Read the caveats here before proceeding.
The following are events that took place on 9th July 2009 and covers Kumbakonam-Tirunageswaram-Uppiliyappan-Tirukarugavur-Darasuram-Swamimalai-Thanjavur route. Read about the previous day here.
Photo of the day:
Checked out from Hotel Green Park, Kumbakonam, early in the morning and went to Tirunageswaram at about 7.30am. Tirunageswaram houses another important nava graham deity – Lord Rahu.
Left the temple and went to Uppiliappan temple which is just 0.5km from Tirunageswaram. Spent about half an hour at this Perumal temple.
Took breakfast at Meenakshi Bhavan and left for next destination – Suryanarkoil Temple which houses Lord Surya, a nava graham deity.
The Suryanar temple is about 3km from Aduthurai town. This is the main navagraha temple and many people come here from various prayers.
Note: many trips are organised specifically for devotees to pray at the nine navagraha stalam located around Kumbakonam area. It will take 2 to 4 days to cover all nine temples, depending on the devotees capabilities (number of people, age, cooperation etc). Below are some maps and lists that can help you in making plans for trip to Kumbakonam area.
Left the temple around 10.30am and headed back to Kumbakonam. Dropped by at Kasi Visvanathar temple, which is next to the famous Mahamagam teppa kulam (water tank/pool). Its said that the nine river Goddesses (nava kannikal) were brought here by Lord Siva. Its considered a good blessing to take a dip in the tank.
Next stop was Tirukarugavur, location of the famous Karparakshambigai Amman sannithi in the Mullaivananatharswamy temple, with its own Internet site to order the much sought after prasadham. It took us a bit longer to reach the temple due to road diversions as a bridge was being repaired. Luckily, we reached the temple just in time, around 12.30pm. The prayer was done efficiently, with minimum hassle. And in this temple, I could really feel a difference. When I saw Amman, for a fleeting moment, I felt as if freed from all the burdens and sins! My shoulders felt so light that I thought I may just float away into the sky. Really a mind-blowing experience for me personally, something that can rarely find in other temples throughout the trip. This is a must-visit for future trips.
We left the temple around 1.30pm and took lunch near Darasuram, our next stop. Darasuram is the site of famous ancient temple, Airavateshwar Temple (circa 7th century, if I’m not mistaken). Its an UN Heritage site as well. The temple compound is a big garden, and people come there to relax under shady trees. We went exploring while waiting for the temple to open (closed till 4pm). There are actually two big temples complexes next to each other, and we only covered the main complex.
Outside the temple, some people will be promoting their handloom silk saree businesses. We visited one of the house-cum-shops. It was similar like the ones in Kanchipuram. Then bought some sarees here.
Left Darasuram at 5pm and rushed to Swamimalai. Swamimalai is one of Lord Murugan’s aru padai veedu, thus a popular pilgrimage spot. As the name implies, the temple is situated on a small hill but not difficult to climb. The entrance into the inner sanctum is gold–plated. We prayed and left around 6.45pm.
Last stop for the night was Tanjavur. We managed to get a room in Hotel Tamil Nadu (state-run hotel) and had dinner in the hotel itself.
Photos are at Picasa:
Read the next day (Day 7) here.