Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

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Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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HomeTamils - a Trans State Nation > Culture & the Tamil Contribution to World Civilisation > Dravidian Temple Architecture  > Chidambaram Nataraja Temple


Chidambaram Gopurams

Sculptures at Chidambaram

The Temple of the Dancing Shiva  "The temple of Chidambaram is the home of the Dancing Shiva, Lord of Cosmic Dance, Shiva Nataraja. Nataraja dances the dance of Creation and Destruction. The dance of the atoms, stars and galaxies. It can lay claim to many unique features. The Trimurti or Trinity of Hinduism, Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer are all worshipped within one complex.
Shiva, who is the presiding deity of this temple, is worshipped here in three aspects: as form; as formless form; and as formless..."

Shiva's Cosmic Dance on Earth

"Lord Shiva as Bhikshatana and Lord Vishnu as Mohini taught the value of divine grace to the rishis of the Daruvana. In time the penance of the saints Patanjali and Vyaghrapada brought Shiva to Tillai-Chidambaram where He perfoms His Cosmic Dance till today for all to witness. This myth is depicted by the ancient paintings on the ceiling of the Shivakamasundari temple in Chidambaram. Annette from Amsterdam performs Bharata Natyam as an offering before Lord Nataraja in the temple in Chidambaram." Courtesy

ஆறுமுகநாவலரும் சிதம்பரமும் - ச. அம்பிகைபாகன்

Chidambaram Temple - Inner corridor
Inner Corridor

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Chidambaram Natarajar Temple - Architecture

Chidambaram Temple Entering Final Phases of Renovation, 1982  "Seven years into a massive renovation project that will reach from its outer walls and gopurams to the innermost sanctum of Lord Siva Nataraja, the Chidambaram Temple is regaining an outer splendor nearly equaling and beauty of its fathomless spirituality. Gradually, as the teams of workers complete extensive structural and surface work on one section and then another of the enormous, 40-acre temple, new life and luster is bursting forth, giving its 1,200-year-old architecture back its pristine glory.

This 20th-century round of repair and renovation work began in 1975 with a small army of historical-technical supervisors, stapathis, masonary and plaster artisans, foremen and construction workers setting up camp in Chidambaram's precincts.."
Chidambaram Temple - Sculptural Details - Temple Chariot
Chidambaram Siva Natarajar Temple
Chidambaram - the Cosmic Stage
Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram


Chidambaram Nataraja Temple
Chola Period with additions in Vijayanagar Period

Chidamabaram Temple
Chidambaram Temple Golden Dome
Gold Plated Sanctum

Chidambaram - Gold Plated DomeChidambaram, is one of the oldest, most venerated and magnificent temples of Tamil Nadu.  Nataraja or the Dancing Shiva stands in his cosmic dance pose in the 'Golden Hall'. The eastern gopuram is 40 metres high and carved on it are the 108 sculptured illustrations of Bharatanatyam. The western tower has similar carvings while the northern tower  42 meteres high. is the tallest. Nataraja is installed in the Kanaka Sabha and the roof of the sanctum  is covered with gold plates.

Chidambaram Temple - Floor Plan

" I saw cascades of energy coming down from outer space, in which particles were destroyed and created in rhythmic pulses; I saw the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in this cosmic dance of eergy; I felt its rhythm and I heard its sound, and at that moment I knew that this was the Dance of Shiva, the Lord of Dancers" - Fritjof Capra, Tao of Physics

Chidambaram Gopurams

Chidambaram - Temple - Aerial View
Chidamabaram Temple Gopuram - Tank View
Chidamabarm Gopuram
Chidambaram Gopuram - Close Up

Sculptures at Chidambaram [see also Padma Subrahmanyam on
Role of Dance Sculptures in Tamilnad

Chidambaram Temple Sculpture




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