Hindu religion is a store of peculiar gems brimming up with a number of sacred gods, their forms, texts, verses and lots of marvellous temples. Temples are the assets of Hindu religion that preserve Indian culture and also showcase the tradition of India. Among many Hindu temples Thillai Nataraja Temple in the state of Tamil Nadu is the unique and special example of state of the art architecture.
Extensive Hindu temples are the abode of God on earth that displays the richness of our culture and are widespread throughout the country. Temples not only represent our Hindu religion but are the places for devotees to express their devotion by performing several worship rituals. Temples flaunt the idols of gods which are very distinctive in looks and features and some are even self-appeared or swayambhu.
Resting in the exotic location of Tamil Nadu state the breathtaking vistas of Thillai Nataraja Temple is simply soothing to eyes. This temple can be the first choice for the travel seekers as the state of Tamil Nadu is dotted with sightseeing locations.
Thillai Nataraja Temple occupies a special place in the list of temples in India as it is the only temple of Lord Nataraj in India. Offering picturesque sights to the visitors the temple is surrounded by scenic spots.
About Thillai Nataraja Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the peculiar idol of Nataraj form occupies a place in the Thillai Nataraja Temple representing Shiva as a cosmic dancer. Also known as Chidambaram meaning ‘stage of consciousness’ and the temple name means ‘atmosphere of wisdom’ is a worthy place to be visited by devotees and tourists around the world. People from different corners of the world visit the temple to admire the top notch architecture exposing the art in blend with creativity, spirituality and divinity.
Chidambaram temple is a Hindu temple which was originally built during the 10th century and was later damaged, reconstructed, renovated and expanded. The temple is situated 200 km away from the capital city of Chennai. The temple complex encompassess the Amman or Devi temple in South India, Surya shrine with chariot, shrines for Ganesha, Murugan, Vishnu, Shiva Ganga sacred pool, magnificent mandapas and many other monuments. The wall carvings within the temple structure displays 108 karanas from the Natya Shastra by Bharat Muni and all these postures form the fountainhead of the popular Indian classical dance form, Bharatanatyam.
Facts about Thillai Nataraja Temple
There are some unexplored interesting facts related to the Thillai Nataraja Temple which contribute in making it unique and special.
- Dedicated to Nataraj form of Shiva: The temple accentuates the reflection of Shaivism dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is the store full of religious importance with innumerable devotees commencing here every year.
- The Nataraj is in “Aanand Tandava” form: Another special feature about the temple is the Nataraj in the ‘Aanand Tandava’ form. ‘Aanand Tandava’ is the ‘Dance of Delight’ performed by Nataraj in the golden hall of shrine Pon Ambalam.
- The journey of the temple from the 10th century: The extensive temple stands from the ancient 10th century and has witnessed renovation work several times during the period of dynasties like Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras. It truly marvels the beholder with its astonishing architecture present till 12th-13th century. It is also one of the oldest temples in South India.
- State of the art Architecture: The striking architecture of the temple flaunts nine gateways of which four are bedecked by ‘gopurams’ embedded with exquisite carvings. Moreover, the temple has five elaborate halls or the 1000-pillared hall which grabs the attention of the visitors.
- Shiva alongwith Vishnu worshipped in the temple: Another distinguished feature of the temple is that it welcomes both followers of Shaivism and Vaishnavism both. The worship of Lord Govindaraja Perumal is also done here.
- Lord Shiva not as Lingam: Lord Shiva is not represented as traditional Lingam form rather he is depicted as the anthropomorphic murthi and the master of Koothu-Bharata Natyam.
All these unknown facts about the fantastic structure of Nataraja Temple contribute in making it a special gateway for immense pleasure which pleases every visitor. Best time to hit the place is between November to February. The place can be reached via train, air or even road.