lord Shiva and the Goddess of this temple is Goddess Karpagambigai (Parvati).
Legend says that the famous sage Parasara Muni was believed to be blessed by Lord Shiva with His divine cosmic dance at this temple.
Kailasanathar Temple is located at Thingalur, Tanjore district of Tamilnadu. This temple represents the Navagraha Chandra (Moon).
The main deity of Kailasanathar Temple is Lord Kailasanathar (Lord Shiva).
There is a separate shrine for Moon god in Kailasanathar Temple.
Vaitheeswaran Temple is located near Sirkazhi, Chidambaram, Tamilnadu. This temple represents the Navagraha Mangala (Mars).
The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Shiva, who is worshipped by the name Vaitheeswaran, which means ‘the god of healing’.
The specialty of this temple is that there is an Emerald Lingam which is known as ‘Maragatha Lingam’ is placed at this temple.
Tirunageswaram Nageswarar Temple
Tirunageswaram Nageswarar Temple is located at the town of Tirunageswaram, Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu. This temple represents the Navagraha Rahu.
The presiding deity of Tirunageswaram Nageswarar Temple is Lord Shiva, who is worshiped by the name Lord Nageswarar.
Tirunageswaram Nageswarar Temple was said to be built by Gandaraditya Chola, the son of Parantaka Chola.
The speciality of this temple is that, this is the only temple where Lord Raghu can be seen with His consorts.
Tirunallar Darbaaranyeswarar Temple
Tirunallaru Darbaaranyeswarar Temple is located at Tirunallar, Karaikkal district, Pondicherry. This temple represents the Navagraha Sani (Saturn).
The presiding deity of Tirunallaru Darbaaranyeswarar Temple is Lord Shiva, who is worshiped by the name Dharbaranyeswarar.
The deity of Lord Dharbaranyeswarar is made of dharba grass. And the planet Saturn, the centre icon of the temple, is considered to be the door keeper of the temple.
Keezhperumpallam Nagannathaswamy Temple
Keezhperumpallam Nagannathaswamy Temple is located at Keezhperumpallam, Nagapatnam district of Tamilnadu. This temple represents the Navagraha Kethu.
The presiding deity of Nagannathaswamy Temple is Lord Shiva, who is worshiped in the form of Lord Naganatha Swamy. And Kethu, the centre icon of the temple, is considered to be the shadow planet.
Abathsahayeswarar Temple is located at Alangudi Valangaiman taluk of Tiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu. This temple represents the Navagraha Guru (Jupiter).
The presiding deity of Abathsahayeswarar Temple is Lord Shiva, who is worshiped by the name Abathsahayeswarar. And the Navagraha Jupiter is worshiped in the form of Lord Dakshinamurthy, who is said to be the ‘Guru’.
Tiruvenkadu Swetharanyeswarar Temple
Tiruvenkadu Swetharanyeswarar Temple is located at Sirkazhi, Nagai district of Tamilnadu. This temple represents the Navagraha Budha (Mercury).
The presiding deity of Tiruvenkadu Swetaranyeswarar Temple is Lord Shiva, who is worshipped by the name Swetharanyeswarar.
Tiruvenkadu Swetharanyeswarar Temple is popularly known for “Agora Murthi”, a special and unique incarnation of Lord Shiva.