Monday, August 8, 2016

Trip to Kumbakonam - Navagraha Temple by Auto

Trip to Kumbakonam Navagraha Temple Experience

I am from Chennai we were in Thanjavur for Temple function - Andal Thirukalyanam, once we finished we had a plan to visit Kumbakonam with Bhattar Family.

Bhattar Family (Head Priest in Sri Adi Kesava Perumal Temple, Parrys) wanted to see Navagraha temples, so i started google myself to find best travel opportunities - Taxi or Bus or Auto. I found Auto was the best option and worked out well as we were only 4 people. I took the number  former Traveller Sampath /Radhika's blog -it provided me a contact person by the name of Guru - Auto Driver. My mom rang him up twice and told him temples we wanted to go and we got a price of 2500 for all 9 Temples plus additional temples on the route as well. We landed in Kumbakonam and rang him up, unfortunately he didn’t pick up and he called and we missed answering call due to loud horns constantly blowing by Thanjavur bus driver. We arrived in Kumbakonam and called him; his wife spoke and mentioned he should be near bus stop next to Police station. I walked out to find him in Auto stand and other drivers mentioned there is no person as such and some said never known him. I said i just spoke to him and i told he is near Auto stand, other drivers seeing him nearby Tea Stall informed that he is there.... In the meanwhile, other Auto drivers said he should have gone to take customers, some said I can help and they were ready to take us........ I was giggling with my cousin Hemanth that their own people (Auto Stand drivers) play games to win over customers..... In matter of minutes, i spoke to Guru and informed about our arrival and travel plan. I spoke to him about price of trip and he said he will do his best to meet our requirements. In the meanwhile he went to his place (house) next to bus stop and brought his daughter along. He asked us if it’s okay to bring his daughter, we very well informed okay. I kept calling Guru Daughter as Papa as i don’t want to broadcast her name in public forum; i named her ""Papa""  as she looked like my cousin Sister and kept calling her in the same way till end of the trip. 
We started out with Murugan temple our first stop and we took about 20 minutes to see temple in full. I carried a box of Ghee lamp and we lit them in each temple as it was easy for us.
  • Murugan Temple
  • Chandran
  • Raghu
  • Kethu
  • Budhan
  • Surya Naryana - One place where you could finish entire 9 planets Archana's and offerings. Since we had planned to skip Shani temple i finished that offerings in this place itself. My recommendations are to buy the Offering inside the temple (250 Rs) for all Offerings, dont buy outside as it would be costly (500 Rs). Buy a Ghee plate inside the temple as light it in each temple starting with Ganesh’s blessings. 9 Planets offerings are (10 Coconuts + Vasthram). Ghee lamps are separate which is not part of 250 Rs. Next to Counter, you will see a guy in Ghee lamp store, ask him to guide you'll - he will do it for the price of 50 Rs minimum. He will take you to all temples inside and get a direct darshan. You will be asked to buy a Ticket for Special entrance so that you can finish you quickly. After all the  9 temples offerings, pay the Priest accordingly to your satisfaction. After that please donate those coconuts to that Priest itself (recommended ) not to carry home.
  • Sukran
  • Mangal
  • Shani - We did not cover as it would take 3 hours hence we altered out plan accordingly
  • Guru - Not Allangudi but when Guru got power (original temple), Alangudi was next temple it is being worshipped. It became Tourist hub later in these days
  • Thyagraja Temple
  • Shivan Temple - Pictures are added in end of blog, it goes with a story on how this 3 ponds were made.
  • Uppiliappan - Brother of Lord Vekateshwara = to Tirupathy
  • Govindapuram
  • Vaitheeswaran temple
  • Perumal Temple - Lord Vishnu in sleeping form ( like Srirangam)
  • Mahakumban Tank
  • Poompuhar - Kannagi Place - Since we reached 2 pm - Guru mentioned to relax in this place where it has a park. We rested in this place for about an hour and then we took off to next temple.
  • Sarangapani Temple - We saw Gomathan's there, so I bought some budles of Green leaves for the Cow and offered them.

About Guru - Auto Driver
Well it was a pleasure to be with him, humble, helpful and ready to accommodate as i had 2 aged people travelling and he accommodated it well as per out convenience. He was very knowledgeable and he knows routes very well, thus making a huge difference in cutting down travel. When we got into Kumbakonam i informed him well in advance of our arrival when i boarded the Bus from Thanjavur. He does well as Tourist Guide to these Temples, provides brief story of each temple and this makes us understand Mythology and temple importance. I give him 10/10 as Kudos for the job he does without asking. I striked good conversation and eager to listen about stories and background of these temples, Guru explained well. I also took some audio conversations as recording, i will accommodate that the end of this blog. He also explained that if you want to do dharmam - helping the poor do it before you go to Temple (recommended), please do not give money after the darshan as you are giving away the blessings given by God. Guru helped us in getting accomodation for the night we stayed, pretty decent one - AC Hotel. Guru suggested us to get booked our tickets back to Chennai well in advance as AC Bus are jam packed on Weekends and we dont want make a mess on getting back home.

Guru's Phone Number : 9443171866

Guru's Photo -

We had a food ( Mani Vilas- inside Temple complex) along with Guru and his daughter, second half of the trip Guru's niece joined us - Praveen. We stopped in several places to sip Sugarcane  and Coconuts as it was very hot.Towards end of Trip we thanked Guru for his services rendered and also exchanged numbers for future use. I asked him and his daughter to come to Chennai when they visit, if time permits i will accompany them to tirupathy for a good dharshan. I happily paid him 3000 Rupees as Guru was pleased with the money. I think it was a good bargain as i got free guide information plus convenient travel. I reached home back to Chennai and sent him a message reached safely, i also promised him that i will add this Picture in the blog, so that next person who reads this will be able to recognize him.

People who read this Blog, please take this opportunity to use Guru's services.

Other information : 
Bus Route : Link


Suresh Kumar- Chennai

Tags : Kumbakonam, Navagraha temples, 9 Planets, travel, South Indian temples

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