Devipattinam (Tamil Nadu), June 8 : A large number of devotees visit Tamil Nadu's ancient Thilakeshwar Temple, popularly known as Navagraha Temple at Devipattinam, a coastal village located 70 kilometers from Rameshwaram Dhaam.
Legend has it that prince Rama in-exile had prayed to Navagrahas (nine planets) at Devipattinam before embarking on his journey to Lanka (the present day Sri Lanka), the then kingdom of demon King Ravana, who had abducted Rama's wife Sita.
Rama placed nine stones as symbols of Navagrahas or nine planets, at Devipattanam. Those stones can still be watched partly submerged in the water close to the beach near a bathing place (Ghat) of the Thilakeshwar Temple or the Navagraha Temple.
It is said that Rama performed the ritual so that the nine planets would shed their auspicious light on him in his battle with Ravana to rescue Sita.
As per Hindu mythology, the planetary conditions have a major effect on humans' lives and thus by worshipping them their impact can be reduced.
"This has been constructed under the sea by Lord Rama. While Lord Rama was worshipping here, he was disturbed by waves. He prayed to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu stopped the waves so as to help Rama perform his Puja (prayers)," said Renganathan Iyengar, a temple priest.
Since that time Devipattinam drew popularity for being a place to get relief from all kinds of adverse planetary conditions by performing the suggested rituals.
Devipattinam or, the place of Goddess is also described as the place where the Goddess killed the demon Mahishasura at this spot.
As per Hindu mythology, nine planets control the life of human beings. People face good or bad phases in their personal lives, depending upon their Karmas or, deeds performed in their previous births.
People from across the country and abroad, therefore, visit this temple devoted to the nine planets to seek divine blessings and a relief from planets' adverse impact and suffering caused by them.
Devotees at the temple offer nine varieties of grains including paddy, wheat, pulses and other things to the Gods and Goddesses.
They go around the deities and worship the 'Navagrahas' or, the nine planets seeking peace and prosperity in their lives and a divine blessing to relieve them of all their sufferings.
"We are coming here from Singapore. It is said that if you come here and pray, it proves a blessing for the entire family. We believe in it. So we came here to worship," said Thenmozhli, a devotee from Singapore.
The Thilakeshwar Temple is dedicated to Shiva and Parvathi (Durga). Shiva here is known as Thilakeswarar and the Goddess is known as Soundaryanayaki. The shrine has a beautiful image of an eight-armed Durga with weapons. By Jayakumar