Chidambaram Temple Quick Facts
|Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu (India)
Chidambaram Temple Overview
Nataraja Temple is also known as Chidambaram Temple and Thillai Nataraja Temple located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this Hindu temple is located at a distance of 78 km from Puducherry, (earlier Pondicherry) towards the South and 60 km towards the North of the Cuddalore district.
In India unique and beautiful temples of Lord Shiva with his various forms, but the supernatural beauty of the Nataraja temple located in Chidambaram is made on sight. Chidambaram, the city and the name of the temple literally means "Environment of knowledge" or "Tinted in Ideas", the temple's architecture embodies the connection between art and spirituality.
Chidambaram Temple History
There is no verifiable evidence of the construction of this temple, but from the seventh century to the 16th century, the ancient dynasties, including the Pallava, Chola, Pandya, Vijayanagara, Chera dynasty kings and local people, made major changes in this temple from time to time. On the pillars and walls of temple, the dance posture statues of Nataraja were engraved on a theatrical basis.
Chidambaram Temple Interesting Facts
- This Temple has been built in the Dravidian style, which is unique and unequaled among the temples of South India.
- This Temple is 245 km from Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. It is located on the far Chennai-Thanjavur road.
- Situated in the heart of the city, the area of this temple is 40 acres (106,000 square meters).
- There are 9 doors to enter this temple, out of which 4 have high pagodas or gopurams. These gopurams have 7 levels facing east, south, west and north.
- Beneath these gopurams are 40 ft high, 5 ft thick stone panels joined by copper leaf.
- The sanctum sanctorum of the temple is a square with sides of about 44 meters (144 ft).
- The temples of Govindaraja and Pandrigavalli are also built in this building of the Nataraja Temple.
- The urns on the top of the temple are of gold. And the temples have erected images showing dancers and musicians on the parikrama path, the sloping plateau of the mandapa and the shrine hall pillars of the Nataraja Temple.
- The entire 108 Mudras of Bharatanatyam, an Indian dance form, are marked in the Gopuram built in the eastern part of the temple.
- There is also a lake in the temple building, which is called Sivaganga. This huge lake is in the third corridor of the temple which is just opposite to the shrine of Goddess Sivagami.
- There are many bronze statues inside the temple, which are probably from the Chola period of the 10th-12th century.
- There is a well on the eastern side of the temple from where water is taken for worship in the temple, which is named Parmanand Kubham Chit Sabhai.
- A special feature of this temple is that most of the temples built here are made in the form of chariots.
- The south gopuram of the temple houses the Sokkesian Thirunilai Ezhugopuram, constructed by a Pandya king, identified by the presence of the dynasty's fish emblem scattered on the ceiling.
- All the Gopuras of the temple are mainly made of large stone cutting all the way to the cornice. Above it is a stone, brick, and plaster structure with layers of the pavilion.
- It is believed about this temple that Lord Shiva performed his Anand dance at this place.
- The Most special thing about the Shiva idol made in this temple is that the idol of Nataraja present here is laden with ornaments and ornaments. Such Shiva idols are rarely seen in India.
- One of the unique features of this temple is the bejeweled image of Lord Nataraja as the main deity. It depicts Lord Shiva as the master of Kutu-Bharata Natyam and is one of the few temples where Lord Shiva is represented by an anthropomorphic statue instead of the classic, aniconic lingam.
- The Temple car is used for processions twice a year, where it is pulled by several thousand devotees during festivals.
- According to Hindu literature, Temple is one of the five sacred Shiva Temples, which represent the five important elements of nature. Chidambaram temple represents the sky. In Andhra Pradesh, Kalahasti Temple – Vayu, Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara – Water, Kanchi Ekambareswara – Earth
How to reach Chidambaram Temple
- The Nearest railway station to the temple is Chidambaram Railway Station. And the temple is situated at a distance of 1.6 km from the railway station. And Thiruvannamalai represents Arunachaleswara- Agni.
- The Nearest Airport to reach this temple by air is Chennai. From here one can easily reach Chidambaram via bus or train.