Monday, May 3, 2010

Navagraha Temples in Tamilnadu

Navagraha temples are temples devoted to Navagraha - the nine (nava) major celestial bodies (Grahas) of Hindu astronomy. These celestial bodies are named Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Chevvaai/Mangal (Mars), Budhan (Mercury), Guru/Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Rahu (North Lunar Node) and Ketu (South Lunar Node). Many temples in South India contain a shrine dedicated to the Navagrahas. However, the term Navagraha temples refers to a cluster of nine separate temples, each an abode of one of the Navagrahams.

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 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.

Surya Navagrahastalam -- Tirumangalakkudi or Sooriyanar Kovil[1]
Chandra Navagrahastalam -- Tingaloor[2][3]
Angaarakan Navagrahastalam -- Puttirukku Velur or Vaitheeswaran Kovil [4]
Budha Navagrahastalam -- Thiruvenkaadu[5]
Guru Navagrahastalam -- Aalangudi[6]
Sukra Navagrahastalam -- Kanjanoor[7]
Shani Navagrahastalam -- Tirunallar[8]
Raahu Navagrahastalam -- Tirunageswaram[9]
Ketu Navagrahastalam -- Keezhperumpallam[10]