Visiting Navagraha temples had been on our wishlist for quite some time and last sunday we managed to have darshan of 5 out of the 9 temples. Navagrahas as the name implies is Nine Planets and the Hindu astrology & culture attach a lot of importance to the position/placement & movement of these heavenly bodies on a person's life.
The grahas in tamil parlance-Surya,Chandra,Sevvai,Budhan,Guru,Sukiran,Sani,Rahu & Kethu. While the names of the first seven of the planets are the same as the days of the week, Rahu implies snake's head where as kethu is the tail of the snake.
All the navagraha have relative movement with respect to the background of fixed stars in the zodiac. This includes the planets: Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn, the Sun, the Moon, as well as positions in the sky, Rahu (north or ascending lunar node) and Ketu (south or descending lunar node) [Source : WIKI]
Suriyanar Temple :-
Our first stop was the Suriyanar Temple. Located on the Kumbakonam-Mailaduthurai road, the temple is 2 kms to the north of Aaduthurai and is approximately 15 kms to the east of Kumbakonam. Surya is accorded an important place and worshipping him is said to bestow all accomplishments & popularity to the devotees. What I found amazing in the temple was , that while Surya is the main deity and stands majestically with his consorts ,all other grahas also have their own sanctum (sannidhi) too !
Surya Mantra & its meaning (Source : here):-
Japa Kusuma Sankasham
O Destroyer of the Darkness of Ignorance ! O Annihilator of all sins !
My saluations to Thee !
Gopuram of the temple
Chariot of Surya drawn by 7 horses all of different colours
Read Temple History here
And finally, what was really memorable was that as we alighted from our car to have darshan, the Lord (Surya) with his consorts Ushadevi & Chayadevi was having a happy stroll (திரு வீதி உலா) . We quickly & happily clicked him in our memories and of course the camera !
More to follow !