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Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram Tamil Nadu India

Here is Some Information about Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram Tamil Nadu India

Location: Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu India
Built in: 9th-12th centuries
Area: 50 acres
Dedicated to: Lord Shiva
Significance: One of the Shiva temple
Temple Timing: 6.00 Am. to 12.30 Pm and 4:30 Am to 10:00Pm
Visiting Timing: 1 Hour
Best time to Visit: Sep-Feb
Phone: +91- 94439 86996
Nearest Railway Station:  Chidambaram
Nearest Airport: Tiruchirapalli (195 km) and Chennai (245 km)

More Information about  Thillai Nataraja Temple Chidambaram

The holy town of Chidambaram is one of the prime destinations for the conglomeration of Shaviates for over two thousand years in South India.Thillai Nataraja Temple is located in town Chidambaram of Tamil Nadu India.The temple was built in 9th-12th centuries.The temple is spread over 51 acres and has four towers on the four sides of the temple.Each tower is 135 ft and has 7 stories each with a 13 copper kalasam. The entrance of the base of these towers is large rising to 40 ft. The outer perimeter of the temple is about 30 ft high enclosing the outer passage (Veedhi) and Inner Enclosures (Praharam).The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva known as a Nataraja.Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance) is one of the most common and recognisable statues in the west and this temple in Chidambaram is the only one dedicated to this form of Shiva.The Thillai Nataraja Temple is actually a part of the Kovil categories of Shiv temples that marks the influence of mysticism of worshipping Shiva in its architecture, sculpting and art forms. Each of the major ruling dynasties in the south left their imprint on the Thillai Nataraja Temple. Significant influences are visible in the form of renovations and erections made by the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandayas, Cheras and the rulers of Vijayanagara and Golconda.
The temple is managed by the Chidambaram Dikshitar (Deekshitars, the Thillai Three Thousand) - a class of brahmins, who, according to legends, were brought here from Mt. Kailasa by Saint Patanjali specifically for the performance of daily rituals and maintenance of the Chidambaram temple. 

Story of  Thillai Nataraja Temple

The story of Chidambaram begins with the legend of Lord Shiva strolling into the Thillai Vanam (Vanam meaning forest and thillai trees - botanical name Exocoeria agallocha, a species of mangrove trees - which currently grows in the Pichavaram wetlands near Chidambaram. The temple sculptures depicting the Thillai trees date back to the 2nd century CE).

In the Thillai forests resided a group of saints or 'rishis' who believed in the supremacy of magic and that God can be controlled by rituals and 'mantras' or magical words. The Lord strolls in the forest with resplendent beauty and brilliance, assuming the form of 'Pitchatanadar', a simple mendicant seeking alms. He is followed by his Grace and consort who is Lord Vishnu as Mohini. The rishis and their wives are enchanted by the brilliance and the beauty of the handsome mendicant and his consort.On seeing their womenfolk enchanted, the rishis get enraged and invoke scores of 'serpents' (Sanskrit: Nāga) by performing magical rituals. The Lord as the mendicant lifts the serpents and dons them as ornaments on his matted locks, neck and waist. Further enraged, the rishis invoke a fierce tiger, which the Lord skins and dons as a shawl around his waist.Thoroughly frustrated, the rishis gather all their spiritual strength and invoke a powerful demon Muyalakan - a symbol of complete arrogance and ignorance. The Lord wearing a gentle smile, steps on the demon's back, immobilizes him and performs the Ánanda Thaandava (the dance of eternal bliss) and discloses his true form. The rishis surrender, realizing that this Lord is the truth and he is beyond magic and rituals.

Architecture of  Thillai Nataraja Temple

The place where the temple stands is the claimed center of the earth’s magnetic equator. This shows the tremendous engineering, geographical and astrological knowledge of the ancient architecturers.
The temple has nine gateways among which four of them have gopurams in the East, West, North and South. The eastern gopuram/pagoda has all the 108 dance postures of Bharathanatiyam. The south gopuram Sokkaseeyan Thirunilai Ezhugopuram was constructed by Pandya king. This is evident from the sculpted fishes (flag of Pandya king) in the ceiling. The smallest gopuram is the western gopuram that was constructed in 1150; but there is no evidence available to know the construction of this gopuram. However, there are sculptures depicting the Goddess fighting with buffalo-demon. The North Gopuram was constructed around 1300 AD with the brick portion constructed by the Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya in the 16th century. The East Gopuram, was claimed to have been constructed by the Pallava King, Koperunsingan II.
The roof of Ponnambalam is held by a set of 64 beams representing the 64 forms of art. It is also held by several cross beams representing the infinite blood vessels. The roof has been laid with 21,600 golden tiles with the word Sivayanama inscribed on them representing 21,600 breaths, which represents the number of breaths taken in a 24 hour period.. The golden tiles are fixed using 72,000 golden nails that represents the number of nadis existing in the human body. The roof is topped by a set of 9 sacred pots or kalasas, representing the 9 forms of energy.

Special Attraction of the  Thillai Nataraja Temple

Presiding deity Tirumoola Nathar is a swayambumurthi. Yet, Lord Nataraja is the ruling deity. Of the panchabhoodha sthalas (places) Chidambaram belongs to Akasha. The hymns sung by Gnanasambandar, Tirunavukkarasar and Sundarar were found from this temple only.
Festivals Celebration Thillai Nataraja Temple

Thillai Nataraja Temple,new moon-chaturdasi,Chittirai Thiruvonam, Aani Thirumanjanam or Uthiram of Aani
,Chaturdasi of Aavani, The chaturdasi of the month of Puratasi

Nearest Tourist Attraction of  Thillai Nataraja Temple

Thillai Kali Temple
Sirgazhi Temple
Govindaraja Perumal Temple
Annamalaiyar Temple
Porto Novo

How To Reach  Thillai Nataraja Temple Chidambaram

By Road : There are many public and private vehicles available to reach Thillai Nataraja Temple Chidambaram Tamil Nadu.Frequent bus services are also available from Chidambaram to various states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Pondicherry and various parts of Tamil Nadu. Non-stop bus services and express bus services are also available from here.

By Rail : The Nearest Airport is Chidambaram Airport.The city is located on the Chennai-Trichy mainline of Southern Railway. There are many trains connecting the town with other major cities of Tamil Nadu.

By Air: The Nearest Airport is present are at Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) and Chennai.

Picture Gellery of  Thillai Nataraja Temple 

Google Map of  Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambara

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