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Navagraha Temple

Abodes of Surya
Temples of Northeast India

The Navagraha Temple or the temple of the nine celestial bodies is located in the south eastern part of Guwahati in Assam, on a hill by name Citrasaala.

Sun worship in Assam (as in other parts of India) goes back to ancient times. Assam has been referred to as Pragjyotishapura. According to the Kalika Purana of the 10th century CE, Bhrahma created Pragjyotishapura, as a city equal to the city of Indra the King of the Gods. The word Prag refers to the Eastern region and jyotisha refers to the word star-astrology. Pragjyotisha is also said to mean, 'eastern city of astrology'.  Also near Guwahati is the Surya Mandir on the Surya Pahar hill.

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Enshrined in this temple are nine Shivalingams, representing the nine Celestial bodies, each covered with a colored garment symbolic of each of the celestial bodies. A similar shrine exists in the grand Nataraja temple complex at Chidambaram in South India.

The Navagraha temple as it stands today was built by the ruler Rajeswar Singh in late 18th century. An earthquake destroyed the temple tower,and it was rebuilt later.

See also the Suryanaar Temple in Temple dating back to the 11th -12th century CE Chola ruler Kulottunga Cholan, with shrines to each of the nine celestial bodies.

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