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"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
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

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Last updated
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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..."
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ஆறுமுகநாவலரும் சிதம்பரமும் - ச. அம்பிகைபாகன்
 


Chidambaram

Chidambaram


Inner Corridor

 
 
 
 

DRAVIDIAN
TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE

Chidambaram Nataraja Temple
Chola Period with additions in Vijayanagar Period

Chidambaram, 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.

" 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

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



 

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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.."
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Chidambaram Temple - Sculptural Details - Temple Chariot
Chidambaram Siva Natarajar Temple
Chidambaram - the Cosmic Stage
Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram
Chidambaram
Chidambaram - Gold Plated Dome
Gold Plated Sanctum
 
 
 
 
 
 
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