Monday, November 21, 2011

Chidambaram Natarajar Koil- Tamilnadu

Chidambaram Natarajar Koil is one of the  Pancha bhootasthalas  of Siva where the Lord is worshipped in the form of Akash (space). Other Pancha bootha sthalas being Jambukeswara temple -Trichy, where Siva is worshipped as Jal ( water) Tiruvannamalai -fire,  Kalahasti - air  and  Kanchipuram - earth

The Lord Natarajar idol is enshrined in the chitsabha , the hall of Consciousness in the Ananada Tandavam pose (dance of bliss) . The idol of Nataraja is of exquisite beauty and grace  and it surely enchants those who stand in front of Him.   Next to the sanctum is a room which gets opened only during the worship which is known as Chidamabara rahasyam, the form of nothingness. Here the Lord is worshipped as formless and there are Golden Vilva leaves  inside.

The Nrithya sabha ( Dance Hall) is very famous , has exquisitely carved pillars and this is the place where Lord had a dance competition with Goddess Bhadra Kali. At the end of the competition the Lord lifted His  leg towards the sky as  Urdhva thandavar, a  pose, Kali could not take and she lost the competiton.

Near  this mandapam is a niche for Somaskandar and Kala Samhara moorthy  where the Lord protects Markendaya and kills Yama, the Lord of death.

Tiruchitra Kootam (an important Vishnu desam) is also inside this temple very near to Lord Natarajar's shrine. Vishnu here is  Tillai Govinda Rajar and his consort is known as Pundarikavalli thayar . There is also a shrine for Mahalakshmi here. 

 Amman shrine is in the outer prakram and on the left of her shrine we see the Adi Moola Siva .

This temple has lofty towers on all four sides and the the Western Gopuram has 108 dance poses from Bharatanatayam carved to perfection on the gate way.Have included a few pictures of the dance poses .
Other temples en route Chidambaram from Kumbhakonam in " My pilgrimage" are Seerkazhi and Vaidheeshwaran Koil.

How to reach- Chidambaram can be reached from Chennai or from Kumbhakonam. From Kumbhakonam it is nearly 70 Kms . From Chennai it is about a 4-5  hrs.travel by road. Regular buses ply from both places with very good frequency.


42 comments:

  1. We were there last weekend at Chidambaram..Amazing architecture and really huge temple..Liked the pics of sculptures a lot

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  2. You bring the temple live for us with your pics. when one wants to visit any temple, all they have to do is visit chitra's pilgrimage and it comes live. Thank you for that.

    I too have been here and the signature idol of chidambaram -natarajar is an icon of Indian art and holds a place of pride in most houses. when you are free, read this post of mine on chidambaram. http://shreshar.blogspot.com/2009/12/arudra-darisanam-and-ramana-jayanthi.html

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  3. Ec,
    Thanks EC.I got an opportunity to visit this temple thrice.

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  4. Asha, you make me feel good with your kind words. Shall definitely read your post.

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  5. Beautifully clicked photos...carvings in the temple are so intricate and lovely worth admiring after a visit to the such a divine temple...lovely write up !

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  6. Grand temple with some amazing cravings , thanks for sharing .

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  7. another fascinating post, thanks. I love the thought of the Lord having a dance competition with the Goddess Bhadra Kali, it conjures such wonderful images.

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  8. The reflections are very beautiful.

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  9. Sushma, thanks for the lovely comment.

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  10. Thansk PW. Happy to see your comment.

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  11. Superb photos Chitra..! I love visiting this temple that I have visited a few times..!

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  12. Such a fabulous temple again Chitra - grand and serene! Hope your monday is lovely!

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  13. Loved ur photography...especially ones around the temple tank...too gud!

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  14. Never visited it Chitra. But it looks very beautiful and very artistic. The pics that you have shared gives us a glimpse into the beauty of it.

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  15. chitra ji..eppadi irrukingo? long time no c...howz business? sure all well as u r a wonderful person..wishes..

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  16. Ramesh...nallthan irukeren...Business athu pattuku iruku..was busy with some wok and travel...

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  17. Antiquity: The origins of this vast temple are buried in antiquity. Literature talks of a tradition of Shiva (Nataraja) worship in existence even as early as the Sangam period (very early on in the Christian era), and the Tamil Saints have sung its fame when an established worship tradition was in place. The later Chola Kings (Aditya I and Parantaka I) adorned the roof of the shrine with gold, and the other Chola Kings treated Nataraja as their guardian deity and made several endowments to the temple as temple inscriptions testify. The Pandya Kings who followed them, and the later Vijayanagar rulers made several endowments to the temple. There is a stone image of Krishnadevaraya in the North Gopura which he is said to have erected. In the wars of the 18th century, this temple was used as a fort, especially when the British General Sir Eyre Coote unsuccesfully tried to capture it from the Mysore Kings. During this period, the images of Nataraja and Sivakamasundari were housed in the Tiruvarur Tyagaraja temple for safety.

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  18. Ramakrishana,
    Good information. I am sure this would be useful for many readers too. There was another friend of mine who used add these kind of descriptions to my blog.Nice you have done it now.You are always welcome to share whatever you know.My knowledge about all this is limited. But by God's grace I just visit the the holy places.

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  19. Thanks RK for the crisp yet detailed info...

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  20. One of the iconic temples Chitra...thankyou for taking us here.

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  21. Exquisite photographs. The Rahasyam is what we ought to understand. I did visit this complex and was contemplating to scribble some thing on the lines of what Shri Ramakrishnan has commented. Right now I am at Tirupunitara with daily visits to the temple for the 8 day Utsavam.

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  22. PNS, are you in Tripunithura...I miss the festival. I was there for 7 years and was a daily visitor to the temple.Enjoy the festival.

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  23. Rahul Bhatia,
    thanks for the visit and the comment.

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  24. beautiful pictures and writing ....... congrats.........

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  25. I love the story about the dance competition with the god. I can just imagine her standing their trying to match his pose.
    :-)
    Traci

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  26. PLS VISIT MY BLOG AND SUPPORT A SERIOUS ISSUE...............

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  27. Thanks for visiting me Chitra - hope your day is lovely!

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  28. Simply beautifully captured shots...lovely place!

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  29. hey thanks yar...good to hear u r busy...what hapnd to yr dubai visit plan? tc wishes

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  30. subhashini ajeethMarch 27, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    very good pics chitra,i had been to the temple twice and the second time we were fortunate enough to see the excellent abhishekam performed for the spatikalingam at night.it is a big lingam and after the abhishekam it is put back in a gold box for the day and only removed the following night.

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  31. Subhashini,
    I haven't seen that abhishekam. We only visited during day time and returned the same day.

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