The Temple Classics of Tamil Nadu – Thallai Nataraja ( serie 3)

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I turned my direction southwards, moving along the coastline on the East Coast Road (NH 32) crunching mile after mile as finally I reached my destination. Welcome to Chidambaram, the town housing one of the five Paanch Bhoota Stalams, representing aksha (aether/space). The other four being Jambukeswara (Water), Ekambareswara (Earth), Annamalaiyar (Fire) and Kalahasti (Wind) The present temple was built in the 10 century when Chidambaram was the capital of the Chola dynasty making it one of the oldest surviving active temple complexes in South India.

The temple is associated with the original bejewelled image of Lord Nataraja, depicting Lord Shiva as the Lord of the dance Bharatanatyam, the cosmic dance representing the motion of the Universe. The idol of the Nataraja resplendent in the “dancing pose” radiates powerful vibes and the inner sanctum which is lit by brass lamps further amplify the effect and cast a powerful resonance on to the mind of the devotee. Towards the left of the Nataraja is a silk curtain which is black on the outside, herein lies the Aksha Linga which is in form of a Yantra and this signifies the act of creation i.e. one moment nothing exists while at the next instant ALL has been bought into existence. This is the symbolism of Space, the fifth element of nature.

Like similar constructional features of the Chola era, the temple complex consists of four Gopurams which act as the entry gates in four directions, then there is the main temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which has within itself some shrines dedicated to other Gods as well as the main inner sanctum. Other than the main temple there are other temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu as well as Lord Ganesh along with a main sacred tank.

I undertook the trip to Chidambaram in order to solely see the Nataraja temple and the route from Chennai passes through coastal towns giving an insight into the shore lifestyle of the people. The town is 78 km from Puducherry and 235 km from Chennai. It is bustling with all the energy of a emerging city yet the temple complex is totally opposite to this with calm and serenity being the key words.

This is a must visit temple and can give so much history to those who are capable enough to read and understand the significance of the various Gods that are worshipped here and their relation with Lord Shiva. The visit to the temple was extremely satisfying and worth every moment spent there and is definitely to be looked up in case one is visiting this region.

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34 Replies to “The Temple Classics of Tamil Nadu – Thallai Nataraja ( serie 3)”

    1. i am so glad you could relate to the post. do have a look at some other similar posts or if needed i could suggest a few more from the blog

    1. i am so glad you could relate to the post. do have a look at some other similar posts or if needed i could suggest a few more from the blog

    1. i am so glad you could relate to the post. do have a look at some other similar posts or if needed i could suggest a few more from the blog

    1. i am so glad you could relate to the post. do have a look at some other similar posts or if needed i could suggest a few more from the blog

  1. India has been on my list for a while, it’s just very complex and I can’t decide where to go and what to explore first. I love these beautifully kept temples, and I can see how they are a perfect calming contrast to the bustling cities.

    1. i am so glad you could relate to the post. do have a look at some other similar posts or if needed i could suggest a few more from the blog

    1. i am so glad you could relate to the post. do have a look at some other similar posts or if needed i could suggest a few more from the blog

  2. Wow the buildings looks very old and rich with history.

    I might add touring Tamil Nadu to my bucket list

    1. i am so glad you could relate to the post. do have a look at some other similar posts or if needed i could suggest a few more from the blog

  3. I am from Chennai and remember having visited Chidambaram when I was a child. Mysteriously though, the city despite being packed with temples remains off the list of many travellers and even religious pilgrims too. This is one such temple that makes Chidambaram the gem that it is.

    1. i am so glad you could relate to the post. do have a look at some other similar posts or if needed i could suggest a few more from the blog

      1. Sure Sumit, your Badami blog post did help us, we were planning to travel there if not for the situation right now. Also Bhigwan post was informative.

    1. hi , India is truly a varied and diverse country. If interested i could suggest some further reads from the state of Tamil Nadu ,also known as land of 1000 temples

  4. I can’t think of a perfect word to describe this gorgeous place. Those architectures are one of a kind.

    1. hi , i am glad that you found the post interesting . The travel to southern Indian temples is one of a kind of experience as it is not globalised yet

    1. hi , am glad that you found the post interesting. Southern Indian temples have some real colourful architecture and great legendary tales

  5. Wow, that temple looks really beautiful with all those colors. I love learning about its history too.

    1. hi , thanks and glad that you found the post relatable. Souther India is indeed a repository of intricate constructed temples and monuments . Rich in cultural history

    1. hi i am glad that you found the post interesting. Southern India is actually replete with many a time intricate constructed temple and they are very colourful too

    1. hi , yes truly the temple architecture in India and particularly the southern part of India is very intricate and colourful

  6. South India is so beautiful and full of history, I literally never explored that part of India yet but after reading this article I need to pack my backpack and wait for this pandemic to get over soon. I can also learn a lot grom your blog just by reading, thank you for this and stay connected.

    1. hi shristi
      glad that you found the post interesting , truly southern India is one of the most exquisite places to explore in India and will wait to read more about it in ur blog posts 🙂 lets connect up indeed

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