Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram

The Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram, was the 3rd of the 5 Panchabootha Sthalas, that we visited. We went there by night, right after visiting Thanjavur, so I was not able to take any pictures of the temple.

Going to a very big and famous temple by night was indeed very very beautiful. This was actually one of the most beautiful, precious and unforgettable moments, and I can’t explain how divine it was. As we went there about 7 pm, and therefore could watch the Irandaam Kaala pooja, which is the 5th pooja during the day. Experiencing this pooja, that inclued the Chidambara Rahasya Pooja and Maha Aarathi, indeed so beautiful to watch both the pooja and the great idol of lord Nataraja.

Of the 5 elements, this temple is dedicated to the Sky, and to lord Nataraja, the lord of dance. The deity of Nataraja, in the presence of performing Aanandha Thaandavam, is to be seen in the Pon Ambalam (the Shrine of the Golden Hall). The name Chidambaram, which is the name of both the town and the temple, means “atmosphere of wisdom”. The was built in the 10th century CE, while Chidambaram was th capital of te Chola Dynasty.

If you ask me, I would say that Chidambaram is a must visit. Go there, day or night, to explore the divinity and the beautiful architecture. You’ll feel so blessed!

The legend goes back to the incident, where Shiva in the form of a beggar, accompanied by Mohini – actually lord Vishnu in a beautiful female form – to a mythical Pine forest. Mohini triggers lustful interests in the sages, while Shiva performs thandavam to trigger the lust in the wives of the sages. The people then realized how superficial their austerity is. Later, 2 sages – Patanjali and Vyaghrapada – wanted to see the dance of lord Shiva in the Thillai (today Chidambaram). They set up a Shiva Lingam, pray and meditate. Shiva, impressed by this, appears in front of them in Chidambaram and perform thaandavam.

I really, really hope to go back to Chidambaram in future, to explore both daytime and night poojas, and to explore the atmosphere around the temple. The moments in the temple was one of the most unforgettable experiences. Next time, I’ll come back with loads of pictures too 😉

~ AJ

 

Jambukeswarar Temple, Thirvanaikaval

Uchi Pillaiyar Temple in Trichy, was the first temple to visit during the roadtrip in Tamil Nadu. Hereafter, we went to Jambukeshwarar temple, that is located on the Srirangam Island, but in the area called Thiruvanaikaval.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the temple..

The temple of Thiruvanaikaval is the 1st among the 5 Panchabootha Sthalas, that are dedicated to lord Shiva though this was the 2nd of 5 temples, we went to. This temple is dedicated to the element water. It is also one among the 275 Paadal Petra Sthala Temples, and is mentioned by all 4 important nayanmargal/Samaya Kuravargal in their works. The temple was built by the tamil king Kochenganan (Senganaan), who was a king in the early Chola dynasties, and lived in the 6th/7th century CE. Later it was expanded by the Hoysala king, Someswara.

Continue reading “Jambukeswarar Temple, Thirvanaikaval”

The Rockfort Temples, Tiruchirapalli

While staying in Tamil Nadu, we went on a roadtrip through the most of Tamil Nadu, to visit certain temples – among these where the Panchabootha Sthalas and Aarupadaiveedu.

From Mylapore – Chennai, we went directly to Trichy (Thiruchirapalli), which took about 6 hours by car. Here, we stayed at a hotel, as we were very tired. I don’t remeber the name of the hotel, but it was a very neat and nice hotel, with a very good restaurant. We could actually see the Uchi Pillaiyar Temple from the hotel. We went to Uchi Pillaiyar Temple the next morning.

The temple is from the 7th century CE, dedicated to lord Ganesh, built on the Rockfort. The rock is 83 m tall. There are 2 temples built on the rock, while Uchi Pillaiyar Temple is on the top, while the other one – the Thayumanaswami Temple, is located close to the base. These 2 temples make the Rockfort Temples. Continue reading “The Rockfort Temples, Tiruchirapalli”

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

Ranganathaswamy Temple was one of the very few Vishnu temples, that we went to in Tamil Nadu. We actually only went to 3 Vishnu temples; Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, Azhagar Kovil in Madurai District and Venkateswara Temple in Thirumala (Thirupathi Temple). I only have some pictures of the first temple mentioned.

Ranganathaswamy is one of the most important Vishnu temples, and is located in the town Srirangam, in the district of Trichy/Thiruchirapalli, on an island in the Cauveri/Kaveri River. Trichy was the first town we stayed in during the road-trip in Tamil Nadu, and before going to Srirangam, we went to Uchipillaiyar Temple in Trichy and Jambukeshwarar Temple in Thiruvanaikaval (also on the island) – another post about the temple is coming soon. Continue reading “Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam”

Brihadishwarar Temple, Thanjavur

Brihadishwarar Temple, named Rajarajeshwaram in it’s earlier days, is a temple dedicated to lord Shiva, built by the king Rajaraja Chola I and his sister, princess Kundavai, between year 1003-1010 AD is one of the greatest examples of Tamil architecture. It is built of granite, around 60,000 tons of granite is said to be used to built the temple. According to the insriptions, that are to be seen at present day, the engineer and architect behind the temple was Kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Perumthachan, a archari from that time, from Kerala. The interesting part is, that even the present successors of the achari still practice Vastu Sastra. Continue reading “Brihadishwarar Temple, Thanjavur”