Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 608001
Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 608001
Dedicated to
Shiva

Deity Posture

Architecture Style

Creator

Chola Dynasty

Completed on

13th century

About Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar, Tamil Nadu

The Thillai Natarajar temple is located in Chidambaram, an important religious town in Tamil Nadu. The temple is part of the 5 shiva temples known as Pancha-bhuta-sthalam, where each temple is dedicated to the 5 basic elements (fire, water, air, ether & earth). Chidambaram is the Ākāsha bhuta sthalam i.e, it represents ether or the whole cosmos. The word Chidambaram means – Clad in consciousness (Chit is our self consciousness & ambar means clothed). The temple and its main deity – Natarāja, is praised in several Thevaram (Ancient Tamil devotional songs) composed by Nayanmars (Tamil Shaiva saints).

Legend
Once Shiva, in his Bhikshātana form, performed the Ānanda Tāndava dance i.e, the dance of joy & creation. Only a handful of Rishis & their wives witnessed the rare divine dance of Shiva. Rishi Patanjali & Rishi Vyāghrapāda desired to witness the Ānanda Tāndava again. So they came to Chidambaram and established a Shivalingam – divine manifestation of Shiva. They performed penance and selfless service to the Shivalingam, devoting their life itself to Shiva. Impressed with their expression of devotion, Shiva decided to fulfill their desire. Mahādeva appeared in front of the two rishis in His form of Natarāja – the deva of dance. He performed the Ānanda Tāndava again, filling the consciousness of the two rishis with pure ecstasy. On further request of the rishis, Shiva stayed at Chidambaram forever thereafter – in the form of cosmos. This tale is recalled from the Chidambaramahātmyam – a Sanskrit text which describes the greatness of Chidambaram Temple & the local Tamizh Sthalapurānam.

History
The Chidambaram town & the temple, the center of town, has ancient roots; traced back to the Sangam period of Tamil History. It rose to popularity during the early rule of Chola kings because Chidambaram was the capital city of the Chola empire in its early stages. Later the capital was moved to Thanjavur, yet Chidambaram remains an important religious town and flourishing center of Tamil culture & Hindu civilization.

Architecture of Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar, Tamil Nadu

The temple structure we see today is a vibrant amalgamation of History, with construction
spanning centuries and new infrastructure being added by each king and every dynasty. The
temple was built by the Chola dynasty with continuous additions till the 13 century. After the Cholas, the Pandya dynasty rose to power. Kings of the Pandya dynasty constructed the massive gateways
of the Chidambaram Natarajar temple. The gateways are better known as Gopuram, the Chidambaram ones being one of the tallest in the whole Indian subcontinent.

How to reach Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar, Tamil Nadu?

By Train: Trichy is the nearest railhead.
By Air: Trichy airport is the nearest airport.
By Bus: Frequent buses are available from all parts of South India.

Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar, Tamil Nadu Timings

Morning: 6.00am to 12.00 noon
Evening: 5.00.pm to 10.00 pm

Pujā timings throughout the day:
• 6.30 am: Pāl Naivedyam
• 7.00 am: Mahārati
• 7.45 am to 9.00 am: Kalasandhi Pujā
• 10.00 am to 11.00 am: Irandām Kālam
• 11.30 am to 12.00 noon: Uchikālam
• 5.15 pm to 6.00 pm: Sāyarakshai
• 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm: Irandām Kālam
• 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm: Ardhajāmam

Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar, Tamil Nadu Images

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