20 May 2013

Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

I find that I have not written on the Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu, eventhough I have visited these temples a number of times.  For the interest of my viewers/readers, here is the list of the Navagraha temples and the importance attached to each one of them.    Hope my Postings will be beneficial/useful to one and all.

Navagaraha Temples:

 In Hindu Astrology, it is strongly believed that the nine planets [navagarahams] play an important role in a man's fate and all these nine planets [Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu] are known as Navagrahas. In Astrology each planet is represented by certain energy in the form of an iconic quality.

It is also strongly believed that worshipping these navagraha temples will benefit the people who suffered by Doshams like puthra dosham, kalathura dosham, surya dasai etc.,
According  to Hindu religion, it was trusted that these planets [navagrahas] were in-charge for punishing or giving judgements for those did sins in their poorva jenmams. Also if you have done any good deeds in your poorva jenmam, these planets will give us luxuries in our life. So worshipping these navagrahas regularly will reduce its effects on us.

There are nine sthalams[temples] in Tamilnadu for these navagrahas namely:

Suryanar Koil : Suriyan Temple/Sun
Thingalur : Chandiran Temple / Moon
Thiruvengadu : BudhanTemple/Mercury
Alangudi : Guru Temple/ Jupiter
Kanchanur :  Sukran Temple / Venus
Thirunallar :SaneeswaranTemple/Saturn
Thirunageswaram : RaguTemple/Ragu

This cluster of Navagraha Temples dates right 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.

Navagraha-the nine planets could give harmony or misery to the individual as per its movements. One has to do shanthis or parikaras; for the particular planet[s] and its lords; such direct appeals to the concerned planets and their lords will give quick and timely results.

I have explained in detail on all the 9 Navagraha temples.  Please read.....

Suriyanar Temple - First of the Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

The Suryanar Temple is a Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu South India  It is located in the village of Suryanarkoil in the Thanjavur district. It is dedicated to the worship of the Hindu Sun-God and the other Navagrahas, and is considered one of the Navagraha temples

Suryanar Temple
It is to be noted that thee are only two temples dedicated to Sun God  in India - the Konark in the North and  the Suriyanar temple in the south.  There is no idol worship in the Konark temple as in the southern temple.

Suryanar Temple Gopuram
The Suriyanar temple has three tiers.The stretches to about 15.5 meters in height.  At the top of the tower[gopuram] there are five kalasams.  Outside the Rajagopuram, on the north side, there is a holy tank called Surya Pushkarni.

Lord Suryanarayanawith His Consorts
Usha and Chayadevi
The temple faces west.  Surya Bhagawan is positioned, accompanied on both sides by his consorts Usha and Chayadevi.  The presiding deity here is Suryanarayana in a chariot like vimaanam, representing the sun's chariot. There are also shrines to Kasi Viswanathar,Visalakshi and Brihaspati [Guru] in the sanctum. Shrines to the other celestial bodies are located outside of the sanctum.

Suryanar Temple Layout
The sanctum and the ardhamandapam are built of stone, while the rest of the shrines are brick structures. The Kol Theertha Vinayakar shrine is considered to be of importance here. An elaborate worship protocol involving circumambulating the entire temple nine times, is prescribed for devotees visiting the temple. Protocol requires that one visits the Tirumangalakkudi-- Shivastalam before visiting Suryanaar Koyil.

Ratha Saptami in the Tamil month of Thai, and the first Sundays in the months of Aavani  and Karthigai.  

It is stated in one of the inscriptions found in the temple that is was built in the reign of Kulottunga Choladeva [AD 1060-1118] and was called Kulottungachola-Marttandalaya.  Kulothunga Cholan is said to hae had good relationhip with the Gahadwal Dynasty of Kanauj [ 1090 to 1194], whose rulers where sun whorsippers, and hence the Suryanar Koil i sconsidered to be an expression of their influence in South India.  Inscriptions from the period of Krishna Deva Raya, speaking of endowments made to this temple, is also seen here.  

How to reach this Temple:
This temple is near to Aaduthurai and 15Km from Kumbakonam.  Suryanar Temple is about two kilometers north of Aaduthurai.  It is situated on the road between Kumbakonam and Kathiramangalam and about 15km east of Kumbakonam.  

A favourably positioned Sun in the horoscope manifests as intelligence, perception, strength of will and character in the inmate. It creates endurance, stamina, vitality, positive spirit, direction, courage, conviction, confidence, leadership, independence and straight- forwardness.
An unfavourably positioned Sun results in lack of intelligence, poor perception, weakness of will and character. Surya’s worship benefits include strength, health, good eyesight, intelligence, relief from skin ailments and long life. Cool water is used for Abhishegam. Offerings of wheat & archana with red lotus please him. Devotees who are unable to visit any of the other Navagraha temples can perform the necessary parihara poojas to the respective planet at this temple.

On Sundays, attired in clean red clothes, offer lotus flower to the God, facing the east and recite the following mantras.
Surya Moola Mantram : Aum hram hrim hraum sah suryaya namah.
Surya Gayathri om ashwadhwajaaya vidmahae padma hasthaaya dheemahi tanno surya: prachodayaath
Temple Timings : 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Temple Address
Arulmigu Siva Suriyaperuman Temple,
Thirumangalakudi P.O
Thiruvidaimaruthur T.K.
Thanjavur D.T.
Ph : 0435-2472349

Chandran Temple-Sri Kailasanathar -Thingaloor--The Second of the Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

The Kailasanathar temple known as the Navagraha sthalam associated with Chandra the moon, is located in the hamlet of Tingaloor not far from Tiruvaiyaru near Thanjavur in Tamilnadu. The small temple here has a small shrine dedicated to Chandran.

Sri Kailasanathar Temple dedicvated to
 Lord Chandran-Thingaloor
This is an ancient Saivite shrine, associated with the life ofTirunavukkarasar, although no Tevara Patikam dedicated to the shrine has been discovered so far. Tirunavukkarasar has mentioned Tingaloor in a patikam of 10 songs dedicated to another Shivastalam, and hence Tingalur constitutes on of the Tevara Vaippu talangal.

Legend has it that there lived a merchant Appoodi Adikal in the village of Tingaloor who was a devotee of Shiva.  Appoodi Adikal held Tirunavukkarasar in high regard and looked forward to the day when he would be able to host the saint poet. The day arrived, but his son got killed by a venomous snake bite while the saint was being hosted. The saint moved by Appoodi Adikal's devotion is said to have miraculously restored the lad to life.

How to get to the Temple:
Can be reached either from kKmbakonam to Thiruvayaru via Swami Malai route, 35 kms from Kumbakonam or from Thanjavur to Thiravayaru route, 10 kms fromTthanjavur.

Chandra Dosham causes concern in mother’s health, mental imbalance, skin and nervous disorder and jaundice. Chandran blesses his devotees who pray here with wealth, mother’s well being, wife’s happiness, prosperity, marriage and offspring. Mondays are special days for Chandran. Offering of raw rice pudding mixed with jaggery, white flowers [White Arali] and white clothing are made to Chandran here.
Recite the following mantras facing North West
Chandra Moola Mantram: Aum sram srim sraum sah chandraya namah.
Chandra Gayatri: om nisakaraya vidmahae kala nadhaya dheemahi tanno chandra: prachodayaath
Temple Timings : 7 AM – 1 PM & 4 PM – 9 PM.
Temple Phone Numbers: 04362-262 499
2 499

Sevvai Temple[Ankarakan] - Sri Vaitheeswaran Temple -Third of the Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nau

Vaitheeswaran Koil
Vaitheeswaran Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva located in Tamil Nadu  India. Shiva is worshipped as Vaitheeswaran or the "God of healing" and it is believed that prayers to Vaitheeswaran can cure diseases. It is one of the nine Navagraha [nine planets] temples associated with the planet Mars [Ankaraka]. The village is also known for palm leaf astrology called Naadi astrology in Tamil. It is located 7 kilometer from Sirkali , 235 kilometer from Chennai, 27 km from Chidambaram,  110 km from Thanjavur  and 16 km from Mayiladuthurai.

The Holy waters of the Siddhamirtham Tank
 of Vaitheeswaran Koil
The holy waters of the Siddhamirtham tank within the temple complex contains nectar and a holy dip is believed to cure all diseases.
The temple is revered by the Tevaram  hymns of 7th century Saiva nayanars  - Tamil saint poets and is also classified as a Paadal Petra Sthalam [temple revered by the nayanars]. 

The Long Corridors inside Vaitheeswaran Temple
A long corridor line with pillars on either side marks the entrance to the Vaitheeswaran Koil.  It is to be noted that this Shethram was called in the puranas as Pullirukkurelur.

Sri Vaidyanatha Swamy-Main Deity
History of the Temple:

The main diety of the temple is Vaidyanatha Swamy, who is believed to have arrived here as a vaidyan or healer, in response to the prayers of Angarakan[Mars] to cure him of the leprosy he was suffering from.

His consort is Thaiyilnayaki, who accompanies him with a vessel containing medicinal oil.  There is also a sannidhi for the divine healer, Dhanvantri, in this temple.

Consort Sri Thaiyilnayaki
The medicine which Shiva is believed to have given Angakarakan is made from the ashes of the Homa kundam, n front of the Subramanya shrine, is called Thiruchaandu Urundai.  Rituals are performed where a mixture of earth and ashes from the homa kundam are shaped into pills and placed at the Thaiyilnayaki shrine and distributed.  This is the mail prasadam in this temple and is believed to cure every type of illness.

The vicinity of the Temple
This Shivastalam is a well known, well visited shrine with towering Gopurams; hailed as one of the 9 Navagraha Stalams, sacred to Mars - Angaarakan [Angaaragan] it is visited by thousands of people. It is located in close proximity to Sirkazhi and Chidambaram. The Singaravelar - Subramanya shrine is also of importance here. There are several literary works about this shrine. Ramalinga Adigalar has sung its praises. Tiruvenkaadu is also located near Vaideeswaran Koyil.

The temple Gopuram
Temple and Thamizh culture
This temple is rich in legend and tradition. There are several works in Tamil dedicated to this shrine. It was visited by Tirugnanasambandar, Appar. Arunagirinathar's Tiruppugazh hymns also speak of the glory of this shrine. So do the hymns of saints such as Kumaragurupara Swamigal and Ramalinga Adigalaar. Poems of Kaalamega Pulavar and Padikkasu Tambiran also speak of the glories of this shrine.
The Temple complex and Deities
This is a vast temple with several mandapams and gopurams. The Navagrahams are in a single file as in Tiruvarur and a few other places.
Deities: Vaidyanathaswamy and ThaiyalNayaki are the presiding deities of this temple. The Selvamuthukkumaraswamy shrine here is also considered to be of importance. There are Shivalingams said to have been worshipped by Rama, Jatayu, Skanda, Surya and Angaraka.
Angaaraka representing the planet Mars 
Angaaraka: The Angaaraka shrine here is also of great significance and is indeed unique to this temple. A bronze of image of Angaaraka is housed in this shrine and is taken out in procession on a goat mount every Tuesday. Angaaraka represents the planet Mars and is described as one with a fiery red complexion attired in red and as the overlord of the zodiac signs of Aries and Scorpia and as being the strongest in the zodiac sign of Capricorn.
The Dharumapuram Adhinam has made several endowments to this temple. Inscriptions from the period of Vikrama Chola [12th century CE], the Nayakas [16th century CE] and the Mahrathas [18th century] are seen in this temple.

Brahmotsavam (annual festival) is celebrated during the Tamil calendar months of Pankuni and Thai [January–February]. Karthigai festival during November is also celebrated with pomp and glory. Kantha Sashti, a festive occasion for Subramanya, is celebrated in the shrine of Muthukumaraswamy.

Angaraka Moola Mantram: Aum kram krim kraum sah bhaumaya namah
Angaraka Gayathri: AUM Angarkaya vidmahe, bhoomibalaya dhimahi, thanno kujah prachodayath
Temple Timings: 6AM to 1 PM and 4PM to 9PM.
Temple Address
Arulmigu Vaidhyanathar Temple
Vaitheeswaran Kovil
Vaitheeswaran Kovil Post
Sirkali Taluk
Nagapattinam District
PIN 609117
Phone Number: 04364 279 423

Budhan Temple - Thiruvenkadu - The Fourth Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

Budhan Sthalam[Temple]-Thiruvenkadu

Thiruvenkadu, one of the navagraha sthalams, is the Budhan sthalam dedicated to Planet Mercury. Thiruvenkadu’s Sanskrit name is Shwetaranya and both literally mean – sacred white forest. This is also called Adhi Chidambaram and the Chidambara Rahasyam is also here. As seen in Chidambaram, Vishnu is near Nataraja. Special worship services are offered to Natarajar and the associated Spatikalingam, as in Chidambaram.

The Lord is Shwetaranyeswarar and His consort is Brahma Vidyambal. Indran, Airvatam, Budhan, Suryan and Chandran are said to have worshipped Shiva here. Thiruvenkadu is one of the six places considered to be equivalent to Kasi. The other five are Rameswaram, Srivanchiyam, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam and Thilatharpanapuri. This is one among the 51 shakthi peedams. This place is also called aathi chidambaram.For good education one has to worship Bramma Vidyambigai Amman.

It is situated 15 kilometers away from Vaitheeswaran Koil, on the Sirkali – Poompuhar road. Here the Lord is Shwetaranyeswarar and His consort is Brahma Vidyambal.  Indran, Airavatam, Budhan, Suryan and Chandran are said to have worshipped Shiva here. Thiruvenkadu is one of the six places considered to be equivalent to Kasi.  The other five are  Rameswaram, Srivanchiyam, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam and Thilatharpanapuri. This is one among  the 51 shakthi peedams. This place is also called aathi chidambaram.For good education one has to worship Bramma Vidyambigai Amman.  

The Soma Theertham and The Surya Theertham created by the Sun and the Moon are of great significance here. It is believed that the Soma Kundam and Surya Kundam referred to in Silappathihaaram refer to these tanks. Vilvam and Konrai are the other Sthala vrikshams here.

Location: Tiruvenkadu near Mayiladuturai, Poompuhaa
[Chola Naadu -North of Kaveri]
Venkadar, Swetaranyeswarar
Ambal: Pann Moitta Inmozhiyaal, Bhrama Vidya Nayaki 
Vriksham: Aalamaram 
Theertham: Surya Theertham 
Patikam : Sambandar

Travel Base: Chidambaram

Budhan Moola Mantram: Aum bram brim braum sah budhaya namah
Budhan Gayathri: aathreyaya vidhmahe indu putraya dhimahe thanno budha prachodhayath
Temple Timings:

The temple is opened from 6 AM to 12.00 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM

How to reach Swetharanyeswarar Temple at Thiruvenkadu:
Swetharanyeswarar Temple is situated 23 kilometers away from Mayiladuthurai, on the Sirkali – Poompuhar linking road. The temple is 10 km from Sirkazhi and 59 km from Kumbakonam.

Budhan Sthalam-Thiruvenkadu

 Indra, Airavatam, Budhan, Surya and Chandra are said to have worshipped here.A sage by name Swetaketu is said to have been saved from the clutches of death by the grace of Shiva here , in a legend similar to that of Markandeya at Tirukkadavur. Meikkandaar the author of Sivagnanabodham is said to have been born by the grace of Swetaranyeswarar & there is a shrine to him on the banks of the Agni Theertham. It is also believed that Shiva took the fierce Aghoramurthy form, to vanquish the demon Maruttuvan, to whom he had given his Shoolam - which he had misused.

About the Temple: 

There are several shrines of significance in this well visited temple , including those to Durga and Kali.  The image of Natarajar here is of great beauty.Worship to Aghoramurthy - Shiva's fiery form (Veerabhadrar) is said to be of significance on Sunday nights. The Aalamaram here is referred to as Akshayavadam [infinite one, indestructible banyan tree].  Special worship services are offered to Natarajar and the associated Spatikalingam, as in Chidambaram.

The Soma Theertham and The Surya Theertham created by the Sun and the moon are of great significance here. It is believed that the Somakundam and Suryakundam referred to in Silappatikaaram refer to these tanks. Vilvam and Konrai are the other stala vrikshams here.
About Thiruvenkadu Temple
Inscriptions from the time of  Aditya Chola I [870-907], Raja Raja I [10th - 11th century] and his descendants speaking of endowments made by the Chola rulers to this temple  are found here. Vikrama Cholan built the Vikramacholan Tirumandapam [1118-1135]. The  present structure of the temple as well as the beautiful bronze images in this temple are a contribution of the Great Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola I. Some of these bronzes were recovered in treasure troves unearthed here.  The Ardhanareeswarar and Chandeswarar bronzes are now housed in the Chennai Museum. Natarajar, Somaskandar, Devi, Bhoga Sakthi are housed in the temple, while images of Subramanyar, Rishabhavahanadevar, Bhikshatanar, Kalyanasundarar Kannappar and others are housed in the Thanjavur Art Gallery.

The native of a horoscope may suffer from lack of progeny, nervous problems and may not do well in academics and other arts, if Budhan is unfavourably placed. Worshiping Budhan on Wednesdays here will alleviate the problems occurring out of Budhan dosham. Malefic effect of Budhan can cause problems related to respiration like asthma and bronchitis, speech impediments and nervous disorders. Budhan is considered as the wisest of all the planets.

Budhan is associated with intellect and knowledge; hence those who are not doing well in studies should worship Budhan here. Budhan blesses one with good education, knowledge, eloquence, music, astrology, mathematics, sculpture, medicine, scholarship in languages. Offer Green cloth and Full Green Moong Daal [pachchai paruppu] to Budhan here.

Recite the following mantras facing North East, which is the direction of Budhan.

Budhan Moola Mantram: Aum bram brim braum sah budhaya namah
Budhan Gayathriaathreyaya vidhmahe indu putraya dhimahe thanno budha prachodhayath
Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1.00 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM.
Temple Address
Arulmighu Swetharanyeswarar Temple
Tiruvenkadu Post
Sirkazhi Taluk
Nagapattinam District PIN 609114
Temple Phone Number: 04364 256 424

Guru Temple -Alangudi - The Fifth of the Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

Guru Temple-Alangudi
Sri Abathsahayeswarar Temple, the sthalam of Guru Bhagavan is at Alangudi. The presiding deity here is Abathsahayeswarar and His consort is Elavarkuzhali Ammai or Umayammai. The Shiva Lingam here is a Swayambhu [self- manifested]. Dakshinamurthy in the praharam [circumambulatory path] around Shiva’s shrine is worshipped as Guru Bhagavan here.

In all Shiva temples the main deities are Shiva and Parvati. Other deities like Pillayar Murugar, Dakshinamurthy, the Navagrahas, and Chandikeswarar are also present in the praharam (circumabulatory path). As defined in the temple Vaasthu Shastra, the deities are placed in a particular position and facing a particular direction. There is a group of temples around Kumbakonam whose deities form a big temple. This group of temples is called the Parivara Sthalam

Guru Sthalam - Alangudi
The story of the Devas and Asuras churning the celestial ocean or the parkadal is associated with many temples. During this churning, Vasuki spat out deadly poison. Lord Shiva consumed that poison here to save the world. Hence the name Alangudi: Ala meaning poison. The Lord himself came to be known as Abathsahayeswarar [one who helps in crisis] as he saved the world from impending danger. Lord Ganesha defeated Gajamuhasuran here, to save the Devas from the asura’s atrocities

Ganesha is worshipped here as “Kalangamal Kaaththa Vinayakar”. This place is also known as Thirumana Mangalam as Ambal undertook penance to marry Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva and Ambal
Lord Shiva in the guise of a boatman had helped Sundarar to cross the Vettaru which was in spate. It is believed that Sundarar had received his Gnanopadesam from Dakshinamurthy at this temple. Gu in Sanskrit means darkness and ru means the destroyer of that. Hence Guru means one who destroys darkness or one who enlightens. Thus Guru is one who leads you from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.

Alangudi is the most popular Parihara sthalam for Guru. The other ones that readily come to mind are Thittai and Padi in Madras. Poolai is the sthala vriksham.

Guru is attributed to luck, favor and fortune. The unfavourable position in the horoscope can cause skin problems, arthritis, heart related problems, worry & uneasiness. Guru blesses his devotees with progeny, good education, valour, long life and cure from diseases. Devotees light 24 ghee lamps and do pradharshanam [circumambulation] of Shiva’s shrine 24 times

Offerings of yellow cloth, konda kadalai [chick pea] and vella mullai [a type of Jasmine] are made to Guru here. The transit of Guru, known as Guru Peyarchi which happens every year, is an important festival in this temple. Thursdays being the day of Guru is very important. Fasting or eating only once [oru pozhudhu] on Thursdays is recommended. Banana and salt is to be avoided on these days.

Recite the following mantra facing North East to get over the malefic effects and benefit from his benevolence.

Guru Moola Mantra: Aum gram grim graum sah gurave namah
Guru Gayathri: Rishabadhwajaya vidhmahe gruni hasthaya dhimahi thanno Guru prachodhayath
Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8.30 PM.
Location:  Alangudi is 17.5 kms from Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam - Needamangalam - Mannargudi road in Tiruvarur district.  

Temple Address
Arulmigu Abathsahayeswarar Temple,
Alangudi – 612801
Valangaiman Taluk
Thiruvarur District
Telephone Number: 04374 – 269407

Sukran Temple - Kanjanur - The Sixth of the Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

Kanjanur is the sthalam for Sukran. At this Shiva temple Agneeswarar is the presiding deity and his consort is Karpagambal. Agni is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here and hence the name Agneeswarar. There are quite a few Shivalingams in the praharam, including one supposedly installed by Kamsa.

Kanjanur - Sukran Sthalam
There are quite a few stories associated with this temple as follows;

When Lord Vishnu asked Bali for 3 steps of land in Vamana Avataram, Sukracharya tried to dissuade Bali from granting the boon. He took the form of a bee and blocked the mouth of the Kamandalam [a type of Jar, usually carried by rishis] from which Bali would pour water to signify the grant of the boon. Vishnu used a dharba to clear the blockage in the Kamandalam and in the process blinded Sukracharya in one eye. Vamana then took the Vishwaroopam and covered the whole universe in two steps. The 3rd step was placed on Bali. An angry Sukracharya, cursed Vishnu. After severe penance to Shiva here, Vishnu was relieved of his curse.

An interesting connection between Valleeswarar Koil in Mylapore and this story is as follows. Sukran after being blinded in one eye undertook a pilgrimage of Shivalayams to get back his sight. It was at Valleeswarar temple in Mylapore that he got back his sight. Offer prayers to Shiva at Valleeswarar Koil in Mylapore to get rid of eye ailments and to be blessed with good eyesight

There is another story of how Vishnu incurred Sukracharya’s wrath. Sukracharya was the son of Brigu Maharishi. Once during a war between the devas and asuras, Brigu Maharishi’s wife, was accidentally beheaded by Vishnu’s chakram [discus]. An angry Sukracharya cursed Vishnu. As a result of the curse, He was born as Sudarsanar to Vasudeva, a Vaishnava Brahmin. Sudarsanar was a staunch Shiva devotee and was popularly known as Haradatta Shivacharyar. There are stories of the ordeals undergone by Haradatta to prove his devotion for Shiva. Images pertaining to these are seen in this temple and also in the Vishnu temple in the village. Haradatta used to spend much of his time meditating before the Dakshinamurthy.

Dakshinamurthy is always seen with a demon being crushed under his feet. The demon signifies ignorance. It means that Dakshinamurthy leads us from ignorance to the knowledge of self. Instead; you can find the image of Haradatta worshipping Dakshinamurthy, which is a unique feature of this temple

Sukran - Kanjanur 
There is an interesting story associated with the Nandi here. A poor Brahmin was afflicted by pasu dosham because a calf had expired when he threw a bundle of grass at it. The Brahmin as advised by Haradatta offered a clump of grass to the stone Nandi. To everybody’s astonishment, the stone Nandi is supposed to have consumed the grass. It is said that since this Nandi is eating the grass the tongue is not seen hanging outside.

Sukracharyar was imparted the knowledge of Amirtha Sanjeevini Mantra by Lord Shiva. This Mantra can bring the dead back to life. Sukracharya used this mantra in one of the deva-asura wars and revived the slain asuras. One being approached by devas for help, Lord Shiva is said to have swallowed Sukracharya in a fit of rage. Sukracharyar meditated on Shiva inside His stomach. Karpagambal prevailed on Shiva to let Sukracharyar out. Hence Sukran is very devoted to the Ambal and is Her favourite. Shiva also conferred on Sukracharya the status of a celestial planet here. There is no idol for Sukran here. Shiva blesses those who come with their prayers to Sukran.

Brahma is said to have been blessed with the vision of Shiva’s marriage with Parvati.

He is the second most beneficial planet after Guru. If Sukran is favourably placed in a person’s horoscope, the inmate will be blessed with prosperity, beautiful wife, own house, vehicle, fame & marriage. The person will also be very influential. An unfavourably positioned Sukran in ones horoscope causes eye ailments, indigestion, and impotency, loss of appetite and skin problems. Lord Sukran is offered white Lotus, white cloth, mochai kottai [common bean] and aththi [fig] to alleviate problems caused by Sukra dosham. Friday is the day of Sukran and worship on Fridays is considered very special. Sukran is also Ambal’s favourite and the special day for Ambal is Friday as well.

Recite the following Mantras facing South-East

Sukra Moola MantraAum dram drim draum sah shukraya namah
Shukra Gayatri: om rajathapaya vidmahae Bhrigu suthaya dheemahi tanno shukra: prachodayaath
Temple timings: 6 A.M. to 12.00 P.M. and 4 P.M. to 9 P.M.
Kanjanur Temple
Temple Address
Arulmigu Agneeswarar Alayam
Kanjanur Post
Via Thugali
Tiruvidaimarudur Taluk
Thanjavur District
PIN 609804
Phone Number: 04435 247 3737

Sani Temple - Thirunallaru - The Seventh Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

Saneeswarar Temple-Thirunallaru
Dharbharanyeswaraswamy or Dharbaranyeswarar temple at Thirunallar is dedicated to Saneeswaran or Saturn. Thirunallar in Karaikal, in the Union Territory of Pondichery, is one of the more famous and important navagraha temples. It is at a distance of 6 Kms from Karaikal town. This is one of the parivara sthalams

Though Saneeswaran here is very famous, the presiding deity is Dharbaranyeswarar. His Consort is Bogamartha Poon Mulayal or Praanaambikai. The lingam here is a self- manifested Lingam or Swayambhu. The Sthala vruksham is Dharba or grass.

This place was a forest of Dharba. Dharba is a type of grass and aranyam means forest and hence the name Dharbaranyeswaraswamy or Dharbaranyeswarar for the Lord. Even today you can see the impression of grass on the lingam here. Thirunallar is one of the “Saptha Vidanga Sthalam”. The idols in these temples depict Lord Shiva performing one of His seven dance forms. It is believed that Lord Shiva imparted the knowledge of the Vedas and Shastras to Brahma here. People pray to Swarna Ganapathy here to overcome financial problems.

Lord Surya was married to Usha or Light. Usha Devi was unable to bear the heat radiated from Surya and left her shadow or Chaya with Suryan while she herself stayed away. Saneeswaran is the son of Chaya Devi and Suryan. The very sigh tof Saneeswaran is dreaded and believed to be destructive. Suryan’s chariot is believed to have been destroyed when Saneeswaran as a baby first opened his eyes and looked at Suryan. Saneeswaran after intense penance on Lord Shiva attained the status of a celestial planet.

Saneeswarar - Thirunallaru
Those visiting Thirunallar should first have an oil bath in the Nala theertham. Some believe that you should leave behind a piece of your cloth near the tank. There are lots of shops around the tank, selling black towels, sachet of gingely oil etc. The tank is usually clean but on occasions you may not want to get into the water. After the bath worship the Vinayakar in the small temple nearby, break a coconut there and then proceed towards the Dharbaranyeswarar temple which is about 5 minute walk from there.

Devotees offer Blue cloth and light Gingely oil lamp. Special Poojas are performed on Saturdays as Saturday is the day of Saneeswaran.

Recite these mantras facing west to get relief from malefic influence and get His blessings.

Saneeswara Moola Mantra: Aum pram prim praum sah shanaisharaya namah.
Saneeswara Gayathri: Pangupadhaya vidmahe Surya putraaya dheemahi, thanno Mandha prachodayath

Temple timings: 6 AM and 1 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM. Since Saturdays are the special days for Saneeswaran, the Saneeswaran sannidhi is open even between 1 PM and 4PM.

Temple Address
Sri Darbaranyeswara Swami Devasthanam,
Temple Phone No: 04368-236530 or 236504

Rahu Temple - Thirunageswaram - The Eigth of the Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

Sri Naganathaswamy Temple or Rahu Sthalam is one of the 9 Navagraha Temples around Kumbakonam [Thirunageswaram] and is dedicated to Rahu . The Presiding Deity is Lord Naganathaswamy. There are two Shrines for the Goddess; Piraiyanivanudalumai’s Shrine is adjacent to Naganathaswamy’s shrine and GiriGujambika with Lakshmi and Saraswathy by Her side has a separate temple. Rahu Bhagavan is seen with his two consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni. Sri Naganathaswamy Temple is one where Lord Shiva was worshipped by Rahu and got relieved of a curse.

Rahu Sthalam - Thirunageswaram
A unique feature of Naganatha Swamy temple is that Rahu Bhagavan is seen with human face. Usually in other places, Rahu Bhagavan is seen with a serpent face. Here Rahu Bhagavan is present with his two consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni. This was originally a forest of Senbaka trees. A Shivalingam was found under one of these trees here and hence He came to be known as Shenbagarane Eswara.

Nandi after worshipping Shiva attained the status as Nandeeswaran here. Vinayakar attained the status of Head of Ganas or Ganapathi. Indira, the King of Devas was relieved of bad smell emanating from his body by worshiping Goddess Girigujambal with Punugu.

On entering the Eastern gate way, one can find the Vinayaga temple, Balipeedam, Nandeeswarar Mandapam and Dhwaja Sthambam (Flag post). On the southern side there is the temple tank. On entering the main gopuram, the Deity of Rahu Bhagavan is in the south West corner of the praharam

Rahu - The Serpent God - Thirunegeswaram
Astrologers suggest that doing Milk abisekam (especially on Sundays) here for Rahu during Rahu kalam (period of 1and 1/2 hours occurring every day ) the malefic effects of Rahu like marriage obstacles, lack of progeny, troubled marital life, Kalasarpa Dhosham, Kalasthra Dhosha , Sarpa Dhosha are all neutralized. During this milk abhishegam, the milk turns blue. Offering of blue cloth and ulutham paruppu (urad dal) is made here. Mantharai flower is considered special to him.

Reciting these mantra helps alleviate the malefic effects.

Rahu Moola MantramAum bhram bhrim bhraum sah rahave namah.
Rahu Gayathri: om sookadhanthaya vidmahae ugra roopaya dheemahi tanno raahu: prachodayaath

Temple timings: 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Rahukala pooja is conducted on all days and the temple is open during Rahukalam on all days.
Temple Address
Phone – 0435 2463354.

Kethu Temple - Keezhaperumpallam - The Ninth of the Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

Kethu Temple - Keezhaperumpallam
Naganathar temple at Keezhaperumpallam which is 8 kms from Thiruvenkadu is the kethu sthalam. Keezhaperumpallam is also known as Vanagari. Here Naganathar is the main deity and His consort is Soundarya Devi. This temple is dedicated to Kethu [South Lunar Node], one of the nine planets or navagraha. Kethu Bhagavan has the head of a snake and the body of an asura. It is rare to see Kethu Bhagavan with his head. Kethu worshiped Shiva here to get rid of his sins. Here he is seen worshiping Naganathar with folded hands.

The devas and the asuras churned the paarkadal [Celestial Ocean] to get the Holy Nectar [Amrutham]. Lord Vishnu decided to distribute it only amongst the devas and not asuras as the amrutham would make the asuras stronger and their atrocities will increase. When Lord Vishnu was distributing the Amrutham amongst the devas, at the behest of Sukracharya, one of the asuras, in the guise of a deva consumed the nectar.

Kethu - Keezhaperumpallam
The Sun and the Moon noticed this and complained to Lord Vishnu. An angry Vishnu used his chakrayudham [discus] to cut the asura into two and threw them away. The head joined with a snake’s body to become Rahu Bhagavan. The body portion kept growing because the asura had consumed Amrutham. This later joined with the head of a snake and became Kethu Bhagavan. They prayed to Shiva to get rid of their sin and sought to be included as planets. Their wish was granted by Him.

However, Rahu and Kethu never forgave the Sun and the Moon. They cause eclipses as an act of revenge. Rahu is further classified as Nitya and Parva Rahu. Nitya Rahu keeps tugging at the Moon causing it to wax and wane, while the Parva Rahu swallows the moon causing the lunar eclipse. Kethu causes the solar eclipse

Picking up bad habits, property disputes and loss of property, humiliation, lack of Progeny, marriage obstacles are all due to Kethu dosham. This is the parihara sthalam to get rid of the Kethu dosham. He is believed to bestow the following on his devotees; good eyesight, gain in property, fame, vehicle, children etc. Devotees worship Kethu Bhagavan with red Lilly flower, by draping him with multi-coloured cloth and offering Kollu [Horsegram].

Recite the following mantras after sunset facing North-West direction to be relieved of the malefic effects and benefit from his benevolence.

Kethu Moola Mantram: Aum Hrim Krum Krura Rupine Kethave Aim Suh Svaha.
Kethu Gayathri: AUM Chitravarnaya Vidhmahe, Sarparoopaya Dhimahi, Tanno Kethu Prachodayath
Temple Timings: 5.30am to 12 noon and 4pm to 8pm
Temple Phone Number: 04364 275 222
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