Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

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In 5th century a.d. the Pallava king Simhavarman came here, a bath in the sacred tank & worship of this Linga cured him of leprosy & Simhavarman became Hiranyavarman. There were number of miracles performed by the Lord of Thillai because of which the temple became popular. What you see is the east tower was built by the Chola king Kulottunga II (1138-1150 a.d.)

A close up of the sculptures in the lower portion of the east tower.

What you see is the south gopuram of seven storeys was erected by Sendamangalam Kadavarayan, was a devout bhakta of Nataraja. Construction started in 1237 a.d. & was completed in three years.

People visit Chidambaram in thousands, have a darshan of the Dancing Lord and go away. The temple is dedicated to a Divine Dancer and as such dance themes fill the east gopurams with 108 Karanas, all exquisitively executed. In Chidambaram all the 108 Karanas are sculpted, while in Tanjore we have only 81. The various Karanas as enunciated by Bharata Muni, has been carved in granite blocks and placed one above another to make a pillar. And above each Karana, is inscribed the appropriate verse culled from the Natya sastra of Bharata. Even the images of the sculptors are carved.

In front you see the wall that is on all four sides of the main temple. On the left the structure that you see has Nandi in it, the attendant of Lord Shiva.

A closer view of the western gopuram. King Vikrama Chola (1118-1136 a.d.) commenced constructing the west gopuram was finished by Sundara Pandya s & is thus called by that name. He also built a golden hall in the temple and provided it with a golden roof.

What you see is the north tower erected by the Vijayanagara ruler Krishna Deva Raya in 1517 to commemorate his northern victories.

Entrance to the Parvati Temple with the northern gopuram in the background.

Paintings on the ceiling of the Parvati Temple.

One of the Brahmins who is involved in managing the temple. This is a private temple. How I wish there was a small board that gave temple details in English. Not knowing Tamil it is not so difficult to find your way. Even signboards inside the temple should be in English too.

This the Siva Ganga tank where in 5th century a.d. the Pallava king Simhavarman came here, a bath in the sacred tank & worship of this Linga cured him of leprosy & Simhavarman became Hiranyavarman. Local guide told me that the tank was made bigger later. To its right is the 1000 pillared hall.

You see entrance to the 1000-pillared hall o your right. It is in the northeast of the outer corridor. The favorite & most loved title of Raja Raja I is Sivapada Sekara. And this title was bestowed on him in this hall. Kulottunga III renovated this hall to enable Sekkilar to compose Peria Puranam. Am not a expert on temples and not too aware about Tamil Nadu so any errors please forgive & mail [email protected]