Navagraha Temples, Kumbakonam
Tamil Nadu is said to be the land of temples with many ancient ones believed to be endowed with special powers. The Navagraha temples located near Kumbakonam in the Thanjavur district are an example and considered very auspicious by Hindus.
In accordance with Indian mythology, this cluster of 9 Navagraha temples are traditionally Shiva temples with a shrine dedicated to one planet. Each of the Navagraha temples is believed to affect the physical and mental well-being of the worshipper and offers specific boons such as health, wealth, knowledge, career, etc.
These clusters of 9 temples are said to date back to the times of the Chola dynasty around the 7th to 9th century and have an interesting legend attached to them. It’s believed that Sage Kalava was suffering from several ailments and prayed to the Navagraha deities for relief; pleased with his devotion, the deities gave him the boon of health. Lord Brahma was not pleased by this and cursed the Navagrahas with leprosy and banished them to the earth. Lord Shiva however relieved them of the curse and gave them a place to be worshipped from, in 9 different villages around Kumbakonam in the Thanjavur district.
For those who want to have a meaningful pilgrimage to these 9 Navagraha temples, you should first find a place to set up a base. After all, you will need more than a day to visit the 9 temples. Close-by Thanjavur city offers a variety of hotels to choose from. Sangam hotel located here has the reputation of providing excellent hospitality services for the past three decades to tourists and pilgrims. Its central location in the city also means you can access all points of interest easily too. What’s more, this luxury hotel even arranges sightseeing and guides for those who want to tour the area!
The best way to visit the Navagraha temples is in the comfort of a car. You can easily hire a car or taxi in Thanjavur.
Thanjavur and Kumbakonam are well connected by road and rail. The closest airport is in nearby Trichy (60km).
Best time to visit
The winter months from October to February are best as the temperatures are more bearable then.
For more information on rooms at Sangam Thanjavur, visit: www.sangamhotels.com