There are 9 Navagraha temples in the outskirts of Chennai. These 9 temples were symbolic of the 9 planets and are situated in the historic Thondaimandalam. There are so many temples here because in ancient India, Chennai was under the rule of successive dynasties such as the Chola, Pallava and Viajayanagar. These dynasties These temples possess an extraordinary architecture . Lord Shiva is the main deity.
List of 9 Famous Navagraha Temples in Chennai
1. Kolappaakkam Sri Agatheeswarar
This temple is devoted to Surya Bhagwaan and is said to be built over 1300 years ago. The main deities here are Sri Agatheeswarar (also called Sri Vaakeesa Mahadhevar) and Goddess Sri Aanandhavalli. According to legend, Surya Bhagwaan used to worship Lord Shiva here. The shrines of all other deities face the shrine of Lord Surya. Legend also says that along with Surya Bhagwaan, Sage Agasthiyar also worshipped Lord Shiva here. Thus, the temple is called Sri Agatheeswarar.
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Also See: Shiva Temples in Chennai
2. Somangalam Sri Somanaadheeswarar
Somangalam Sri Somanaadheeswarar is dedicated to Chandra Bhangvaan, the Moon God. It dates back to 1073 AD. According to legend, after getting cursed by Dhakshan, Chandra Bhagvaan lost his divinity and all 16 forms of art that he had acquired. He then created a pond here and worshipped Lord Shiva and got back his beauty and powers. In this temple, Lord Shiva, in the form of Nataraja, is present as Chathura Thaandava Murthy. It is rarely seen anywhere.
3. Poondhamalli Sri Vaidheeswarar
More than 1000 years old, Poondhamalli is dedicated to Angaaragan. The main deities of the temple are Sri Vaidheeswarar and Goddess Sri Thaiyyal Naayagi. One can find Sri Angaaragan’s footmark right outside the sanctum under the sculpted palm tree. Lord Shiva here is in the form of the Lingam. The temple is highly acclaimed for its architecture and beautiful cravings at the entrance.
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Also See: Murugan Temples in Chennai
4. Kovur Sri Sundhareswarar
Kovur was built during the Chozha period back in the 7th century. Here the main deities are Sri Sundhareswarar and Goddess Sri Soundharaambigai. According to legend, Goddess Kamakshi was praying to Lord Shiva to marry Her. The intensity of her penance made the earth scorching hot and living being started to suffer. But Lord Shiva was unaware since he was deeply meditating with his eyes closed. Then Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi came down to this place, worshipped Lord Shiva to open His eyes and saved the world. It is said that by praying to Sri Sundhareswarar, one can get cured of various ailments.
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Also See: Temples in Tamil Nadu
5. Porur Sri Ramanaadheswarar
Porur is an ancient temple of Sri Ramanaadheswarar and it has an interesting history related to the Ramayana. Legend says that Lord Ram rested here while on his to Lanka. Unknowingly, he touched a Shiv Lingam under the ground by His feet. To recover from this wrongdoing, He penanced for 48 days. Pleased with Him, Lord Shiva gave Viswaroopa Dharshan to Sri Ram. Sri Ramanaadheswarar’s idol here is gigantic and a visual masterpiece.
Also See: Navgraha Temples in Tamil Nadu
6. Maangaadu Sri Velleeswarar
Naangaadu is dedicated to Sri Velleeswarar. This temple is the Sukran Sthalam among the Navagraha temples of Chennai. Sri Sukran is associated with wealth, prosperity, fame and social status. The idol of Sri Velleeswarar is huge and exceptionally beautiful.
Also See: Murugan Temples in Tamil Nadu
7. Pozhichalur Sri Agatheeswarar
Pozhichalur was also built during the Chozha period. The main deities here are Sri Agatheeswarar and Goddess Sri Aanandhavalli. Sage Agasthiyar and Sri Saneeswara Bhagavan worshipped Lord Shiva here. People having a tough time with “Shani” (Saturn), worship here to get rid of the ill-effects.
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Also See: Temples in Coimbatore
8. Gerugambaakkam Sri Neelakandeswarar
The main deities of Gerugambaakkam are Sri Neelakandeswarar and Goddess Sri Aadhi Kamakshi. People with with a Kethu “dosha” on their horoscope, visit this temple to get rid of its effects. The temple seems semi-finished. Some believe that its construction was put on hold back in the Chola period during a foreign invasion. It never got completed.
Also See: Temples in Kerala
9. Kunrathur Sri Naageswarar
Over 800 years old, Kunrathur is home to Sri Naageswarar and Goddess Sri Kamakshi. It was built by Sri Sekkizhaar, a famous poet. Sekkizhaar was a huge devotee of Lord Shiva and built this temple in Kunrathur, the place of his birth. Remedial worships for “Raahu” are done here.