Of the Navagrahas– the nine planets, this temple is noted for Ketu worship.
Sri Naganathaswami Temple (Ketu shrine), Kilperumpallam, Nagapattinam.
Phone no:+91- 4364 275 222, 260 088, 260 424,94435 64642, 95004 16171.
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.30 a.m. and from 3.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Shivrathri in February–March; Aippasi Annabishekam in October–November and Panguni Vasuki Utsav in March–April are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
During the churning of the milk ocean, Vasuki the serpent used as the rope for the purpose got exhausted and split its venom. Devas ran to Lord Shiva for protection from the impact of the spreading poison. Lord swallowed the poison and protected the world. Vasuki felt that it had caused Lord Shiva to swallow its poison and performed penance seeking the Lord's pardon. Lord gave darshan to Vasuki and admired its sense of sacrifice. Vasuki begged Lord Shiva to stay in the place. Lord obliged Vasuki and stayed here and hence this temple is named after the serpent–Naga – Naganathar.
Pujas are performed to planet Kethu at Rahukalas and Yemakanda Kala times. 90 minutes each day is covered by these times. There will be 16 types of abishek and homas with a neivedhana made of gram powder, salt and pepper in rice. Vastras are offered in different colours. Pilgrims light lamps with gingely oil. The neivedhana should be distributed in the temple to visitors and should not be taken home.
Kethu worship is followed on Mondays and birth star days. People pray to planet Kethu for general family welfare and prosperity, success in litigations, progress in trade, avoidance of accidents, freedom from fear of death etc.
Vasuki (the serpent used as rope to churn the milk ocean) festival is celebrated in Panguni (March–April). On the 3rd day of the festival, the event of Lord Shiva granting Darshan to Kethu is celebrated. Planet Kethu comes in procession on this day and on the Rahu–Kethu transition days.On the Rahu-Kethu transition day, a special Homa is organized by the Archakas–priests–of the temple. There is no fee for participating in the puja.
According to numerology, No. 7 belongs to Kethu. (16 types (1+6=7) of pujas are performed chanting 7 lakh mantras. Preparations made of Kollu and sweet balls made of this grain, porridge, vada, choornam, rice, pudding–pongal – all made with kollu are offered in the Homa Fire. Devotees offer 16 types of Dhans (alms) to Brahmins. Feeding also is organized to thousands of devotees this day. Devotees offer all the things needed for this occasion to the temple in advance.
There is no Navagraha shrine in the temple as Kethu has all the prominence. However, there are two Sun idols and a Saturn idol in the temple. Pujas are performed to one Sun during the Utharayayana Punyakala covering January–February to June–July and to the other Sun during the Dakshinayana Punyakala covering July–August to December–January.