NAVA KAILASAM

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Nava Kailasam (Kayilayam) Kshetras are nine temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, located on the either side of Thamiraparani River in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts in Tamilnadu.
The Nava Kailasam is considered as Navagraha (the nine planets) Temples. Devotees worship in these temples for relief from the adverse effects of the planets in their life.
Once Sage Agasthiyar was doing penance in the Podhikai hills. One of his prime disciples Romesa munivar prayed to Lord Shiva seeking liberation. The Lord was pleased and wanted to bless him through his Guru Agasthiyar.
Sage Agasthiyar put nine flowers in the Thamaraparani river and asked Romesa munivar to install a shiva lingam as kailasha nathar, wherever the flowers dock on the bank and finally bathe and worship the Lord in the place where the river joins the ocean, by doing so he would get what he prayed. Adhering as per his guru's advise, Romesa munivar got liberated. These nine abodes of Lord Shiva are called Nava Kailasam each representing one planet.
List of Nava Kailasam Temples and its related Grahas (Planets)
Papanasam temple - SURYA(Sun)
Cheran Mahadevi temple - CHANDRAN (Moon)
Kodaganallur temple - MANGALA (Mars)
Thenthiruperai temple - BUDHA (Mercury)
Murappanadu temple - GURU (Jupiter)
Sernthamangalam temple - SHUKRA (Venus)
Srivaikuntam temple - SHANI (Saturn)
Kunnathur temple - RAHU (North node)
Rajapathy temple - KETHU (South node)
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Papanasam - 1 of 9 Nava Kailasam

Papanasanathar temple is on the banks of Thamaraparani river in Papanasam, near Ambasamudram and Tirunelveli in Tamilnadu.
Lord Indira got his Brahmmahati dosha cleared by just entering the borders of this place, hence it is known as Papanasam (Papa - Sin, Nasam - Destruction) meaning place where the sins are destroyed.
As per the legend, Romesa Munivar threw lotus flowers as advised by his Guru Sage Agasthiyar on the Thamaraparani river, nine of which reached the banks at various places (Nava Kailasam) and Papanasam was the first among them. Papanasam represents the Surya graha (Sun), known as Surya Kailash. Romesa Munivar worshipped here by installing Shivalinga naturally made of Rudraksha hence the Lord is also known as Rudrakshanathar.
Once at the wedding of Lord Shiva with Mother Parvathy at Kailash, there was heavy crowd of sages due to which earth lost its balance. Lord Shiva asked Sage Agasthiyar to go to Pothigai Hills in South which will equal earth's balance, with a promise that Lord Shiva will give his Wedding Darshan to the Sage whenever asked for.
On the first day of Chithirai month (falling almost on April 14 each year), Lord as Kalyanasundarar with Ambal sitting on the Nandi (Bull vahana) grants the Wedding Darshan to Sage Agasthiyar and his wife Lopamudra.
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Cheranmahadevi - 2 of 9 Nava Kailasam

Cheranmahadevi temple is on the banks of Thamaraparani river near Ambasamudram and Tirunelveli in Tamilnadu. The presiding deity here is known as Ammainathar. This temple is dedicated to Chandran (Moon).
Romesa Munivar threw lotus flowers as advised by his Guru Sage Agasthiyar on the Thamaraparani river, nine of which reached the banks at various places (Nava Kailasam) and Cheranmahadevi was the second among them.
As per legend Nandanar, born in a Dalit family was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He came to Ammainathar temple and was not allowed to enter the temple. He prayed from outside and could not get a darshan of the Lord. Lord Shiva ordered his vahana Nandi to move away so that his devotee could have his darshan. Hence, in this temple, Nandi is found slightly moved away from the center.
This temple was built by two poor women farmers. Both were labourers and they used to collect rice daily and offer it to the Shiva Linga here. They were worried that the idol did not have a temple. Lord Shiva made them very rich and both of them used their wealth to build this divine temple.
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Kodaganallur - 3 of 9 Nava Kailasam

Kodaganallur temple is on the banks of Thamaraparani river near Cheranmahadevi and Tirunelveli in Tamilnadu. This temple is dedicated to Mangal (Mars or Chevvai).
As per legend, serpent Karkodaga got relieved of his curse after offering prayers here. Hence this place is known as Karkodaganallur and later Kodaganallur.
A unique offering is being done here, that is making garland using yellow thread and 58 turmeric pieces and offering it to Nandi deva (vahana of Lord Shiva). Since Mangal graha is associated with marriage, devotees both men and women do this unique worship for their early marriage.
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Thenthiruperai - 4 of 9 Nava Kailasam

Thenthiruperai temple is on the banks of Thamaraparani river in Thoothukudi, Tamilnadu. This temple is dedicated to Budha (Mercury). Though this temple is where 7th lotus reached the banks (as per legend of Nava Kailasam), have taken this temple as 4th to keep the order of the Navagrahas.
There is a coconut with horn in the temple. It is said that once a British Army officer wanted to have a tender coconut. But nearby there was only one coconut grove and all the tender coconut in it were for anointing the murtis in Thenthiruperai Kailasanathar Temple. So the keeper of the grove denied the officer tender coconut.
An angry officer wanted to know what was so special about the coconuts in grove and asked does it have horns. He demanded a tender coconut be plucked from the grove. When the coconut was given to the officer he found horns sprouting from it. The officer soon realized his mistake, made offerings at the shrine, and asked for forgiveness.
One of the most interesting things about this temple are the Navagrahas – the nine planets, some of which appear on horse chariots, instead of their own vahanas. While the Sun is shown with his usual 7 horses, Guru (Jupiter) and Sukran (Venus) are seen with 8, and Chandran, the moon, is seen with 10 horses.
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Murappanadu - 5 of 9 Nava Kailasam

Murappanadu Kailasanathar Temple is on the banks of Thamaraparani river near Tirunelveli in Tamilnadu. This temple is dedicated to Guru (Jupiter).
Legend has it that a king had a daughter with the face of a horse. He offered prayers to Lord Shiva to find a relief. Lord Shiva one day appeared in his dream and asked him to take a holy dip in Thamiraparani River at Murappanadu and offer prayers to the Shivalinga there.
The king soon performed all that Lord Shiva told in the dream. Soon the princess got back the human face. Murappanadu Kailasanathar Temple was built by the king.
The Nandi worshipped in the temple has the face of a horse. It is believed that Lord Shiva asked Nandi to take the face of the horse to cure the princess.
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Sernthapoomangalam - 6 of 9 Nava Kailasam

Sernthapoomangalam temple is in Thoothukudi to Triruchendur route in Tamilnadu. This temple is dedicated to Shukra (Venus).
Thamaraparani river merges with the ocean near this temple. Though this temple is where 9th lotus reached the banks (as per legend of Nava Kailasam), have taken this temple as 6th to keep the order of the Navagrahas.
The idol of Kubera on an elephant is sculpted on the Vimana above the sanctum sanctorum with his two consorts – Sanganidhi and Padmanidhi. This is the only temple with Kubera-the Lord of Wealth in this posture.
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Srivaikundam - 7 of 9 Nava Kailasam

Srivaikundam temple is on the banks of Thamaraparani river, in Thoothukudi to Triruchendur route in Tamilnadu. This temple is dedicated to Shani (Saturn).
Though this temple is where 6th lotus reached the banks (as per legend of Nava Kailasam), have taken this temple as 7th to keep the order of the Navagrahas.
Lord Bhoothanatha, believed to be a manifestation of Sastha, is the guardian deity in the shrine. His murti is made of wood. Only sacred oil is offered to him. At night the temple is handed over to Lord Bhoothanatha as he is the guardian of the shrine.
Lord Nataraja covered with sandal paste, is worshipped in the temple . This temple has some breathtaking sculptures of deities and characters from Hindu Puranas.
Srivaikundam is a very holy place as it has both Nava Kailasam and Nava Tirupathi temples. This is also the birthplace of Sri Kumarakurupara Swamigal.
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Kunnathur - 8 of 9 Nava Kailasam

Kunnathur temple is on the banks of Thamaraparani river, in Thoothukudi to Triruchendur route in Tamilnadu. This temple is dedicated to Rahu (North node).
Though this temple is where 4th lotus reached the banks (as per legend of Nava Kailasam), have taken this temple as 8th to keep the order of the Navagrahas.
The uniqueness of this temple is that the Lingam (idol) has snake carved on it which is a very rare feature. On the outer prahara there is an idol of Lord Arumuga with sixteen hands which is made out of a single stone.
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Rajapathy - 9 of 9 Nava Kailasam

Rajapathy temple is on the banks of Thamaraparani river near Kurumbur on Triruchendur road in Tamilnadu. This temple is dedicated to Kethu (South node).
Romesa Munivar threw nine lotus flowers as advised by his Guru Sage Agasthiyar on the Thamaraparani river, all flowers reached the banks at various places (Nava Kailasam) and Rajapathy was the 8th among them, have taken this temple as 9th to keep the order of the Navagrahas. The place is named after the palace of Pandya king belonging to the Chandra dynasty – Raja-King, Pathy-Place.
The first puja for the consecration of Rajapathy Kailasanathar temple began on the day when the Raja Gopuram of the Kalahasthi temple was damaged. Hence, this place and temple is known as "Then Kalahasthi" – Kalahasthi of South.
Uniqueness about this temple is that the Shiva Linga is seen with four chakras on all sides. It is believed that there is a temple buried under this Linga. Devotees undergoing Ragu & Kethu Dosha worship the Lord here for their relief.
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