Kumbakonam is located between all the Navagraha Temples
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Navagraha Slokas
The Navagraha temples are a group of nine (nava) temples, which are located within a sixty kilometre radius around Kumbakonam in Tanjavur district in Tamil Nadu. Maximum of these are Siva temples. Each of these temples is a sanctum for one each of the nine celestial bodies referred to in Indian astrological beliefs.
  1. Surya's great chariot has one wheel and is drawn by seven horses, he has a lotus in each hand, wears an armour and has a shield over his breast, has beautiful straight hair, and is surrounded by a halo of light.
  2. Chandra is represented in white colour, clothed in white garment, surrounded by a halo and adorned with ornaments and garland of all sorts of flowers.
  3. Mangala is represented in fire-like red colour, clothed in red garments, seated upon Simhasana, with three arms bearing 'Gada', 'Sula', 'Sakti' weapons and as one in an 'Abhaya' or 'Varada' pose.
  4. Buddha is represented in yellow colour, clothed in yellow garment, with' three arms bearing 'Khadga', 'Khetaka', and 'Gada' and in Varada pose.
  5. Brihaspati is represented in yellow colour, clothed in golden yellow garments with three arms bearing 'Kamandalu', 'Aksamala', and 'Danda' and in Varada pose. Sometimes this planet is represented with two arms having a 'Pustaka' and an 'Aksamala'.
  6. Shukra is represented in white colour, clothed in white garments, having four arms and bearing the same weapons as Brihaspati. Just like him it is sometimes represented with two hands bearing 'Nidhi' (treasure) and 'Pustaka'.
  7. Shani is represented in black colour, clothed in black garments, small in stature and somewhat lame in one leg. He has two arms bearing a Danda and an 'Aksamala' and sometimes in Varada pose.
  8. Rahu is represented on a 'Simhasana' or a silver chariot drawn by eight horses. According to some it possesses four arms, three of which bear 'Khadga', 'Khetaka', and 'Sula' and in Varada pose and sometimes he possesses two arms carrying a book.
  9. Ketu is represented in dark colour having two arms in Abhaya pose holding a 'Gada', and sometimes on a chariot drawn by ten horses."
Suryanar Koil
The first Navagraha temple is the Suryanar Koyil. It is situated in the small village called Tirumangalakkudi of Tamil Nadu. It is an exclusive shrine dedicated to the Sun God and was built during the Chola period. This temple also contains shrines for each of the other eight celestial bodies.
The Kailasanathar (Siva) temple of Tingalur (near Tiruvaiyaru) is second temple of the Navagraha group. It is associated with Chandra (moon) and this temple houses a small shrine dedicated to Chandran.
Vaitheeshwaran Kovil
Then in the list comes the name of the third Navagraha temple, the Vaidyanatha (Siva) temple at Vaitheeshwaran Kovil near Sirkazhi. This temple is associated with Angaraka (Mars). A shrine for Angaraka can be seen inside this temple. There is a bronze image of Angaraka, which is placed in this shrine and is taken out in procession every Tuesday.
The fourth Navagraha sthalas is in Tiruvenkadu. It is situated near Mayavaram, which is special to Budhan (Mercury). The very big Siva temple here is called the Swetaranyeswarar temple and it is famous for its shrine dedicated to Mercury (Budhan).
The Siva temple at Alangudi near Kumbakonam is the fifth of the Navagraha temple. It is known as the Abatsakayar temple. This place is well known as `Gurusthalam`, where Jupiter (Dakshinamurthi or Guru) is worshipped. When Jupiter transits between zodiac signs, a large number of people assemble here to offer worship.
The Kanjanur near Suryanarkovil is the sixth of the Navagraha sthalas. Here, the Agnishwaraswamy (Siva) temple is associated with Venus (Sukran). The seventh Navagraha temple is the Dharbaranyeshwarar (Siva) temple at Tirunalfar, which lies near Karaikal. It is a big temple complex, which has a well-known shrine for Saturn (Saneeshwaran). Lots of devotees assemble here during the period when the planet Saturn transits between zodiac signs.
Thirunallar is situated about 5 km from the Old French town of Karaikkal and is served by the Southern Railways. It is also well served by buses from surrounding towns such as Mayawaram, Karaikkal or Kumbakonam.
Another Navagraha temple is the Tirunageswaram, which is situated very near Kumbakonam. A shrine for Siva can be found here, which is known as Nageswarar. This Siva temple is very big and is famous for its shrine of Raahu, one of the nine celestial bodies.
The last and the ninth temple of the Navagraha group is the Naganathar (Siva) temple. It is also known as the Kethu Navagrahastalam in Keezhperum-pallam, near Tiruvenkaadu. There is a shrine dedicated to Kethu in this temple and it is visited by numerous pilgrims.
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