Navagraha placement in various temples and their importance
In the Hindu Mythology, the Navagrahas have an exalted position in a persons life as they exert a great influence and it is said that the proper worship of these 9 planets can greatly tone down their malefic influence and thus grant peace and prosperity in a persons life. The entire place where the Navagraha is installed in a temple is a black granite stand and the Navagrahas are also black granite with the facial features not so well formed, but they are well decorated with the most favored colored cloth of the particular planet. entire pedestal that they are placed on has small channels that lead the water, milk, curd, yoghurt and oil abhisheka that the idols are regularly done to a clean place. The oil from the shani oil abhishek is collected to light the lamps in the temple. So on and so forth.
As per Hindu customs, the Navagraha are typically placed in a single square with the Sun (Surya) in the center and the other deities surrounding Surya; no two of them are made to face each other. In South India, their images are generally found in all important Saiva temples. They are invariably placed in a separate hall, on a pedestal of about three feet in height, usually to the north-east of the sanctum sanctorum.
There are 2 kinds of installation of the planets when arranged in this fashion, known as Agama Pradishta and Vaidika Pradishta.
In Agama Pradishta, Surya occupies the central place, Chandra on Surya’s east, Budha on his south, Brihaspati on his west, Shukra on his north, Mangala on his south-east, Shani on his south-west, Rahu on north-west and Ketu in the north-east.
Temples such as Suryanar temple, Tiruvidaimarudur, Tiruvaiyaru and Tirucchirappalli follow this system.
In Vaidika Pradishta, Surya is still in the centre, but Shukra is in the east, Mangala in the south, Shani in the west, Brihaspati in the north, Chandra in the south-east, Rahu in the south-west, Ketu in the north-west and Budha in the north-east.
In Rameshwaram district, in a place called Navapashana (also auspicious for people observing Mouni Amavasya- 27th Jan 2017), 9 stone slabs are worshipped as the Navagraha. The Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple boasts a unique structure wherein the 9 grahas are installed in a single stone. Surya is prominently displayed in this structure with 7 horses in a chariot with two wheels and a charioteer. The other 8 grahas are placed in 8 directions with the sun in the centre.
The different grahas have different preferences: Namely;
Surya- Sun: Wheat for daan, Red colour, center facing East
Chandra- Moon: Rice for daan, White colour, South east facing of Sun
Guru-Jupiter: Indian Yellow Split Peas(Kabuli chana), Yellow color, Facing North
Budh- Mercury: Green Gram, Green Color, facing North East
Shukra-Venus: Soya Gram, white color, facing East
Mangal-Mars: Bengal Gram, Red color, facing South
Shani-Saturn: Mustard Seeds, blue color, facing West
Rahu- North Node: Black gram, Black color, facing South West
Ketu-South Node: Horse gram, Multi color, facing North West