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Navagraha temples are the ones devoted to Navagraha – the nine major celestial bodies (Grahas) of Hindu astronomy. These celestial bodies are :
- Surya (Sun),
- Chandra (Moon),
- Mangala (Mars),
- Budha (Mercury),
- Shukra (Venus),
- Shani (Saturn),
- Rahu (North Lunar Node)
- Ketu (South Lunar Node).
The term ‘Navagraha temples’ refers to a cluster of nine separate temples, each an abode of one of the Navagrahas.
Navagraha Temple in Assam
The Navagraha Temple is found on the top of Chitrasal Hill (or Navagraha Hill), in Guwahati city of Assam, India. Enshrined in this temple are nine Shivalingams, representing the nine Celestial bodies (Navagrahas), each covered with a colored garment symbolic of each of the celestial bodies, with a Shivaligam in the centre symbolising the Sun.
The Navagraha temple was built by Ahom King Rajeswar Singha in the late 18th century. It has been renovated in recent times during the late 1923-45.
Navagraha Temples in Maharashtra
- Shri Anna Ganapati Navgraha Siddhapeetham in Nasik, India is 1.5 km from Nasik Road railway station. All the Navgrahas reside in nine temple (gabhara/garbhagudi) with their wife. This is the only navgraha Siddhapeetham near central Pune.
- There is another major Navagraha temple behind Shaniwar Wada, which is also specifically devoted to Shani.
- The Navagraha Maruti temple in Balaji Nagar also needs a special mention.
- There is a newly constructed Navagraha temple near Dapoli in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra. The temple complex is 5 km from Dapoli town on the Dapoli – Mandangad – Mumbai state highway. It is owned by Shri Sainath Maharaj Trust, Dombivli( E ), Thane. The main temple belongs to Sai Baba and there are surrounding temples of Ganapathi, Shivji, Navagraha temple and Sri Dattatreya temple. Temple complex is very clean and beautifully maintained.
Navgraha Temple in Madhya Pradesh
A historical Navagraha temple is established inside the Bada Ganpati Temple just behind Makaleshwar Temple towards Harsidhhi temple in City of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is believed to be there since hundreds of years and people are known to get blessings and relief when they pray here. Devotees have to pray while doing Parikrama of Navagraha stones and present flowers/bilva patra while performing the puja.
Navagraha Temples in Tamil Nadu
Navagraha Temples in Kumbakonam
The Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu are a cluster of Navagraha Temples dating from the Chola dynasty near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. As per Hindu legend, Sage Kalava was suffering from serious ailments along with leprosy. He prayed to the Navagrahas, the nine planet deities. The planets were pleased by his devotion and offered him cure. Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, was angered as he felt that the planets have no powers to provide boons to humans. He cursed the nine planets to suffer from leprosy and were sent down to earth in Vellurukku Vanam, the white wild flower jungle – the modern time Suryanar Kovil. The planets prayed to Shiva to relieve them off the curse. Impressed, Shiva appeared in front of them and assured that the place belonged to them and that they would have to grace the devotees worshipping them from the place.
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 Navagraha temples in Kumbakonam were built earlier, ranging back to 7th-9th century. They are :
- Surya Navagrahastalam — Sooriyanar Kovil
- Chandra Navagrahastalam — Kailasanathar Temple, Thingaloor
- Angaarakan Navagrahastalam — Vaitheeswaran Kovil
- Budha Navagrahastalam — Thiruvenkadu
- Guru Navagrahastalam — Alangudi
- Sukra Navagrahastalam — Agniswarar Temple, Kanjanur
- Shani Navagrahastalam — Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple
- Raahu Navagrahastalam — Sri Naganathaswamy Temple, Thirunageswaram
- Ketu Navagrahastalam — Keezhperumpallam Temple
Location of Navagraha Temples in Kumbakonam
Navagraha Temple, Kumbakonam Tour Map
Navagraha Temples in Chennai
There is a similar cluster of Navagraha temples in Chennai, erstwhile Thondai Nadu, in and around Kundrathur. The temples are :
- Agatheeswarar Temple – Suryan – Kolapakkkam
- Somanaadheeswarar Temple – Chandran – Somangalam
- Vaidheeswaran Temple – Angaragan – Poovirundhavalli( Poondhamalli)
- Sundareswarar Temple – Budhan – Kovur
- Ramanaadheeswarar Temple – Guru – Porur
- Velleeswarar Temple – Sukran – Mangadu
- Agatheeswarar Temple – Shaneeswaran – Pozhichalur
- Neelakandeswarar Temple – Kethu – Gerugambakkam
- Nageshwarar Temple – Rahu – Kundrathur
Navagraha Temple in Uttar Pradesh
Navagraha Temple at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, India has been built by Shri Patharchatti Ram Lila Committee in Allahabad. It was opened for public in 2012. It is located in the Rambagh area.