Thirunageswaram Naganatha Swamy Temple is located at the town of Thirunageswaram, Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu, which represents the Navagraha Rahu and hence named as ‘Rahu Sthalam’. Naganatha Swamy Temple was believed to be built by Gandaraditya Chola, son of Parantaka Chola. Thirunageswaram Naganatha Swamy Temple is one of the Navagraha temples, dedicated to Rahu. Navagraha temples are the nine temples dedicated to Navagrahas (nine planets or nine celestial bodies).
The Navagrahas are believed to be the transmitters of Universal, quintessential energy or power. The Navagrahas are closely associated with the fixed stars in the Zodiac. Each Navagraha temples are located at different places in and around Kumbakonam sector. The Navagraha temples are considered to be the best destination to get rid of from the influence of planets. And most of these Navagraha temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva is worshipped as the main deity. The only Navagraha temple dedicated to one of the Grahas (celestial bodies) is Suryanaar temple. The Navagraha Temples are:
- Suryanar Kovil (or) Sun Temple – Surya (Sun)
- Agneeswarar Temple, Kanjanur – Shukra (Venus)
- Kailasanathar Temple, Thingalur – Chandra (Moon)
- Vaitheeswaran Temple – Mangala (Mars)
- Thirunageswaram Naganatha Swamy Temple – Rahu
- Sri Dharbaranyeswara Swamy Temple,Thirunallar – Sani (Saturn)
- Naganathaswamy Temple, Keezhaperumpallam – Kethu
- Abathsahayeswarar Temple, Alangudi – Guru (Jupiter)
- Sri Swetharanyeswara Swamy Temple, Thiruvengadu Budhan Sthalam – Budha (Mercury)
It is believed that Adishesha (the king of all serpent deities), Takshaka (one of the Nagas mentioned in Mahabharata, a major Hindu epic) and Karkotaka, got the blessings of Lord Shiva at this place. Hence this place is named as Thirunageswaram.
The presiding deity of Thirunageswaram Naganatha Swamy Temple is Lord Shiva, worshiped by the name Lord Naganatha Swamy, who is in the form of Lingam, an infinite nature of Lord Shiva. The special feature of this temple is that, this is the only temple where Lord Rahu can be seen with His consorts. The other deities of the temple are Pirayani Amman (Goddess Parvathi), Giri-Gujambigai (Goddess Parvathi), housed in a separate shrine. Goddess Girigujambal was also said to be worshipped Lord Shiva at this temple and still believed to be worshiping Him along with goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Ganesha, Muruga, and Shasta. And Lord Maha Bhairava is said to be guarding the Goddess Girigujambal, who is in the form of Meru and hence no ablutions are performed.
The Kings Bhagiratha, Nala and the sages Gautama, Parashara have believed to be worshiped Lord Shiva at this temple. Lord shrine of Lord Ganesha was believed to be installed by Sadasiva Brahmendra, a saint, a composer of Carnatic music and an Advaita philosopher. The presiding deity Naganatha Swamy of this temple is admired in Tevaram, the 7th century Tamil Saiva canon. The Dwarapalakas (door keepers) of Naganatha Swamy Temple are made out of Chunam clay (lime plaster).
The wonderful halls of Naganatha Swamy temple are built by Govinda Dikshitar, the minister of three successive Nayaks of Thanjavur. naganathaThe entrance of the temple are adorned with excellent arts depicting Veda Nayakas. And the temple contains Bali Peetam, Nandikeshwara hall and the holy flag post.
- Ushathkala Pooja – 06.00 AM
- Kalasanthi Pooja – 09.00 AM
- Uchikala Pooja – 01.00 PM
- Sayarakshai Pooja – 05.00 PM
- Irandamkala Pooja – 07.00 PM
- Ardha Jama Pooja – 09.00 PM
- Brahmotsvam Festival – November or December
- Kandasashti Festival – October or November
- Shivaratri Festival – February or March
- Navratri, Vijayadashami – September or October
The city is connected with Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Ernakulam, Nagercoil, Tirupathi, Ooty and other major cities through regular bus services.
Thanjavur railway junction has three rail heads leading to Tiruchirapalli, Kumbakonam and Thiruvarur. Thanjavur is connected by rail with most important cities and towns in India.
The nearest airport to Naganathaswamy Temple is Tiruchirapalli International Airport.
- Brihadeeswarar Temple
- Thirunallar Temple
- Naganathaswamy Temple
- Apatsahayesvarar Temple
- Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple
- Swamimalai Murugan Temple
- Kethu Temple
- Sri Kailasanathar Temple
- Vellai Puliar Temple
- Thiruvenkadu Temple
- Thirunageshwaram Temple
- Thirumananjeri Temple