Emerald Nataraja Temple

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2009

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We left Devipattam for Rameshwaram. Enroute and after leaving this temple we saw a village celebrating Pongal. Stopped by. They use lights to draw a image of Shiva, Ganesha etc - in this case Ganesha. Awesome. We reached Emerald Nataraja mandir about 5.45 pm, sun was about to set.

Main gopuram - there are two gopurams another one is on left of this one. For an unknown reason did not click both together. We visited 70 odd temples in 18 days. Sometimes I feel the pressure on us would be less if had done fewer or taken more time. Time is always short plus whatever program I make time always goes short because want to see places that were not part of original program.

Side view of gopuram. "The presiding deity is a Swayambulinga from the Ilandhai tree here. The Emerald Nataraja Idol in the temple is the rare one not to be seen in any other temple." "Uthira Kosa Mangai is a tiny hamlet, famous for the Siva temple considered to be 3000 years old. This is the place where Siva transferred the secrets of Vedas to Parvati. Uthiram means ( updesham ) kosam( secrets) Parvati (Mangai ) hence this place is known as Uthira Kosa Mangai."

We met these sadhus after crossing gopuram. "Sage Manickavasagar graces in the temple in the form of a Linga. This is the only temple where Thazhamboo ( a fragrant flower) is permitted for the deity dressing while it is banned in other Shiva temples."

Board outside temple. Place name is Utharakosamangai. Rameshwaram is 83 kms away. "Mother Mangaleswari helps removal of obstacles in marriage alliance efforts. "

Gopuram to enter shrine.

Left side close up of gopuram - image with multiple heads could be Brahma. Do not know others, please help.

Right side of gopuram, image with many many heads.

Walk towards the sanctum, flag post in centre. "The main attraction of this temple is a statue of Natarajar made of emerlad which is about 51/2 feet tall. This idol is known as Margatha Natarajar and the deity is always covered with sandal paste."

View from other side, in front is Nandi vehicle of Lord Shiva. "The main deity here is Mangalanathar (Siva) and his consort is Mangleshwari. There is a Nandi just outside the sanctum and a bigger Nandi in the outer prakaram known here as Pradosha Nandi. "

Ceiling - virtually every temple I visited in Tamil Nadu had its ceilings painted. Missed seeing the temple tank. Very peaceful place, must visit.

Pillars painted - paint fadding away. To see a very nice video of temple Click here

Sanctum at end of pillars. To read a very good travelogue by Chitra Click here

Second gopuram against the setting sun. To read about temple Click here

At village that we stopped these girls were doing a pongal dance. To see a short video of their dance Click here

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