Navagraha/9 Planet Temple Details
Suriyanar Koil – The Sun Temple
This temple is dedicated to Planet Sun. It is near Kumbakonam, approachable by Kumbakonam – Mayiladuthurai road. Other planets also have independent shrines in Sun Temple surrounding the Sun’s central shrine. Sun is seen with his two consorts – very impressive statues. In front of it, Jupiter is seen worshipping Sun. The remaining planets are situated around the central deities. The temple is located at a strategic point to receive maximum beneficial rays. In this sense, it may be called “The Window of the Galaxy”. This accounts for the astronomical significance of the Temple.
This temple is the most important one for doing remedies for all the nine planets. The Mythology of the temple tells the story of reversal of karma at this shrine. The nine planets worshipped Shiva at this temple. Shiva ordained that whoever comes to the shrine and offer prayers would get rid of harmful effects from the planet. At Sun Temple, worship Ganesha first and the rest of the planets in order, lighting lamps and doing pooja according to prescriptions.
Tingalur – The Moon Temple
Inside the temple, Lord Shiva appears in the form of a Linga and his Consort Parvathi is known as Periyanayagi. In the southern corner, there is an idol of Lord Ganesha and in the central area; you find the idol of Lord Muruga flanked by his two Consorts Valli and Deivayani. Adjacent to this main temple and a little detached from it is the small temple wherein one can find the idol of Planet Moon.
Vaitheeswaran Koil – The Mars Temple
This is a massive temple built on 10.7 acres of land amidst four broad streets. There is a high-rise compound wall with two imposing towers at the eastern and western entrances. The temple has five commodious halls.
There are many idols within the temple. There is an idol of Lord Muruga with six faces, facing east. There is an impressive idol of Lord Somaskandan (Lord Shiva) in the southwest corner. There is a separate shrine for planet Mars and this shrine is renowned. It is widely believed that praying to planet Mars in this temple can help one miraculously overcome all physical ailments.
There is also a prominent idol of Dhanvanthri (one of the 18 Siddhas) in this temple.
Thiruvengadu – The Mercury Temple
There is a separate shrine for Planet Mercury – although idols of other planets are also available. There are two imposing towers at the eastern and western entrances. This temple is surrounded by four streets of equal length forming a square and at every street-corner there is a temple of Lord Ganesha.
The temple for Planet Mars is at the northwest end, facing east. The idol of Mercury has four arms and is supposed to have emerged from the earth. This Temple is also known as Adhi Chidambaram (original Chidambaram) as Lord Shiva rehearsed here before performing the splendid dance at Chidambaram as Lord Nataraja.
Alangudi – The Jupiter Temple
Alangudi is a village situated on the road from Kumbakonam to Mannargudi. Jupiter is the foremost planet here and is known as His abode. Those people who have earned the wrath of Jupiter will have to make a pilgrimage to the small temple in this village. The overlord of this temple is Shiva. Lord Shiva takes the form of Jupiter.
Kanjanoor- The Venus Temple
Strangely, there is no separate shrine for Planet Venus at this temple – although traditionally this temple has been considered the abode of Planet Venus and it is believed that Lord Shiva himself appears as Planet Venus here.
You enter the temple through the southern gate. On the left side is the temple of Lord Ganesha and to the right is the temple of Lord Visvanathar (Lord Shiva) with his Consort. This temple has an imposing five -tier tower and faces east. The presiding deity is Lord Agneeswarar (Lord Shiva) with his Consort Goddess Karpagambigai (Goddess Parvathi).
Thirunallar – The Saturn Temple
This is the abode of Planet Saturn. Saturn plays an important role in the life of every individual. It is because of Saturn that a person experiences extreme poverty and misery. However, Saturn is also a great giver of tremendous wealth. Those who are caught in the evil influence of Planet Saturn should pay a visit to this temple and offer prayers to Saturn.
When once in 30 months, Saturn moves from one constellation (rasi) to another, people conglomerate at Thirunallar in large numbers, take an oil bath in the temple tank, (Nalankulam), wear a black dress and make a beeline before the idols of Dharbaranyeswarar and Saturn and worship them and attain peace of mind. Every Saturday is an auspicious day to worship Saturn.
Thirunageshwaram – The Rahu Temple
The important ritual here is abhishek (bathing the deity) to planet Rahu, which is performed during Rahu’s time (Rahu Kalam) in the Hindu calendar/almanac. During abhishek(bathing the deity), several gallons of milk are poured on the statue of Rahu. The milk absorbs the poison of the snake planet Rahu. This is a powerful ritual. While you witness the milk cleansing the poison, you cleanse yourself as well.
The main deity of Thirunageshwaram is Shiva. The Shiva temple is elegant and equally gorgeous is Parvathi’s shrine. On display in the temple is a huge snake skin, mounted at the left inside entrance. The snake appeared in the temple in the 1960’s or so. Since then the temple has attracted more devotees.
Keelaperumpallam – The Ketu Temple
The presiding deity at this temple is Nagananthaswamy and his consort is Soundaranayagi. Although this temple has no towers, it is surrounded by high-rise compound walls. There is a tank in front of this temple.
There is no separate sanctum sanctorum for planet Ketu in this temple – but the form of Ketu is available in the outer circle. It is five-headed with folded arms, facing west.
This temple is set in serene surroundings. Worshipping planet Ketu here is considered very rewarding. In the central hall, you will find a metallic icon of planet Ketu along with Lord Nataraja.
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