Nava Tirupati refers to a grouping of 9 Vishnu temples, each one associated with one of the Nava Grahams (nine planets or cosmic bodies), which are all said to have been worshipped by Nammazhvar. All the Nava Tirupati temples are located in Thoothukudi District, between Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi.
The 9 temples are:
- Srivaikuntam | Srivaikuntha Perumal | Suriyan (Sun)
- Natham |Thiruvaragunamangai Vijayasana Perumal | Chandran (Moon)
- Tirukkolur | Vaithamanithi Perumal | Angarakan (Mars)
- Tirupuliangudi | Kasinivendhan Perumal | Budhan (Mars)
- Alwar Tirunagari | Adinatha Perumal | Guru (Jupiter)
- Then Tirupperai | Makara Nedunkuzhai Kadhan Perumal | Sukran (Venus)
- Tirukkulandhai (Perunkulam) | Mayakoothar Perumal | Sani (Saturn)
- Tholaivillimangallam | Aravindalochanar (Thamarai Kannan Perumal) | Rahu
- Tholaivillimangallam | Devapiran Perumal | Ketu
There is no specific order in which these temples need to be visited. However, with Tirunelveli as the base, it is advisable to start with Srivaikuntam, keeping in mind that some of the larger ones close by 11 am (and reopen only around 4 pm) – these are mainly the ones at Srivaikuntam, Alwar Tirunagari, Tirukkolur and Then Tirupperai. Therefore these bigger temples should ideally be covered right after Srivaikuntam.
In addition to the religious and spiritual significance, the Nava Tirupati temples are also something of a tourist attraction. In view of this, most temples close only for a short while in the afternoon, so it is easily possible to cover all 9 temples within half a day, if you don’t include the nearby Nava Kailasam temples.
I have personally followed the approach given above in terms of order (bigger ones first), and even after visiting 3 or 4 Nava Kailasam temples en route, we were able to complete visits of the Nava Tirupati temples by 2 pm (start at 5.30 am from Tirunelveli).
Here is the link to the TNHRCE’s page on Nava Tirupati temples.
Refer to the image below showing temple timings and a local map, in order to plan your visit.
Nava Kailasam temples nearby
Two of the Nava Kailasam temples are located very close to the respective places’ Nava Tirupati temples – at Srivakundam and Thenthirupperai. Another two – at Rajapathy and Serndhapoomangalam – are located a bit further, but in the same direction (east of Tirunelveli).