Navagrahas are the 9 planetary / cosmic deities that are said to influence the lives of humans, being Suriyan (Sun), Chandran or Thingal (Moon), Sevvai (Mars), Budhan (Mercury), Guru (Jupiter), Sukran (Venus), Sani (Saturn), Rahu (lunar head node) and Ketu (lunar tail node).
There are nine Siva temples around Kumbakonam (going up to Vaithiswaran Kovil and Tirunallar in Karaikal), which are dedicated to these navagrahams – one for each graham or planetary deity. These temples are:
- Suriyanarayana Swamy, Suriyanar Kovil (Suriyan / Sun)
- Kailasanatha Swamy, Thingalur (Chandran or Thingal / Moon)
- Vaidyanatha Swamy, Vaitheeswaran Kovil / Pullirukkuvelur (Sevvai / Mars)
- Swetaranyeswarar, Tiruvengadu (Budhan / Mercury)
- Abatsahayeswarar, Alangudi (Guru / Jupiter)
- Agneeswarar, Kanjanoor (Sukran / Venus)
- Saneeswarar, Tirunallar (Sani / Saturn)
- Naganatha Swamy, Tirunageswaram (Rahu)
- Naganatha Swamy Temple, Keezhperumpallam (Kethu)
Below is a clickable map of the locations of the above temples.
It is possible, but very difficult, to visit all 9 temples on a single day. This is because of (a) the distances involved, (b) likely overnight base being Kumbakonam (and hence backtracking), and (c) that day will be special for one of the temples (Sunday through Saturday). However, it is possible to comfortably visit them over two days. If you want to avoid crowds, our personal recommendation is that you don’t travel to the particular temple on the day of its specialty (eg, Suriyanar Koil on Sunday; Darbaranyeswarar temple in Tirunallar on Saturday when it can get extremely crowded).
Here are some temples with interesting representations of Navagrahams.
In addition, there are also a set of Vaishnava Navagraha temples in and around Kumbakonam.